It can be a sad day when you have to send a beloved vehicle off to the scrap yard. It’s a part of the automotive circle of life, where old cars are chopped up to be recycled into new raw materials that can be used to make more cars. The recycling process generally requires cars to be stripped down before they’re sent to the shredder, and you can view that process in all its gory detail thanks to the adamp402 channel on TikTok.
The videos posted on the channel show a broad spectrum of activity going on at the scrap yard. The most basic work consists of loading old car bodies into a simple hydraulic press that squashes them down. Showing off the skills of the operator, however, are the videos that document the process of stripping down a car using a hydraulic claw attachment fitted to an excavator.
The claw had no trouble pulling the engine out of a Pontiac G6.
Typically, the first step is to clamp the car in place with hydraulic arms that pin it to the ground. Then, the claw is used to pierce the roof and peel it back as if opening a sardine can. The same is done to the hood, and the claw is then used to rip the engine out whole. Radiators and AC condensers are generally also removed, and electrical looms can also be plucked out with surprising dexterity. From there, it’s then a simple matter of mashing the remaining bodyshell down before it’s sent off to the shredder.
There’s something satisfying about watching a huge hydraulic claw so effortlessly strip a car. Perhaps it’s because doing the same work by hand would take hours, while the claw simply rips its way through bodywork and chassis mounts alike. Given the advanced state of disrepair of the cars in the scrapyard, it’s much easier to watch than recent videos of pristine luxury sportscars being destroyed in the Philippines. We’ve seen similar painful footage from Australia, too.
Stripping old cars certainly looks like fun, and we’d love to spend an afternoon behind the controls. With that said, we suspect it takes some time and finesse to learn the skills on display.
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