How Car Crushers Turn Your Car To Scrap

When you drive your dream car out of the garage forecourt, the last thing on your mind is its destruction at the hands of a car crusher. It is difficult to imagine that you will fall out of love with the object of your desire but sadly it is true. After bringing pleasure to a number of drivers over the years the paint work will become faded, seats saggy and the engine components sluggish. It is at this point that all of the useful parts of the car are stripped out and the car is sent to the scrap yard to be crushed into oblivion.

Crushing Car Facts

One million cars are crushed in Britain every year.
Cars have to be legally scrapped by an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF).
The lead battery is removed during the first phase of the Depollution Process.
The tyres are removed and sent to a tyre recycling centre.
The petrol tank, catalytic convertor and liquids that are deemed hazardous are removed.
Once the Depollution Process is complete the car is ready to be crushed.
You can either sell your car for scrap or donate funds to to charity.
The, Scrap Dealer Act 2013, states that is is illegal to receive cash payments for scrap.
You must inform the DVLA and apply for a Certificate Of Destruction.
Source: cardealermagazine.co.uk

How A Car Crusher Works


This video clip shows a Challenger Group car crusher in action. Crushing or flattening a car saves on transportation costs. As you can see, from the clip, the car is put into a box like structure with a roof that lowers downwards. The crusher part is controlled by hydraulics which can produce a lot of strength with little effort. The smooth movement of the hydraulics almost camouflages the destruction happening in its grip. The power is created through the principle of force multiplication, which simply means that a smaller force is converted into a larger one using hydraulics.

What Happens Next?

The car crusher plays a very small but exciting role in the car recycling process. Car recycling is very lucrative and every little component has money making potential. Rubber tyres are used in playground surfacing and barriers in racing circuits. Glass is recycled and many of the parts that are still in working order are reused. The most profitable material is the steel used in the body of the car, recycled steel is much cheaper to produce and uses 75% less energy than mining the ore to produce new steel. Recycling is good for the environment as well as the economy.

Next time you are swinging on a tyre swing in a clearing just think that it may have come from a once beautiful car that has now been crushed.

If you would like to learn more about car crushers or discuss the different types of hydraulic systems available please contact us here and we will be happy to advise you.

Why British Engineering Doesn’t Get The Kudos It Deserves

Think of three, ‘great’, British engineers. Hands up if the first three that come into your mind are; Isambard Kingdom Brunel, George Stephenson and James Watt. These three great engineers died over 100 years ago. Can you name three, great’, British engineers from the last 30 years? Don’t worry if you can’t, as modern day engineers do not seem to attract the the same kudos as they did centuries ago.

We need to ask ourselves if this is because British engineers are no longer, ‘great’, or do engineers work in a different way, meaning that a whole team of people are responsible for new technology? Let’s compare engineering today with engineering during the Industrial Revolution and that may answer our question.

The Industrial Revolution

Even in today’s terms, the Industrial Revolution was an awesome time in Britain’s history. It represented the shift in the manufacturing process from man to machine. Engineers became the celebrities of their time because their inventions change the world forever and put the, ‘Great’, in Britain because we could now seek world domination due to being so technically advanced compared to other countries. Cities were connected by huge suspension bridges, goods could be transported by rail and we could sail all over the world, with great speed, and form lucrative trade agreements.

Our factories clattered with the excitement of production and industry was booming. It would seem that engineers developed their ideas in a similar way to the great artists where they had a team of apprentices working below them developing their skills while the head engineer took all of the credit.

The Technical Revolution

Unsurprisingly the root of the modern day, ‘Technical Revolution’, was during Victorian times, when Charles Babbage invented the first computer. As with everything in those days it was huge and could only do sums. Technical development over the last century and particularly the last 30 years has been to make everything pocket sized. The ZX Spectrum in the eighties whetted our appetite for home computers and lead to Alan Sugar, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs inventing the PC (Personal Computer). The computer may be associated with development in America and construction in China but everything your Smartphone or tablet does has its beginnings in Great Britain.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, html and http. Psion Computers developed the touchpad priority device and John Daugman patented the Iris recognition algorithm. Android, Windows, IOS and other operating systems would not have existed if it wasn’t for our, ‘Great’, British computer engineers. The use of computers in technical engineering and genetic engineering has resulted in huge scientific developments all over the world.

The harsh reality is that Great Britain has a critical shortage of engineers and nothing is really being done to inspire our children to follow the engineering root. Nobody really can say what engineers do but everything they come into contact has been engineered in some way. The Kudos of British engineering is low because we don’t celebrate our own successes and inventions are patented by huge corporations.

It’s time that engineers stop putting their cats on Youtube and started promoting themselves.

How Hydraulic Power Units Can Save Lives

Hydraulic power units are not just beautiful feats of engineering, they also play a heroic role in saving lives. Normally associated with aerospace and manufacturing, hydraulic power units also play a major role in rescue operations. The Jaws Of Life are a collection of hydraulic power units that are specifically used to cut people from mangled cars and steel structures. The Jaws Of Life are also the brand name of rescue equipment designed, manufactured and trademarked by the Hurst Jaws Of Life Company. Hydraulic power systems give rescuers super human powers because they increase the strength of the person operating them.

The Jaws Of Life

The Jaws Of Life refer to cutters, spreaders and rams that are operated by hydraulic pistons and are used to open up mangled vehicles like a tin opener taking the lid off a can. These amazing hydraulic power units can save precious seconds, which is essential when saving lives. The principle behind hydraulic power systems is the transmission of force resulting in a small force being transformed into a bigger force. Hydraulic power units make cutting someone out of a car or collapsed building many times quicker, enabling them to be treated sooner by waiting paramedics.

Rescue Training

In May 2016 the DVIDS (Defense Video Imagery System) website reported on a training session for marines, sailors and firefighters in Los Angeles on how to use hydraulic power units in rescue operations. Their training involved using; hydraulic circular saws, hydraulic chain saws, hydraulic power units and a variety of other time saving equipment. They also learnt how to choose the right type of wood to cut and construct supports to keep openings safe. The final piece of training involved using metal rods and wooden blocks to move up to 5,000 pounds of concrete. Bennett. (one of the trainees) said, “With the skills that we learned today, I am pretty confident I could use them to help out during a disaster relief mission.”

Hydraulic Power Units And Earthquake Simulation

As well as being used to rescue people from earthquakes hydraulic power systems are being used to recreate the seismic conditions of earthquakes. This allows building designers to develop structures that will be able to withstand the effects of an earthquake more effectively. Chile’s building codes resulted in a noticeable reduction in the number of casualties in the Chilean earthquake in 2010. Over 700 fatalities were recorded in this 8.8 magnitude earthquake. 250,000 fatalities were encountered in Haiti’s earthquake which was 7.0 on the Richter Scale. The Chilean earthquake was 500 times more powerful than the Haiti quake but had significantly less fatalities, as a direct result of their building codes.

As you can see hydraulic power units are amazing pieces of equipment that not only enhance our lives but also save them. As we devise more effective equipment to aid rescue efforts and predict the effects of natural disasters we will be able to use technology make our world safer.

If you would like to find out more about our industrial hydraulic power units please visit our hydraulic power units section for more information.

How Hydraulic Cylinders Survived The Test Of Time

When you search for information about hydraulic cylinders online you will find basic information about how they work and maybe a few remarkable machines they are incorporated into. This lack of excitement regarding hydraulic cylinders is not because they are rarely used and uninteresting. In fact the opposite is the case, hydraulic cylinders may look shinier, smarter and sleeker than they used to but ultimately they work by using the same simple push and pull principle. The reason hydraulic cylinders have not changed much over the decades is because they had a perfectly awesome design in the very beginning. Hydraulic cylinders are used everywhere and we completely take them for granted.

Maintenance Is Important

Although the concept of hydraulic cylinders have survived the test of time, individual hydraulic cylinders are used constantly making them prone to wear and tear. If your plant has a large concentration of hydraulic cylinders the majority of your maintenance costs will be used to keep the hydraulic cylinders working efficiently. The two main types of damage caused to hydraulic cylinders are; bent rods and ballooned tubes. Hydraulic cylinders need to be checked and replaced when required to ensure that your system runs efficiently at all times.

Quality Control

Approximately 25% of hydraulic cylinder damage is caused by low quality materials and construction. When you purchase hydraulic cylinders it is imperative that you purchase high quality well constructed models. Firms that are ISO 9001 accredited have quality control and product testing as part of their production process and will therefore supply you will hydraulic cylinders that are well made and are less likely to fail. If hydraulic cylinders continue to fail then manufacturers will have to reconsider the design until a reliable model is achieved.

Computer Aided Design

At Challenger Group we use computer aided design (CAD) to design our custom made hydraulic cylinders. This enables us to test our designs virtually and alter any weaknesses before they are made. We are able to guarantee the quality of our hydraulic cylinders because they are tested so vigorously and then manufactured using modern CNC machine tools. Combined with either mild or strong stainless steel (depending on your requirements) we can guarantee that our cylinders are efficient and reliable.

Custom Made Hydraulic Cylinders

All of our hydraulic cylinders are made to your specific requirements, this again guarantees that you will have a reliable and cost effective system. Our hydraulic cylinders have a bore size ranging from, 20 mm to 350 mm with a working pressure of up to 450 bar. There are a choice of four types of rod that can be manufactured from mild or strong steel and a range of extras including cartridge valves and limiters can be added to your hydraulic cylinders if required.

If you would like to learn more about our hydraulic cylinders with us, contact us and we would be delighted to discuss your options.

SSI – Making Shredding Interesting

If you have ever sat waiting for your ancient computer to boot up and felt the frustration inside you building up until you just wanted to get hold of the piece of trash and throw it out of the window – just calm down.  We have the perfect solution that is not only therapeutic but satisfying as well. Just think about your paper shredder in the corner, by the bin, and imagine that it is thirty times bigger and a hundred times meaner. If you can visualise a monster shredder then you are halfway to solving your computer problems.

How Shredders Work

Before we get to the best bit of our solution let’s first look at how a little paper shredder works.  A shredder is composed of a bin to collect the shredded paper, a lid with a slot for you to insert the paper and two sets of rotating knives or teeth.  As soon as you insert the paper, the rotating blades pull it in and start shredding it, quite viciously, resulting in either paper strips or squares.  A paper shredder is only small but it is quite mighty and can devour fingers, hair and ties.  Remember how satisfying shredding paper is and prepare yourself for some real stress relief.

SSI Shredder Of The Week

Well the guys at SSI somehow discovered that watching shredders work was actually cult viewing and their run of the mill shredding videos were getting a fair few hits.  One of the engineers obviously had a cracking sense of humor and decided to shred everyday items, which drew a huge audience.  Shredding; cars, games consoles, balloons, fridges and many other irritating items became the inspiration of, ‘Shred Of The Week’.  There is even a link on their main menu which takes you to a page full of videos that enable you to fulfill your shredding fetish to your heart’s content.  They have videos on Youtube which have a small plot that builds up to shredding.  Viewers are invited to suggest items to be shredded, so they can satisfy their shredding fetish – how cool is that?

Solving your Computer Problems

We can probably guess what you are thinking now and you may be salivating with the anticipation of destroying the irritating piece of plastic that raises your blood pressure every day.  First of all calm down as it is vitally important that you are fully aware of all of your body parts – you don’t want to lose your head in revenge do you? Sit down with your coffee, biscuit and relax while watching the cruel destruction of redundant computers.  Listen to the sound of the components being crushed and a feeling of sweet relief will wash over you.


If you found this experience therapeutic and wish to regularly relax to the clatter and destruction of shredding then there are many more videos for you to enjoy, thanks to SSI’s shred of the week!

Finally…a nod of the hat and raise of the glass to everyone at SSI.  We thank you kind Sir’s……. for making shredding interesting!