E & H Car Crushing
Harold Erb
Orlando, Florida • 407-568-5865

11/2005

It was about 20 years ago when Harold and his brother, Eric, started E & H Car Crushing. You might say that they followed in their father’s footsteps, as he “used to cut up scrap at different yards,” as Harold Erb described it.

Later, Harold bought out Eric, but kept the “E” in the company name. “We started out with just two people, and we have 55 now,” Erb said. “I don’t know if that’s good or not.” E & H Car Crushing

Machinery has expanded as well: E & H Car Crushing now has three car crushers and four mobile balers, and expansion continues. “We’re putting in a small shredder for aluminum,” Erb said. The shredder will be able handle car motors and transmissions as well as lighter material.

Erb explained that he had been running a small aluminum smelter, but EPA regulations made it more difficult to operate the smelter, so he shut it down. The shredder will process the material that used to go to the smelter, with less environmental impact.

The mobile balers at E & H have kept busy with scrap left behind after Florida’s hurricane in 2004, but he’s also seen his share of some more interesting projects. “We scrapped the Supersonic Transport, that SST that they built a while back,” Erb said. In keeping with the high-flying theme, the company also cut up and scrapped some tracks at the launch pad for the space shuttle.

In a more down-to-earth endeavor, Erb has seen brand new cars from dealerships going into his crushers. “There was a flood or something,” Erb explained. The cars looked fine, but the car companies decided it was better to scrap the cars than to sell them and deal with the warranty issues later. E & H’s crusher made sure those cars never saw the road again – at least not as cars. “Most of our steel goes to the mill in Jacksonville,” Erb said, “to make rebar.” So maybe those cars are under the roadbed now.

E & H isn’t just a business, it’s a family business. Harold Erb’s two sons, Jim and Daryl, have been working for the company for years. Now, each one runs one of the company’s two yards. Erb’s wife “does the books” and his two daughter-in-laws also handle some of the office work. Erb’s brother runs a crane, and two of his nephews run balers.

“We could expand more,” Erb said, but then noted that trucking regulations have made it more difficult to transport scrap and equipment. Fuel costs and the scrap market have impacted his business as well. Harold Erb isn’t ready to hang up his hard hat yet but when he is, the next generation already knows the business, just as he and his brother learned from their father.


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