We study how the dynamics of solitary wave (SW) interactions in integrable systems is different from that in nonintegrable systems in the context of crossing of two identical SWs in the (integrable) Toda and the (non-integrable) Hertz systems. We show that the collision process in the Toda system is perfectly symmetric about the collision point, whereas in the Hertz system, the collision process involves more complex dynamics. The symmetry in the Toda system forbids the formation of secondary SWs (SSWs), while the absence of symmetry in the Hertz system allows the generation of SSWs. We next show why the experimentally observed by-products of SW-SW interactions, the SSWs, must form in the Hertz system. We present quantitative estimations of the amount of energy that transfers from the SW after collision to the SSWs using (i) dynamical simulations, (ii) a phenomenological approach using energy and momentum conservation, and (iii) using an analytical solution introduced earlier to describe the SW in the Hertz system. We show that all three approaches lead to reliable estimations of the energy in the SSWs.