Heriberto owns Comanche Auto Recyclers, a business that collects, crushes, and transports old vehicles to metal recycling centers. Heriberto has been in the waste management industry since 1990, when he and his brothers opened a junk yard. In 1994, they acquired a metal crusher, which launched Heriberto into the metal recycling business. Shortly thereafter, he started Comanche Auto Recyclers, which he has been running ever since.
For years, Heriberto went from junkyard to junkyard with his crusher and trailer, looking for salvageable vehicles. If he saw a vehicle with metal he could use, he bought the car from the junkyard. If not, he went to the next place, spending fuel and time on the road. A few months ago, Heriberto changed his business dramatically by moving to a new location where he could weigh scrap metal onsite. Now, people who want to get rid of their vehicles take them to Heriberto, saving him the hassle of traveling with all of his equipment. He pays for the vehicles according to their weight, with the price fluctuating according to the price of steel. He crushes the cars, loads them onto his trailer and then he transports them to a metal recycling center in Seguin, Texas (roughly 40 miles east of San Antonio).
To make this expansion possible, Heriberto rented a new location where his business can operate, bought a portable building that serves as his office and a used scale for weighing cars. Being hit with all of these expenditures at once strained Heriberto’s cash flow. Because Heriberto buys all of his cars in cash, it is important that he always have cash on hand. This loan from ACCION Texas-Louisiana provides Heriberto the operating capital to continue buying cars as he navigates his business through this transitional period.
Before relocating his business, Heriberto worked long days that often did not finish until 8 or 9 PM. His new business model allows him to work fewer hours so that he usually finishes work by 6 PM. As a father of six, he appreciates the opportunity to spend more time at home with his family. Heriberto has two flatbed trailers that can store up to 18 crushed cars each. He has two employees, one of whom is his son. They currently make one trip a day to the recycling center in Seguin, though they hope that once word catches on of their new location, they will be fully utilizing both trailers.
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.