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All the latest news for auto recyclers

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Process time is top priority for Essex Car Collection

Essex Car Collections
Essex Car Collection wanted fast throughput of ELVs at their new site in Rayleigh. Vortex rose to the challenge with a twin level rig which can handle up to 120 cars per day. Note on the insert the extending platform for making under bonnet access easy and the tilt on the car to ensure that the maximum amount of fluid is removed from each vehicle.
Making your living from end of life vehicles throws up a number of theories on which is the best way to go. Darrel Theedon and his partner, Darren Lee have no doubts on the best way to capitalise on their market.


Get the vehicle, depollute it, remove any parts that will sell quickly and profitably, separate the major ferrous and non-ferrous elements and send them off for re-processing - in a nutshell that’s it.

I spent a few hours at Rayleigh based Essex Car Collection recently and boy, does the operation run well. Vehicles come in, wheels removed, then on to the depollution rig, then over to the separation area where an excavator with a 5 tine grab, rips out engines, axles etc. Wiring looms and other major items are then separated into their individual material streams. The whole process from start to finish is over in less than 30 minutes. Any vehicles which require parts to be removed prior to ripping apart (and there are not many) are sent to a dismantling area first. Part worn tyres go to their tyre outlet in Romford.

At the heart of their methodology is a brand new Vortex depollution setup which can handle up to 120 cars per day. Currently they are handling around 75 but the site isn’t yet at full production. Darrel explained that he will be up to 120 elvs per day by the end of next month.

Darrel Theedon
Darrel Theedon, Director of Essex Car Collection has a passion for cars and quite a talent for racing. From the success he has on the track it's obvius he is a man who thinks about what he is doing and that relly shows in the way he runs Essex Car Collection.
Click here to see Darrel interviewed and the vortex rig in operation here.
To see Essex’s workforce in operation is quite something; vehicles are placed on the rig, depolluted and removed in a flash. Not only the drainage systems, but the whole rig structure is designed for speed and efficiency. Whilst the underside of the vehicle is draining, the under bonnet operations are carried out from a raised moving platform. High pressure pumps for the individual circuits make sure all fluids are removed quickly and efficiently and fuel is filtered ready for re-use.

Apart from the superb access the operator gets with this setup, there are also a number of very neat features such as the sliding tilt blocks that means each elv is on slight list when lowered onto the rig, draining all fluids to one side and thereby maximising their removal. Vortex’s rigs also come with tools fitted so the operator doesn’t’ have to hunt around for that socket he put down - everything is at hand.

Darrel said, “at our old yard we realised that throughput was critical to give us growth and when we acquired this site, we wanted to be sure that we could get vehicles turned around in the minimum time. The bulk of elv’s coming through our site are low value and do not have many parts worth removing. That’s why throughput is critical, we don’t want low value vehicles clogging up the site”. He continued, “We looked around to see what equipment would give us the throughput we wanted and Nigel at Vortex has really come up trumps. Everything just works the way we wanted it to.”

As for sourcing vehicles to keep the system flowing, Darrel uses the usual suspects; web, auctions, independent collectors and of course, local newspapers which still gives the biggest pull. They have 14 collection vehicles on the road at any one time and they are currently handling 4-500 vehicles per week.

When it comes to parts, they do specialise in Corsas and Fiestas with Ebay and Breakerparts being their main outlets. They also have an interesting thing going with Cavalier front ends!

There’s a little more to Darrel than meets the eye. A self confessed petrol head, Darrel has been a serious banger racer for the last 7 years, recently taking the Heavy Metal Classic Title. He is currently getting into 2 litre stock cars and is already showing his worth.

The great thing about Essex Car Collection is that they have taken a hard look at their business and develped a model that suits how they want to operate. All in all, a very impressive operation. If you want to know more about Essex Car Collection you can email them here and if that Vortex rig might be of interest, then visit Vortex’s website, call them on 01949 81945 or email them.
You can Watch the video of the vortex rig in operation here.

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