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Why do salvage yard guy have a junkyard dog attitude

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by RDAH, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. RDAH
    Joined: Mar 23, 2007
    Posts: 465

    from NL, WI

    I just want to go out in your yard & get what I need, pay ya & leave. Been to yards where the guy hates the government & me being a good listener & letting the guy unload because I'm always intrested in how someone looks at a problem & I need the parts he has. Got out in his yard after 45 minutes & came back & payed him 60 bucks for rain channel molding that went above my windshield on my 54 Merc. Other yards I've been to you just don't know how to take these guys. Do they not like their job or what.

  2. Liability comes to mind as well as being absolute sure that you are going to steal something.

    I have been lucky most of my life and always known a junkyard where I could go and dig. Hell when I was in high school one of the local junkyards actually had a tool box for me all set up. Everyone always said that the fella was a total ass, but folks say that about me also. Maybe we were just birds of a feather.

    The guy actually took a picture of me and the missus out in the yard one time, her sitting on the tool box all dressed in white and me filthy and grinning. He put it on his bulletin board just to show folks that he really didn't hate young people. A few years back my girl and he ex went in there to look for a part and the picture was still on the board all old and yellowed. She laughed and told the fella behind the counter, " that's my mom and dad." He showed her my tool box and sent her out to the yard.
  3. Master of None
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 2,279

    Master of None

    That's part of the game of talking to people that have something you want or need. Some of what they are doing too is feeling you out to make sure your not casing the place for other parts. Something also tells me that the owner is also feeling you out to make sure your not some one that is going to report little lings; that will add up to big fines for him.
  4. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,819

    from KCMO

    they are isolated, and people constantly try to screw em, especially local government. it is a learned behavior.
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  5. coolbreeze1340
    Joined: Aug 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,342

    from Indiana

    I agree with Master. I have ever seen some of the other customers at the yard? If I had to deal with some of these people all day, everyday, I would cop an attitude too. The few yards I go to are pretty cool. The only problem I have is now they know I am into vintage tin and such their prices increased by 20%! LOL Oh well, they have the parts and I don't.
  6. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023


    pic and pull is about the close to the old type yards around here.i do remember kids going into a old yard and throwing things over the fence to be picked up later. and then one kid was climbing on a stack of cars and they fell over somehow.and he got porknbeaner is about right on that.but attitude is something that changes with the weather around 100 degree heat the guy is a ass. in 0 degree hes a ass. but when its just right hes thats true.
  7. poolmike
    Joined: Jul 28, 2009
    Posts: 71


    You also have to remember, for every one of us good, paying people....there are 10 morons going in there beating the owner up on his prices. And as 53sled stated, government is trying to destroy these people....I would have an attitude if I was in their shoes.
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,591

    from SIDNEY, NY

    One of the best yards I ever found was owned by a guy who was certifiably nuts. He used to tell us his life story every time we went there......problem is, it changed every time.
  9. Master of None
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 2,279

    Master of None

    Now that's a yard I'd enjoy going to just to hear the stories.:)
  10. They have to deal with all kinds of people. The pull a part and the guy has to talk it over with his wife. They always have to deal with people that do not want to pay their asking price. Maybe the way you are treated is a reflection of your own personality. I like most junk yard owners. There was one in North Vegas that was my favorite. His office was an old school bus. I could wonder around his yard all day long. I never haggled about the price and I think that made future purchases cheaper. I took a friend along one time and he started trying to get the part he wanted cheaper and the owner asked me to never bring the guy back. The owners are not stupid but they are sometimes treated like they are not the brightest people.
    Joined: Mar 30, 2010
    Posts: 3,254


    He has something people need , i guess he can act like an ass if he so chooses. I still got to go back.
  12. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    from Benton AR

  13. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    Because dealing with the public is a bitch!
  14. Often times,Salvage yard owners are what their customers have made them into.....
    Customers are just as often tearing up more than they buy, swiping stuff, backing out of sales, returning either parts they F-d up installing or even another old part not even bought from the yard,getting injured, bringing small children with them[list goes on and on].....does any of that sound familiar?
    One has to really wonder how most salvage yard owners are as charming as they are as a result.....
  15. I have been lucky too.....I can spin a yarn or two and I think that helps when I go to these old yards. Yes these guys have nothing to do so you are their sounding block.
    If you don't talk to them they act mean and grumpy. I was at one yard up north FL doing a fire investigation (also the "police" impound yard) I spent two hours talking to the guy and his son about racing and old cars. THEN they let me wander around and found an old fire truck engine that was very interesting. When I travel out of state I will usually ask the motel desk where is the junkyard his/her father took them to when they were younger. It works almost every time.

    P.S.: I have been to Elmer, MO
  16. We used to go to a yard called Abe & Fergy's (RIP) a lot. It was run by a nice OLD lady at the time. She was a witch. Really.

    They had cars all up in the oak trees, brush so thick you couldn't see 5ft... One day we tried to steal a carb after she walked to her house for lunch. After about an hour up in the trees, we came down with some little parts and the carb zipped in the tool bag. She says "$10 for the trim pieces, and $20 for the Stromberg in the bag"... which we had laid on the other side of the driveway. Scared the hell out of us...nothing to do but hand over the money...
  17. Oilcan Harry
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 906

    Oilcan Harry
    from INDY

    They often have attitudes but, they are smarter than people think. The only truely wealthy person I've ever known made their money owning and operating auto scrapyards.
  18. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,722

    from Oregon

    They're that way because they're tired of stupid questions from amateurs who don't know what they need, then beat them up on pricing after they help them figure out what they wanted.
    Most are decent guys if they figure out you're OK too.
  19. mrconcdid
    Joined: Aug 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,157

    from Florida

    I would like to know how and why my local junk yard charges a "core" charge?
    I know its about the money, thats why they do it. But giving them a core is restocking there shelves. There not rebuilding it! I just think they should call this fee something else and not hide behind a "core charge"

  20. Up until about 10 years ago, there was a yard in Comfort, TX that had stuff from the 1920s - 70's. The old man who owned it was notoriously grouchy and sometimes wouldn't even let people enter the yard at all.

    I started going there when I was 14 and staying with my grandmother during the summers. I've always had a way with these types of guys....I listen to their stories, I compliment their stuff, I ask questions and actually LISTEN to the answers.

    Over the next few years, he got to where he'd let me wander the yard by myself....and I don't think he did that with very many people.

    I think that's the key with the quirky, grouchy's an art that far too few people know how to practice these days.

    That same grandmother used to say, "If your mouth is moving, you ain't learning anything".
  21. b-body-bob
    Joined: Apr 23, 2011
    Posts: 417


    Ain't that the truth. Knew a guy who had a sign company who struck it rich but you'd never know it by looking. Maybe he did that on purpose, but more likely it was just who he was and he "kept it real" as the younguns like to say. Same thing for the yard operators here.

    There's one guy here who sells pop and t-shirts at his yard. First thing he asks when you walk up to ask about a part is if you want to buy a cold drink. Buy one, and you're in like Flynn. Don't, and you know you should the next time. I used to take my wife, he liked to talk to the ladies.

    He had acres and acres of old cars, until the state flew over his property, took photos, and counted the cars for his tax bill. The next thing you know there's a portable crusher there and the old parted out cars are gone. No wonder those guys are grouchy.
  22. dirtydixon
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 296


    I went to a yard in south philly recently to get some OT parts and they were acting like dicks; so I acted like a bigger dick and got the parts a little cheaper.
  23. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,519

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    As a person who has worked in the salvage business for over 30 years ( part-timer ) ... I can tell you all kinds of reasons for their attitude. :D

    1 ) Ignorance on the customers part. Does not know what he needs or whats.

    2 ) Stealing ... People do steal ....

    3 ) Prices ... The owner has taxes, insurance ... employee cost, equipment , the EPA and the cost of the vehicles. PLUS trying to make a profit.

    Cores bring $$$ to the rebuilders. Transmissions and brake calipers are high on the list. All the other stuff goes into the pile. With steel being at 15 dollars a hundred ... even a old busted, no good engine is worth 75 to 100 dollars for the weight.
  24. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,986

    Member Emeritus

    I think Choprods pretty much nailed this one.

  25. Lowriders Art Gallery
    Joined: Apr 9, 2010
    Posts: 612

    Lowriders Art Gallery
    from Montana

    As a former owner of two yards, I can say a few things. People generally ruin more than they buy. Attitude - it's junk, you should give it away. I'm not here for your entertainment. Wait on people, take my time away from money making projects, so they can say thanks, I enjoyed walking around. My rule for going to yards - Never leave without buying something, even if it's just a wall ornament.
  26. bobj49f2
    Joined: Jun 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,798


    I like the yard owners who don't like to sell their parts. There's a yard in NW WI that still has some usable parts from the 30s whose owner is notorious for not wanting to sell anything. Ask him how much for a part and he'll reply, "What do you think it's worth?". Give him a price and he'll come back with, "Na, can get more for it as scrap. They don't make them anymore." "Then how much do you want for it?" "Make me an offer." "Already did". This can go on forever with this guy. I talked to a couple of locals and they told me the guy's been like that as long as they've known him. Doesn't seem to want to sell anything. He's in his upper 70s. I don't know how he could survive if he doesn't want to sell anything. I've talked to owers who are going to restore half of the vehicles in their yard. They're also in their 70s and will run out of time before they'll have one car restored.
  27. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,752


    i've only experienced a few older salvage yards that had anything worth scrounging through, but they were run by some real characters. you'd hear that so-n-so was a real bastard to deal with, only to find out he caught the storyteller trying to steal or cheat him and gave him what he deserved. one old guy up in Virginia had a couple hundred acres of old shit that i dearly loved to walk through just to look at... his wife watched HIM like a hawk because he wasn't supposed to smoke, and he'd cadge a smoke off my wife... lowered the price of anything i wanted after that. another guy out of Chatham would let me roam his place for the whole day, and let me pull parts for him to pay for what i needed. he sold me a stripped '63 1/2 Galaxie for $100 and let me pull parts to finish it.........
    well; that WAS twenty years ago.
  28. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    As anybody who has been going to wreckers for a long time can tell you, grouchy auto wrecker guys are "traditional".
  29. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,145


    Well if you read Deuce Roadster's post #23 and Lowrider Art Gallary's post #25 They pretty well nailed it.

    People who want something for little of nothing because it is in a wrecking yard.
    People who destroy a 100.00 part to get a 2.00 switch or worse steal the 2.00 switch.
    Assholes that will smash a 15.00 tail light lens to steal a 1147 bulb.
    People who pull and buy the wrong part, take home and damage it and want to return it.

    But sometimes it works the other way too. One yard around here seems to raise the price on something if they think you want it for a hot rod project. It doesn't matter if the part is off one of the 1960 or earlier cars or trucks or off one of the mid 90's boxes with wheels that died and cost more to fix than the value of the car. That's the same guy who seems to forget that years ago I probably gave him 50.00 vehicles and hauled in several tons of scrap that he got for free at the time. He has never remembered that when I ask a price on something and he prices it about twice what i feel it is worth to me.
  30. There are two yards locally that I get parts from. Both let me go out in the yard and pull whatever I need. I always let them know what I need beforehand. Both guys are great to deal with, and I've never had an issue or problem with either.

    Two other yards have gone out of business in the past five years that were similar. Unfortunately, the owner of one died and his relatives went apeshit over who got what afterwards; and the other had everything crushed because his kids were greedy, nasty and stupid, so he crushed it all and kept the cash himself. I think he took an extended Caribbean cruise after that!

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