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How To Prevent Construction Equipment Theft

How To Prevent Construction Equipment Theft

Lynn Mendez

The burglars stole into Landings Restaurant in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's earlier this year with a backhoe and took the ATM. This was the fifth instance of heavy equipment being utilized in local thefts this year. Another incident involved the theft of an S160 Bobcat skid steer loader in Moniteau County. This is but one of the numerous thefts of construction equipment this year.

Many contractors and business owners face a major problem of construction equipment theft. Because building sites are easily accessible and frequently left unattended, thieves specialize in them. Both expensive equipment losses and delays in your projects are present. There is no one method of tracking and monitoring stolen equipment, which makes it quite challenging to locate.

Taken effectively, theft can be prevented. Use GPS tracking, security cameras and appropriate locks to protect your equipment. Use of this knowledge will help you save money, guarantee flawless work, and maintain the safety of your equipment. Putting money into security measures protects not only the items you own but also everyone's safety at work.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Construction equipment theft is a significant issue, especially in high-activity states like Texas and North Carolina.
  • GPS tracking systems are essential for preventing theft, providing 24/7 monitoring, worldwide coverage, and alert systems.
  • Additional security measures include installing lights, security cameras, alarms, fencing, and hiring night security guards.

The Reality of Construction Equipment Theft

According to the 2016 Annual Theft Report by the NER, construction equipment theft is more rampant in states where there's a record-high volume of construction and therefore have the most machinery, particularly Texas and North Carolina. It was found that most stolen equipment are loaders (skid steer, backhoe, and wheel loader) and tractors. Interestingly, the report points out that the larger the equipment, the greater risk of it being stolen while remaining unnoticeable to those in charge of managing them. The report further shows that thieves choose high-value equipment from well-known manufacturers like Cat, Toro, Kubota, John Deere, Bobcat, and others.

GPS Tracking System

To keep up with the growing demands of equipment theft protection, many companies have developed GPS tracking devices. Integrating GPS to ensure equipment safety has significantly become a trend over the years as it economizes the operation. As a matter of fact, the 2018 Club Cargo Theft Report done by the BSI and TT Club concludes that the use of GPS tracking devices in the vehicle/trailer, as well as the use of covert GPS tracking devices within the cargo, are important protocols which should be followed to help prevent theft. 

Benefits of Incorporating GPS Tracking Systems to Prevent Construction Equipment Theft

How You Prevent Construction Equipment Theft with gps tracker

1. Economized Operations 

Hiring security personnel for construction sites can be very costly, which is why many small to medium businesses avoid it. Surveillance cameras, while useful, are often expensive and not foolproof. 

To solve this problem, construction companies use GPS trackers. Every tracker may charge customers up to $140. At the location with 100 pieces of equipment, the annual cost is around $14,000. Since this is far less expensive than hiring every security guard at $26,400 per year, GPS tracking is a less expensive method to stop equipment theft.

2. Whole-Day Monitoring 

GPS tracking devices work 24/7. When installed in vehicles, they use the vehicle's electrical system, eliminating the need for battery recharges. Installation is quick and easy. If you're not comfortable with basic automotive work, a professional can install it, but it's simple enough to do yourself if you have the skills. 

Before GPS trackers, monitoring construction equipment was difficult. Now, with the Tracki GPS tracker on each tool, business owners can see real-time locations and conditions. This allows bosses to know where equipment should be and contact managers if something is wrong.

3. Worldwide Coverage

When equipment is in transit, it can enter areas with limited cellular service, making it hard to communicate with drivers and foremen. This is an opportunity for thieves. However, with GPS tracking devices like Tracki, you can track locations anywhere with GSM cellular reception, ensuring equipment never goes off the radar. 

4. Inventory Tracking

Construction companies frequently fail to report missing equipment because they don't know it's missing. This is a typical problem, according to the NER. Inventory management is much simpler with GPS tracking. Incorporating this technology into daily activities saves time and reduces stress by allowing assets to be located quickly and effectively.

5. Alert System

GPS tracking systems have a special feature called the alert function. Owners of construction sites can set up geographic boundaries that will send out notifications when equipment leaves a specific area. As a result, theft becomes less likely. Select a GPS tracker that notifies you immediately if it leaves a safe zone, travels outside of time, moves, or exceeds speed limits.

Some other tips for "how to prevent construction equipment theft" 

Install lights around your entire property

Ensuring the security of your construction site is crucial to preventing the theft of valuable equipment. Installing lights around your entire property can be an effective deterrent against theft. 

Here's some way how to do it:

  1. Plan the layout: Check your area and mark the important places like entrances, spaces for keeping equipment, and dark corners that require lighting.
  2. Choose the Right Lighting: Choose high-intensity LED lights to save energy and notify you about any activity on the property, think about implementing motion-activated lights.
  3. Install Lighting Fixtures: Install lights in essential places and make sure to cover all areas of weakness. Set lights at a high level to create a large area of visibility and stop theft.
  4. Use Timers and Sensors: Combine motion sensors and timers to make sure lights run well and notify you of any strange activity. This can also give the impression of an area that is under constant monitoring.
  5. Regular Maintenance: Regularly check and maintain your lighting system to ensure all fixtures are functioning correctly. Replace any faulty bulbs or damaged fixtures promptly.

Installing Security Cameras and an Alarm System

Protecting construction equipment from theft is essential for maintaining project timelines and budgets. Installing security cameras and an alarm system can provide robust protection. 

Here's a brief guide on how to enhance your site's security:

  1. Plan the Surveillance System: Determine which critical points on your construction such as entrances, exits, equipment storage spaces, and any busy areas need to be watched.
  2. Choose the Right Cameras: Select High-Resolution, Night Vision Cameras. For long-lasting performance think about using PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras.
  3. Strategic Camera Placement: Installing cameras strategically will allow you to cover all important areas without creating blind spots. Put them up high enough to keep people from tampering and to guarantee that they provide sweeping views.
  4. Integrate an Alarm System: Put in a reliable alarm system along with your security cameras. To detect any manipulation or illegal access, choose systems with motion, door/window, and glass break detectors.
  5. Remote Monitoring and Alerts: Select a security system that provides both real-time alerts and remote monitoring. This allows you to keep an eye on your construction area from any place and get alerts right away if anything seems odd is happening.
  6. Regular Maintenance and Testing: Test and maintain your cameras and alarm system frequently to make sure proper operation. Update your system and immediately change any broken parts.

Install fencing

  1. Secure Perimeter: Install fencing creates a strong physical barrier around the construction site, deterring unauthorized access and reducing the risk of equipment theft.
  2. Enhanced Visibility: High-quality fencing improves visibility, making it easier for security personnel to monitor the site and identify potential intruders.
  3. Controlled Access Points: Fencing at entry and exit points allows controlled access, letting only authorized people into the construction site.
  4. Long-Lasting Materials: Fence materials are resistant to theft and break-ins.
  5. Cost-Effective Solution: Investing in strong fencing minimises theft losses and cost savings.
  6. Customizable Options: Height, material and extra security elements like alarms or barbed wire are all adjustable to fit your construction site requirements.
  7. Deterrent Effect: Professional fencing has a visual repellent effect that makes would-be criminals think before trying to enter the property.

Night Security Guard

A night security guard is in place to prevent the theft of construction equipment.

  1. Active Monitoring: During non-working hours, night security guards provide active, on-site monitoring, ensuring a human presence that can respond immediately to suspicious activity or potential threats.
  2. Deterrent Effect: Potential thieves are strongly discouraged to target a location with a night security guard on duty.
  3. Quick Response: To stop theft and guarantee the safety of the building site and its equipment, security guards can instantly inspect and react to any security breaches or alarms, coordinating with the police if needed.

A Final Word

With big bucks attached to every piece, it is necessary for every construction company to come up with effective ways to protect their assets. In the event of a loss, replacement is just the beginning of the dilemma. Business owners can only hope their insurance covers the loss. Apart from that, there’s also the time spent on the rigorous process of filing police reports and insurance claims. 

GPS tracking systems are here to save you from having to go through all that. Just attach monitoring devices to your assets, and technology will do the rest.

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Lynn Mendez
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