The Mryglod family, from left: Brad, Kyle, Sandra, Tyler and Travis.

Mryglod Steel & Metals Inc. in Saskatchewan, Canada, is a scrap metal processor with a long history of environmental stewardship. The family-owned company, now in its fourth generation, has followed a business strategy focused on conscientious scrap recycling that has served the company since World War II.

Mryglod purchases scrap from industrial manufacturers, railroads, auto salvage yards, metal dealers and individuals—most of it coming from obsolete machinery and equipment such as automobiles, railroad cars and tracks, home appliances and construction debris. Once the scrap metal arrives at the company’s 10-acre facility, it is processed by sorting, cutting, shredding, torching and baling. Much of the metal is converted into pieces that are the size, density and purity required by steel mills and foundries for melting, for use in the production of new finished steel and other products.

“We process and sell everything we purchase,” Travis Mryglod, vice president and CEO, says. “We understand that buying scrap metal is only half the equation; we need to put it back into the metal manufacturing cycle. Recycling has always been important to our family.”

Travis owns the company with his brothers, Bradley, Tyler and Kyle, and their mother, Sandra.

Understanding the business

The four Mryglod brothers all became full-time employees at the company in 2011 when their father, Kevin, passed away. The brothers’ great-grandfather, Alex, and his three sons started the firm in the 1940s by collecting scrap metal to help build equipment for the military to use in World War II.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of tons of steel, aluminum, copper, lead and other metal products have passed through the Mryglod facility, allowing the family to learn the process.

The firm has baling equipment and bin service to help customers properly recycle their scrap. Additionally, a mobile operation featuring crawler excavators equipped with magnets and large shears allows the company to handle industrial and commercial cleanup projects.

“Since we process everything we buy, we can offer much better prices than others in our business,” Mryglod says. “Other firms buy scrap metal and sell it in the same form. We process what we buy down to its purist form and sell directly to the consumer of that product.”

Overcoming obstacles

The Mryglod business model—buy, process then sell—has served the company well over time. Recently, however, a sluggish economy and lower metal commodity prices have resulted in reduced sales.

“One of the steel mills we sell to makes tubular goods for use in the Canadian oil fields,” Mryglod says. “The demand for those products has been down. The market, and lower prices across the board, meant we did not haul as much as we typically do. As a result, our yard was extremely full for eight months. We had to tighten up everything.”

To ready the company for when demand did return, Mryglod set its sights on increasing its efficiency and fine-tuning its processes.

“We knew that once the yard was full, we had to do something about handling and moving the material,” Mryglod says. “And we had to do it efficiently because commodity prices were low.”

To do a better job of moving its scrap metal and loading trucks, the company purchased a new DX300MH-5 material handler with a 1-cubic-yard grapple attachment from Suwanee, Georgia-based Doosan Infracore North America.

Coincidently, about the time the material handler was delivered by Bobcat of Regina, the nearby Doosan equipment dealer, sales picked up.

“The timing could not have been better,” Mryglod says.

Boosting efficiency

With business now trending upward, Mryglod says there is plenty of activity around the company’s facility, with the DX300MH-5 making a noticeable difference in moving the process forward.

“This is the first purpose-built machine for handling scrap that we ever purchased,” Mryglod says. “Previously, we did this work with construction-type excavators that we converted, either with our own magnet or grapple. But because a warranty is so important, we decided not to buy a new piece of construction equipment and make a bunch of changes that would affect the warranty.”

The main buyer of steel products from Mryglod is the Evraz North America steel mill in Regina, Canada. According to Mryglod, the new equipment has made it easier for the company to transport goods to Evraz in a timely manner.

Mryglod says the company wasn’t able to get all of its trucks loaded in one day before purchasing the material handler. With the new equipment, crews can load all the trucks in an afternoon.

When there is sufficient demand, the company sends out four trucks per day: a 75-yard triaxle dump trailer, two 60-yard tandem dump trailers and a 40-yard tandem truck with a dump body. The 75-yard triaxle dump trailer is the model that usually makes the second trip.

“The material handler, which is mainly used to load trucks, has doubled our efficiency,” he says. “The elevated cab allows us to see down into the boxes of the trucks without having to wonder where our attachment is going. We now get maximum weight in each load because we are able to fill the entire box. Plus, we don’t need a spotter anymore.”

Mryglod points out that the new equipment helps pile the material once it is prepared and ready to ship. It has 15 feet more reach than any other machine the company used previously.

He also rates the machine high in fuel efficiency. “The fuel use to product loaded ratio is probably double what our old machines would do,” he says.

Mryglod’s two construction-type crawler excavators that were replaced by the material handler are now available for off-site work, which frees the company up to tackle new initiatives.

“All of our other equipment will be out this summer on cleanup projects,” Mryglod says. “We have a job at a power plant [where we will] haul away their scrap after they make annual improvements. We also will be on a large farm where we will be cutting up and preparing surplus equipment such as combines and trucks. With the material handler taking care of sorting and loading in the yard, our other equipment can be out working in the field. That will allow us to get maximum use from all of our machines.”

With improved business operations and new equipment functionality enabling the company to streamline its recycling operations, Mryglod says that the future is bright.

“We feel that growth will come naturally by focusing on providing quality service, pricing and honesty to all of our customers, and by doing so with the best employees and equipment in the business,” Mryglod says.

The author is a writer with Two Rivers Marketing, Des Moines, Iowa.