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Thread: Short Iron VS Long Iron

  1. #1
    Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    Short Iron VS Long Iron

    The price difference for these two locally is about $.03lb or $60 ton. Do you make any effort to cut things like pipes down to 3 foot pieces, or do you even bother with separating it?



    Anything in there that will cause a downgrade, it'll just get long iron/tin/shred price anyway
    Last edited by Bear; 06-03-2012 at 01:02 PM.

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  3. #2
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    I make every effort possible to maximize returns. Think how long it takes to make a ton of long iron into a ton of short iron, then do your metrics, and that's what you're being "paid" per hour to do so.

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    I cut anything 1/4 or heavier.

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    I didn't know the difference between long and short iron until last week. I've been throwing everything in together. Of course, the scrapyard didn't say a word. I'm going to try my best at cutting everything into shorter pieces (3'). The only trouble is, I only have a hacksaw to cut with.

    Thanks for the question, Bear.

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    An important thing to remember is the cost of using a torch (or other tool).

    Also if on a 50/50 split (or other spilts) it might be more effective to turn and burn.

    Personally i like cutting HMS #1 or PNS. Not only does it seem more cost effective but it has helped me learn the torch.

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    At the yards I use steel is steel 1 foot long or 10 feet long all pays the same 200.00 per ton.The only thing that pays more are cars 220.00 per ton

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    At my yard this is how it is classified:

    #1 HMS (1/4 thick or more, less than 4ft long) @ $270/ton
    #1 unprepared (1/4 thick or more, more than 4ft.) @ $240/ton
    Tin (less than 1/4 inch thick) @ $180

    They usually let me get away with 5ft long, 3/8in thick to get #1hms. They also sometimes upgrade my price if I clean up the metal (take all of the tires off of bikes, plastic, etc).

    I hope that helps.

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    My local yards take old farm equipment as long steel. I torch off the easy stuff as prepared steel and sell the rest as long.
    If it wasn't for the $ in $crap, it would just be.....

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    Why do yards bay more if the steel is less than 4ft. If I tool an eight ft. pole and cut it in half I get more money??? I think I'm missing something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyscraper View Post
    If I tool an eight ft. pole and cut it in half I get more money???
    (I assume "took") Yes.
    People may laugh at me, but that's ok. I laugh all the way to the bank.

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    Yes mick, sometimes my fingers go faster than my brain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyscraper View Post
    Why do yards bay more if the steel is less than 4ft. If I tool an eight ft. pole and cut it in half I get more money??? I think I'm missing something.
    A yard pays less for long steel since it is over the size required by the mill and therefore they have to cut it to size.

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    Happy,

    They have to send it to be a foundry. At the foundry they melt it. To fit into the melt pots it needs to be a certain size. Shred fits this category as well, after it's been run through the shredder. Others will have more info, but that's the long and short of it. (haha!)

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    Thankyou everybody that answered my questions. Liveing clost to a shipping port most have something to do with it. At the port of Tampa they have a huge shredder and all the steel goes through the shredder and right on a ship to china. At two of the yards I use everything goes into a crusher and comes out in a big cube. I still can't figure out why they pay more for cars maybe it's a competition thing. Although we do have a steel mill in Tampa but I don't know if it's still up and running or not.

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    In many modern shredding systems, there a sophisticated sorting system based off eddy currents. This allows for them to sort out the aluminum, copper and etc. That may explain the difference.

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    I do not bother to prepare iron, but the difference for me is only $10/ton. For $60, you bet I would. My yard's definition of "prepared" is no bigger than 3' in any direction, and no smaller than 1/4" in any direction.

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  26. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by little726 View Post
    I didn't know the difference between long and short iron until last week. I've been throwing everything in together. Of course, the scrapyard didn't say a word. I'm going to try my best at cutting everything into shorter pieces (3'). The only trouble is, I only have a hacksaw to cut with.

    Thanks for the question, Bear.
    If you have any power saws(miter saw, circular saw) you can usually get metal cutting blades for those. I have metal blades for both and they work fairly well. A 10" miter saw I've used the same blade for years, but steadily cutting 3 or 4 inch pipe it wouldn't last as long

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  28. #18
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    Downgrading

    There are still at least 2 lingering questions I have on this stuff.

    Are your yards usually strict with the dimensional limits? My yards here say no more than 3 foot or less than 1/8"

    If there is a piece or two which are 3 foot 6 inches, will they downgrade the load for that?

    If there are heavy cast waterpumps etc, having a thin backing plate on them, will this kill the better grade ?

    I am trying to get a load of this stuff together, having mostly cast iron car parts, heads, pumps, steering rods, crankshafts etc, but something like a washing machine gearbox (also mostly cast, but several thinner than 1/8" mounting plates welded to it ), and I'm just hoping I'm not wasting my time hoping to schieve the better price

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    The one thing I've learned from this forum, Bear is how diffrent yards are. I do not break any iron/ steel down. I only get seperate pricing for rotors and engine blocks period. Lawnmowers, fridges, pipes, baby stollers, water tanks, bbq grills it doesn't matter pays the same per lb. I would consider breakdown of any material if would make me a minimum of 10$ an hour. I can make at least that curb shopping. I know your situation is diffrent being in a rural area. I feel 10$ an hour is bottom end for how hard this work can be.

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    When you are considering pricing at "your" yard try to be as personable as possible. Ask them how they want it. My guys don't want to break it down at all. It is best for them to load it up and sell it. Sometimes my guy will say "throw the shred off then put the heavy stuff over there and I split the load, 50% shred/50% Prep. The other day I had a truck load of metal stud framing. He said pile it real nice so the shears can get it and I'll give you prep $. As I was pulling on the scale the shear wacked the whole pile in two snips. There are dozen yards in Pittsburgh so there is some competition, but if your yard likes you they decide what they pay you. If they are smiling when you come you'll get more. And a six pack, dozen donuts, or pizza can really create some good will with the guys at the scale. Subway gift cards come in packs with $5.00 cards and the return can mean alot down the road. I never complain, I ALWAYS ask what can I do to this to get more money for it? They will tell me cause it not their money they just run a scale.

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