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What Makes a Perfect Pick-and-Pull Toolbox?

There’s one item that’s more crucial than anything else on any trip to a salvage yard: your toolbox. A successful trip to a pick-and-pull is all about having the right tools for the job. Like packing clothes for a vacation, there’s an art form to building this toolbox. And, just like with vacation packing, it can be easy to both over- and under-pack.

Building an efficient toolbox for your trip to the salvager doesn’t need to be difficult, however. This guide will help you to assemble the perfect arsenal for bargain hunting at your local scrapper.

Start With the Box

Every great toolbox starts with the box itself. For a trip to the junkyard, you’ll need something that’s both durable and easy to carry. Avoid large, metal boxes since these can be tiring to carry even when empty. It’s also not necessary to bring an extensive selection of tools, so something with multiple drawers or compartments is likely to be overkill.

Instead, consider a heavyweight plastic box. These boxes are often extraordinarily affordable and usually include a simple removable tray that can help you to organize commonly used tools. Since automotive tools aren’t known for being lightweight, be sure that the box you select has a heavy-duty handle that won’t break and send your tools sprawling across the lot.

Gather Your Essentials

If you have expensive, high-end tools, then consider leaving them at home. Unless you find yourself at a scrapyard every day, you won’t need the extra durability. Since pulling parts from scrap vehicles can often require a little bit of destructive effort, this will also save your pricey tools from too much wear.

You will want to start your box with some essentials, however. A good, robust ratchet is a must-have item for any automotive work. You’ll also want a set of standard sockets, although you shouldn’t fill your box with both imperial and metric sets. To keep your toolset lean and efficient, only bring what’s appropriate for your car.

Aside from sockets, your toolbox should include a few pairs of pliers, screwdrivers of varying lengths and types, and a good set of wire cutters. It’s generally polite to do as little damage as possible when pulling parts from donor cars, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to snip a wiring harness or two. Be sure to bring along a few socket extensions, as well.

Stay Focused

By now, you’ve built a useful core toolset for scrapyard work, but the key to a genuinely efficient trip is research. Spend some time reading up on the parts you need to pull so that you understand the removal procedure. Will you need any special tools? Are there Torx bolts or other unusual fasteners in the way? Avoid filling your toolbox with extra specialty tools, but make sure you bring along any that you’ll need.

While you’re at it, this is an excellent time to remove the tools that you won’t need. It’s not necessary to pull every last socket from your box, but it doesn’t hurt to remove some bulkier items that won’t be necessary for the job at hand. Keeping your set light can help to reduce fatigue in the yard and make for a far more pleasant experience.

Step It Up

Finally, it’s worth considering a few nice-to-have items. If you have a cordless impact wrench or ratchet, then these items can make any job far more convenient. A multimeter is also a useful tool for performing simple tests on electronic parts. These items may not be essential, but they’ll make pulling parts that much more comfortable and less stressful.

Once you’ve assembled your ultimate toolkit, it’s time to make your way to the yard. City Auto Wreckers has an extensive collection of donor vehicles ready for you to salvage during our pick-and-pull events, so be sure to stop by!