Larry Danielle doesn’t own a “run-of-the-mill junkyard.”
What’s likely the only large independent company of its type in the country, U-Pull-It is more like a self service used auto and truck parts supermarket located on 40 acres with eight buildings.
The Davie, Fla., company buys cars from organizations such as United Way and the Salvation Army and also picks up wrecked and old vehicles throughout Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Danielle said he also buys from insurance companies, police impound lots and the public. It recycles more than 60,000 cars a year.
What keeps the company running smoothly is its fleet of Volvo machines, Danielle said.
Volvo wheel loaders and excavators move material around the U-Pull-It yard, helping the effort to crush 250 cars a day.
The fleet, purchased from Flagler Construction Equipment in Davie, includes three EC290B excavators and one EC330B excavator, six L90 loaders and two L60 loaders. The 330 and one 290 have grapples. One excavator has a magnet and the other a LaBounty shear.
He began using Volvo equipment approximately five years ago after a recommendation from friends at Pick ’N Pull in California. Danielle called Volvo “my machine of choice” and said “it’s becoming the industry’s machine of choice.”
Danielle said Volvo wheel loaders run all day and lift more than the competitor’s loaders. A typical load is 9,000 lbs. (4,200 kg) per bundle (three cars) loaded into the crusher.
He likes Volvo because of “the compatibility of all the parts.”
For example, the loaders and excavators use the same fuel filters. Danielle also likes the compatibility of maintenance and the ease of control.
The machines come with double sticks, but Danielle had them replaced with a single stick. “It’s like running a video game. It’s a lot easier,” said Danielle.
Another thing Danielle likes about using Volvo equipment is the fuel savings. He estimated the business gets an extra day’s worth of fuel out of every machine per week.
“When you add that up with the entire fleet we have, it’s the equivalent of getting one week’s worth of fuel free. That is a significant advantage of running the Volvo machines,” Danielle said.
General Manager Mike Floreno said the compatibility of fuel and oil filters across the Volvo product line makes “our lives very easy.”
“The EC290B excavators have the same fuel and oil filters that are in the L60E, L70E and L90E wheel loaders. We don’t have to have 12 different shelves here in our shop. We just keep one shelf. It simplifies our operation.”
Floreno also is pleased with the parts personnel at the Flagler branches who are knowledgeable about the equipment.
He noted that employees who operate the Volvo equipment love the way it handles.
“For them it is all about comfort. The loaders are extremely stable. Visibility is excellent as well, which is extremely important when you have so many people going in different directions in the yard,” Floreno said.
Danielle moved to Florida 35 years ago with his father, Mickey, from New York where they had been in a similar business. He said he bought the property 30 years ago that U-Pull-It is on, but didn’t begin the business until 10 years ago.
He likes his business not only because “it makes a lot of money,” but because it produces a “great service” to the community.
Parts that aren’t needed are recycled and sold in the form of aluminum, steel and copper.
“We recycle everything. The only thing we don’t recycle is the air in the tires,” Danielle said.
He expects to recycle the air in the tires when the use of nitrogen becomes prevalent in “five to 10 years.”
“We set the standard for environmental practice,” said Danielle.
He said the business disposes of oil, refrigerants and fluids from used cars that would otherwise end up contaminating the soil.
In addition to the auto parts business serving the Florida area, Danielle exports car parts and scrap material (copper and aluminum) to several countries including Venezuela, Honduras, China and Korea. He owns a small trucking company with five Volvo tractors and 53 flatbed trailers.
The business has become a family affair. Danielle’s wife, Cathy, is a vice president. Their daughter, who is graduating from college with a master’s degree in business administration, will join the business and their son just came to work with Danielle as “my computer expert.” A future son-in-law is one of Danielle’s managers.
“We’ve got a young staff who are in their 30s to mid-30s,” said Danielle.
Future plans include modernizing facilities and building two new buildings. One will be a 70,000-sq.-ft. building on one end of the property and the other a 30,000-sq.- ft. building at the other end of the property. CEG