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The disappearance of construction equipment from job sites across the country has fleet owners worried about the possibility of their equipment being stolen. Even though it is extremely unlikely that stolen equipment will ever be recovered, precautions can be taken to reduce the likelihood that any of the vehicles or equipment in your fleet will be stolen.

Learn about the factors that contribute to construction equipment theft.

A number of factors encourage the theft of valuable machinery and tools, including the following:

  • Construction sites that are not properly supervised, as well as the pricing of the item or component in question
  • The ability to avoid detection makes theft impossible.
  • A simple to use and navigate market for buying and selling stolen goods.
  • The possibility of being discovered: Those who commit minor offences and are apprehended frequently face minor consequences for their actions.

The ease of access to the equipment and its secondary market value are the two primary motivators in equipment theft. Theft is a very real possibility on any construction site, and it is especially likely when the equipment in question is brand new, has a high street value, and is relatively easy to steal because it can be loaded onto a truck or driven away. Despite popular belief to the contrary, criminals do not find it difficult to steal vehicles from government-controlled storage facilities.

Place a notice in every vehicle that can be seen.

Tools used in the course of one’s employment do not need to be titled or registered. As a result, it may be tempting to abandon the standard procedure of clearly labelling and numbering each piece of machinery to facilitate retrieval. However, if the stolen equipment is not correctly identified, law enforcement may find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to recover it.

As a result, it is critical that every piece of heavy equipment on the construction site is clearly labelled with a distinguishing stamp or engraving that includes a name, symbol, or number. The superior solution to this problem is to label every detachable component that has the potential to be sold on the black market.

Always be aware of the location of your equipment.

The vast majority of machines lack serial numbers or PINs, or the numbers on their equipment do not consistently match. A thief can simply conceal the fact that an item was stolen from them by erasing or altering the data on it. As a result, it is critical to keep accurate records for each unit or component’s manufacturer, model, PIN, serial number, date of manufacture, date of acquisition, and date of purchase.

Having photographs of your entire fleet will come in handy if you ever need to locate a missing piece of equipment. It is absolutely necessary for the National Insurance Crime Bureau to have the item’s name on hand in order to carry out its duties while cooperating with law enforcement to recover stolen property. This critical information is frequently lost, which is one of the main reasons why so little stolen equipment is ever recovered.

Take note of recent trends in equipment theft.

It is critical that you keep everything in your fleet secure; however, you should be especially cautious with items that are commonly stolen from vehicles. Tractors, skid steers, and snow removal wheel loaders are frequently targeted by vehicle thieves in the Northeastern United States. Skid steer loaders are another popular target. The Western region has had the highest number of stolen backhoes of any region.

Criminals used to escape using breaker and hammer combinations all the time. Even though incidents like this are becoming less common, extreme caution should be exercised when using functionally equivalent instruments. When you have a better understanding of the black market, it is much easier to spot suspicious behaviour in a fleet. It is not appropriate to base this conclusion on trends, regardless of how likely or unlikely a specific item is to be stolen.

Avoid allowing strangers to enter your fleet.

Criminals have an easy opportunity to steal expensive tools left overnight at most construction sites because these sites are typically located in remote areas. As a result, the problem has become even more complicated because many of these locations lack adequate security. To reduce the possibility of an enemy ship attacking your fleet, you should prepare a defence for your yard.

Taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of your fleet does not have to be a time-consuming or financially burdensome endeavour. Even the most basic precautions, such as closing gates and installing motion detectors, can greatly improve the security of your home, especially before retiring for the evening. Here are three options to consider:

Every night before you leave, arrange the cars in a circle, with the smaller pieces of equipment in the centre.

Install surveillance equipment in the area, such as cameras and/or motion detectors.

If your site is in an area known for having a high rate of criminal activity, you should advocate for the police to conduct more frequent nightly patrols of the area.

If your website appears even marginally more secure than the average, many criminals will choose a less secure website over yours.

Install light towers, motion detectors, and/or cameras that can operate even when there is very little light available.

The use of modern technology in anti-theft measures for expensive equipment is becoming increasingly important. A digital and wireless video system provides any business with reliable nighttime monitoring that is also free of interference. It is possible to programme the system to record at all times, even when no one is present. Alternatively, the cameras can be programmed to turn on only when motion is detected. Many cameras could be linked together via a network to cover every nook and cranny of the equipment storage area, or a single camera could keep an eye on a number of different regions. The majority of today’s systems rely on fairly simple electrical wiring. You can easily power your cameras and receivers by using the existing sockets.

If you have a large fleet that needs to be monitored, a light tower may be useful. Some light towers can reach thirty feet in height at their tallest point, providing illumination in all directions around the circumference of the tower. A light tower’s wandering beam can focus on any location at any time, making it an effective deterrent to potential burglars.

Hire a private security company to keep an eye on the building while it is empty at night.

If you’re concerned about the safety of your equipment while it’s left unattended overnight, hiring a security guard to work at the location is a great option. Some companies may want their security guards to learn on the job, which makes them less than ideal for the job. When at all possible, this should be avoided. Some businesses will hire private security guards who are licenced to carry weapons and are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Security guards may be people who have previously served in the armed forces or the police force. Their extensive training has adequately prepared them to deal with armed robbers and other potentially dangerous situations.

It should come as no surprise that the nocturnal shift necessitates a distinct personality. He or she will need to get used to being awake at night, which will be a difficult adjustment due to the social constraints imposed by this way of life. Daytime security guards may need additional training to detect and prevent theft, trespassing, and other types of criminal activity that occurs after normal business hours. A security guard’s familiarity with local law enforcement is critical, especially in the event of a large theft or break-in involving multiple victims. Armed guards may be required to have a commercial driver’s licence, though this will depend on the nature of the job.

Describe to your employer how you handle safety and precautionary measures.

With the cooperation of the employees who use the equipment, any piece of equipment used in the workplace can be kept in a safe condition. Because of the nature of their regular responsibilities, it is possible that security factors, such as the ability to detect suspicious behaviour on the premises, do not immediately spring to mind for them. Nonetheless, at the end of each shift, operators must conduct an inventory of all used equipment and park all vehicles in a secure location in accordance with the site’s policy. Every driver must understand the minute differences that exist between vehicles that appear to be the same at first glance.

Keep your tools in a more secure location when not in use.

If you are unable to implement the aforementioned security measures, such as a fence, surveillance, or a contract with a local police patrol, your best bet is to look for a secure location within driving distance of your place of business. If it means keeping criminals at bay, the time and effort required to shut down and restart the system is well worth it.

Report the theft to the authorities as soon as you discover it.

In the event of a theft, it is critical to make contact with the authorities as soon as possible. People fail to report thefts in a timely manner, which is the primary reason why so few stolen items are ever recovered. If one of your company’s vehicles is ever stolen, notifying the police as soon as possible can increase the likelihood that it will be recovered.

The likelihood of recovering stolen fleet equipment can be increased by prioritising the following four actions as soon as possible:

The object can be found using the map provided by the system that tracks equipment. The Cat® Product Link is one of the most useful tools for accomplishing such tasks.

Contact the appropriate authorities and provide them with as much information as possible about the missing car, such as the make, model, and year of the vehicle, as well as any accessories it may have had and its last known location. Be as open and honest with the investigators as possible about the incident and the specifics of what occurred. The amount of information available to them will determine how quickly they can locate your machine.

Your insurance company will be able to start working on your claim as soon as you contact them and inform them of the problem.

If your equipment has been stolen, you must notify the National Equipment Registry (NER).

Remember that timely reporting of a lost object and providing comprehensive information to aid in its identification are critical to the success of a theft investigation, and that you should not skip any of these steps.

Make preventing theft a top priority in your life.

Making an effort to protect your property from theft will save you time, energy, and money in the long run. Any seasoned fleet manager will tell you that businesses that prioritise safety while also meeting the needs of other aspects of the business will always come out on top.

That is, do not put off taking measures to prevent future thefts until a previous theft has already cost you a significant amount of money. Install preventative safeguards as soon as possible, as well as a tracking mechanism for stolen funds. It’s possible that the very little time and money you put into these things right now will pay off handsomely in the future.

The use of tracking and recovery devices can aid in the fight against theft.

It is not enough to simply secure the location; specific pieces of machinery must also be protected. Locking wheels, shut-off systems, battery switches, and ignition locks are all useful tools that can be found on a variety of vehicles. Breakers and fuses should be removed from any machinery that will not be used for an extended period of time.

As a result, it is critical to remember that deactivators are not a foolproof method of preventing theft. Even if the precautions described above are effective, a skilled thief may discover a way to circumvent them. If a stolen vehicle also has a GPS tracking device installed, the chances of the police recovering the vehicle are significantly increased. The police will now have a much better idea of where the vehicle is.

Cat If you want to know where your fleet’s vehicles are at all times and how efficiently they are running, VisionLink® is the tool for you. VisionLink customers can monitor a vehicle’s fuel consumption, the amount of time it spends in a single location, its speed, location, and the paths it takes.

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