Recycled, reused parts keep Mexican trucks going

| 10/3/2007

The quality of trucks used in Mexico has been questioned time and time again by opponents of the cross-border trucking program with Mexico.

A recent article published in The Daily News in Longview, WA, featured a unique niche discovered by Hector Perez – dismantling old used U.S. trucks and sending the parts to Mexico.

Perez, a legal, permanent citizen, immigrated to the U.S. when he was 12 years old. The 41-year-old now owns a business that buys old used trucks, parts them out, and sends the parts to Mexico.

The article reports that what Perez does is “part of an old tradition recycling U.S. parts in Mexico.”

The trucks Perez recycles aren’t “top-drawer,” according to the article. The most common truck for Perez to part out is an older day cab that doesn’t have much of a market in the U.S.

Darlene Johnson told The Daily News that Perez has been a godsend of sorts for her trucking business. She said her company buys used day cabs and sells them to Perez when they’re “more used.”

Perez doesn’t see selling used parts to Mexican motor carriers as undermining safety, but rather as an opportunity to improve the Mexico-based trucks.

However, he acknowledges there is a big difference in safety standards between the two countries. The Daily News reported that Perez doesn’t deny safety and enforcement can be lax in Mexico.

“They have, I think, two scales in the whole (country) of Mexico,” Perez told The Daily News. “Everybody over there just overloads their trucks, so that’s a rough situation, because it just tears up … roads and equipment.”

– By Jami Jones, senior editor