What is a Car Crusher?

Are you wondering what happens to cars at the end of their life cycle? Since cars do not disintegrate into the earth, they must be properly disposed of. This means breaking apart the car into its different materials and components. The process of dismantling junk cars is done in thanks to the car crusher machine.

A car crusher is a large industrial piece of heavy equipment used to crush cars into a compact size. This car crusher machine can turn any junk car into a flat slab of steel and scrap metal. They can be found at just about any junk yard, scrap yard, or auto salvage yard in the United States. And while the car crusher seems like a simple auto wrecking machine, it serves a very important role in the scrap metal industry.

Origins of the Car Crusher

The car crusher was first patented in 1966 by Allen Sharp and Richard Hull out of a junk yard in Iowa. Prior to the car crusher, the best junkyards could do would be to drop heavy objects onto junk cars. Of course this was inconsistent, time consuming, and ultimately wasteful.

The need for an auto wrecking solution came because transporting junk cars in bulk was too expensive due to weighted shipping costs. Shippers could only fit so many junk cars onto a car hauler that the shipping cost exceeded the junk car values. Plus, junk cars are cumbersome to ship and very hard to stack on a truck or train.

How Does a Car Crusher Work?

As a result, the car crusher was invented as a metal clamp that powers hydraulically. The machine acts as a jaw that crushes the junk car into a flat long piece of scrap metal. Normally glass windows and lights are removed prior to the crushing to avoid shattered glass. Although the process is slow, a car crusher can be operated by only one person and the machine is relatively easy to move.

In fact, the mobile car crusher was invented in 1996 and can be easily transported. The mobile car crusher acts differently than the regular one. For starters, it is smaller and therefore can only crush small and medium sized cars. As the demand for car crushers grow, the mobile car crusher provides a resource for junkyards and scrap yards to salvage junk cars fast.

Once the junk car has been crushed by the machine, its flattened remains are left on the opening of the crusher. From here, a foreman will use a crane to lift the scrap car and stack in a pile. The flat nature of the crushed vehicle allows it to be stacked which allows junk yards to store more scrap at a time. Plus the eventual shipping of these scrap cars will be done more efficiently. In fact about three flattened scrap cars can fit into the space of a junk car.

Cost of a Car Crusher

If someone were to consider starting a junkyard, buying a car crusher would be one of the first objectives. But finding a car crusher for sale can be tricky. Such heavy equipment is not always easy to find locally, and of course it will cost a big price. Your average car crusher for sale will run you at least $20,000 for smaller models. Full scale car crushers will cost upwards of six figures.

Operating a car crusher is much less expensive than the initial cost. A car crusher can be operated by just one person, plus some higher end car crusher include an attached crane. In this case both pieces of heavy equipment can be operated by one person without having to get out of the seat.

What Happens With Crushed Cars?

Once a car is crushed, it is piled on top of countless other scrap cars. But these piles of scrap metal are valuable and will not side idle for long. Once a junkyard is filled to capacity with scrap metal and scrap cars, it will sell the scrap metal. Since junkyards are in business to make money, they all accept market rate for their specific scrap metal.

Since scrap metal prices fluctuate, junkyards will sell their scrap cars and scrap metal at the most opportune time. This will be when scrap metal prices are as high as they get before the junkyard is at capacity.

The scrap metal is purchased by manufacturers who can make use out of the affordable raw materials. They could always buy fresh raw metals but these are much more expensive due to the cost of mining and fabricating. Thanks to the scrap metal industry, the need for car crushers in our junkyards has never been higher.