Nicklin Auto Parts & Recyclers has been serving southern Ontario since the late fifties. In the mid-nineties the company's 30-acre yard and building in Guelph was purchased by its current owner, Denis Krajcar (shown above), who says he started in the auto recycling business as a teenager. "I started working at Cambridge Auto Wreckers when I was 16, until I was about 25, when I bought this place," explains Krajcar.
He says that at the time he bought the company the owner was simply ready to retire. Krajcar was in the right place at the right time, and since the 1990s, the business has seen steady growth.
"First of all, you pay off the business, which takes some time and limits what you can do," he says. "And then, it's just about reinvesting in the business, buying better equipment, loaders, crushers and other equipment, to do jobs we were always hiring others for. It only makes sense to do it yourself. It's been a long haul, but now everything is in place."
Nicklin Auto Parts & Recyclers now processes about 10,000 cars per year. The company salvages valuable parts, including engines, cores, batteries, tires and precious metals, and sells other re-usable parts and components through a U-Pick "self-serve" operation. Nicklin also produces about 13,000 tonnes per year of scrap metal, which is sent to local recyclers. In 2017 Nicklin installed a new 12,000-square-foot steel-frame building which now houses their entire dismantling operation, including a new SEDA DrainTower vehicle drainage system and Girolift vehicle lift system, supplied by Fergus, Ontario-based equipment distributor ELV Select.
When vehicles are brought in, they are drained, using the new SEDA system, and "cored," tires are removed and then car bodies are sent to the U-Pick yard, where the public can pull any remaining parts they want. Once they've spent some time in the yard, cars are crushed and sent to scrap.
Krajcar says prior to having the U-Pick side of their business, they used to be a full-service yard, where they would pull parts off for the customer, on order. But, he says, too often they would have a customer make an order, for a part such as an alternator, they would spend an hour pulling it off, and then it turned out the customer didn't need it. They decided it was not worth it.
"It turns out that a full-service yard just wasn't in the cards," says Krajcar. "So now, as a U-Pick operation, we can place 2,000 cars in our yard. People like coming out on a sunny day. They take the parts they want, and we've got the best prices around."