Where trucks go to die … or be reborn

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It seems an appropriate place to find a truck “boneyard.”

On one side of the fence lies the hustle and roaring bustle of I-78, with numerous cars and commercial vehicles traversing its asphalt and concrete length from one end of Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley to the other.

Yet on the opposite side of the tall chain link divider, parked neatly in silent unmoving rows, lie hulks of picked-over tractor and medium-duty chassis nestled alongside equally muted piles of transmissions, engines, axles, wheels, and countless other truck components – with only the occasional grasshopper, bumble bee, or gust of wind for company.

[To see more photos of Midway Salvage’s truck “boneyard,” please click here.]

To many, it may seem more like a graveyard for trucks destined to forever sit and rust away eventually to nothing. Yet to Midway Salvage’s owner Tony Giorgio, nothing could be further from the truth, for from these idle rigs come forth an endless stream of parts that can provide precious life to their still-humming brethren out plying the great highways beyond.

“In fact, a guy just called me today saying he’d just blown an engine and needed a replacement for it as soon as possible,” Giorgio told me as we stood under a bright and almost cloudless blue sky looking over his assorted wares. “That’s something we can do.”

Giorgio is a latecomer of sorts to the truck parts and salvage business. After career spent at a local highway construction contractor, he – like millions of other Americans – found that hard economic times left him without a job. But fortunately for him, a glowing recommendation from his former boss landed him in the manager’s role at Midway Salvage four years ago. And two years ago, he got to take over the lease himself to make a go of it as his own boss.

To broaden his trucking prospects, Giorgio created Midway Used Trucks & Trailer Service (wryly known locally by its acronym “M.U.T.T.S.”) as a companion business to the Midway Salvage operation, rebuilding vehicles and selling them both locally and overseas – especially to Africa and South America, both “hot” truck export markets at the moment.

“It’s a way for us to broaden what we can offer customers,” Giorgio explained to me.

The narrow yet long space where Midway plys its trade – the “boneyard” measures just 225 feet across and 1,800 feet in length – is home to another venture of sorts: the finding, repairing, and selling of “classic:” trucks, especially cabover tractors, which Giorgio said are coming back into vogue.

Indeed, a recent “find” rolled into his lot as we talked – what looked to be a 1940s-era gasoline engine-equipped single rear-axle Mack truck found sitting in a local farmer’s barn.

[You can view more photos of this classic truck by clicking here.]

“We’ll clean it up and place it along the fence and see if it gets interest,” Giorgio said. “These kinds of ‘classic’ trucks can be really popular.”

Better than seeing it end up in the boneyard, that’s for sure.

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