Buying auto parts at a salvage yard is a great way to save money and help reduce pollution.
But buying used auto parts isn’t as simple as walking into an air-conditioned store and pulling what you need off an organized shelf. I.e. At the salvage yard, you’ll be using your tools to remove your new (to you) parts from a car out on the yard.
You’ll be getting your hands dirty. You’ll be exposed to the elements.
That means you’ll also need to be careful, and follow all of the safety rules. To help you accomplish that, here are seven ways to stay safe the next time you’re pulling your own parts.
1. Choose Your Clothes Carefully
You might not win any fashion awards with your part-pulling attire, but choosing the correct clothes and shoes will help keep you safe.
Since you’ll be around heavy tools and car parts, you don’t want your toes exposed. Opt for closed-toe shoes or boots. Ideally, you’ll wear a pair that’s comfortable for walking around the large yard.
Whenever you’re working around vehicles, you should also keep your eyes protected. A pair of safety glasses will keep debris and dust out of your peepers AND complete your salvage yard look. 😉
Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you leave, and bring a jacket if you’ll need one. And wearing layers is a smart idea, in case you work up a sweat while pulling your parts.
No matter the weather, long pants offer better protection than shorts. Jeans and coveralls are great options.
2. Don’t Bring in Restricted Tools
Most salvage yards limit what tools you can bring in.
This is for your safety and the safety of others. Check for a list on the facility’s website before you go, and only use approved tools. You can find Tear-A-Part’s restricted tools here.
For example, at Tear-A-Part, you aren’t allowed to bring in tools with open flames. This includes cutting blowtorches.
Why? Open flames are a safety concern and could cause damage or injury.
Jacks are another prohibited item. But don’t worry, the cars are already suspended off the ground and you won’t need one.
The reason we do it this way? Improperly lifting a car can get you seriously injured if it fell.
3. Don’t Drink or Bring in Alcohol
We’re all adults here.
Being under the influence of alcohol impairs your speed and processing ability. Help keep everyone safe, and only pull parts when you’re sober.
Leave the alcohol behind, and don’t try to sneak any in. If you get caught with alcohol, you will be asked to leave (and probably not to come back).
4. Use Safe Lifting Practices
Car parts are heavy.
To avoid straining your muscles, use safe lifting practices. Use your knees to bend, and don’t lift heavy objects over your head.
Remember to bring a friend to help you lift really large parts. Working as team will help you stay safe and avoid an injury.
Tear-A-Part offers wheelbarrows for use on the premises, so use one to bring large parts in from the yard. Your back will thank you!
5. Use a Flashlight
The nooks and crannies of vehicles are really dark, even on a bright summer day.
Bring a flashlight with you so you’ll have it when you need it. And using one will help you to make sure you’re pulling the right part!
Before you start removing a part, use the flashlight to help you visually inspect the piece. If you notice any damage, let a staff member know.
And while you’re inspecting, you can count how many bolts are holding the part in place, or spot any clips. This knowledge will help your removal process go more smoothly.
6. Keep Your Pets at Home
Just like alcohol, the salvage yard is no place for pets.
Why? There are places and materials that could be dangerous for them. And you’ll want your concentration on removing the part you’re after, not on your wandering dog.
No matter how well trained your animal is, keep him home. The new environment and people offer a ton of temptation and we don’t want anyone – or any animals – to get hurt.
7. Practice Situational Awareness
Whenever you’re working with tools, it’s essential to practice situational awareness.
Know where others are at while you’re working, and where your body is compared to the vehicle you’re working on. And while you’re in the yard, keep your eyes peeled for unsafe conditions.
We’re here to help! Alert staff immediately if you spot something dangerous happening in the yard.
Help Us Help You Stay Safe!
When you’re ready to save money on your next auto part, give Tear-A-Part a call. Odds are, we probably have what you need!
And while you’re here, make sure to follow the seven tips above to help keep you and everyone else safe.
Photo Credit: Morgan Sessions via Unsplash