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Steps to Minimising Heavy Equipment Theft

Steps to Minimising Heavy Equipment Theft

With digital playing such an important role in construction and mining business operations, more businesses are starting to leverage tracking technologies to help keep their equipment safe and secure. While there isn’t a guaranteed way to reduce on-site construction theft, you can take extra precautions to help keep your job site and your valuable construction equipment protected from theft and vandalism at all times. Here are a few steps for minimising heavy equipment theft: 

•    Maintain a secure site during the day and at night 
When you are working on a site, it’s important to create as much attention and awareness around the site before leaving your equipment open. For example, keep the area well-lit and easy to view from the road. 

Make sure you have CCTV camera and video surveillance up to deter thieves, with alarm systems to alert management if there is a problem. Do not overlook any other important tips like locking up properly and taking the correct safety precaution with equipment before leaving it for the evening. Other tips include:

  • Do not leave keys in the ignition of equipment.
  • Hire a security company to monitor the site during the evenings. 
  • Invest in secure fencing to put around the job site. 
  • Post warning and no trespassing signs.
  • Limit the number of individuals who have access to your job site.
  • Install security lighting or use a light tower to illuminate the job site.

If you have taken the following steps to secure your property and you are still concerned, then you should look for a safe area, close by, to accommodate your equipment in the times that you are not using them. It may be more admin work but it’s worth the cost when compared to even bigger equipment expenses. 

•    Familiarise yourself with your equipment

Before you start your project, take the time to become familiar with each piece of equipment and keep that information on record. This information should include the make of your machine, model number and serial number, which can all be accessed in times when your team decides to do an equipment check to ensure that everything is safe. When you are not familiar with the equipment you have, it’s easy to miss what’s missing, which will lead to more accidents in the future. Along with the equipment information, take photos of the machines and ask your staff to do a site inspection every morning before they start their shift. This will help to keep business operations structured and professional. 

•    Utilise fleet-tracking devices 

Many modern construction companies have ensured that their equipment is equipped with onboard fleet-tracking technology to help business owners track and recall data in real-time, whether they are on site or not. The type of information generated is a report on the equipment usage, for production purposes, as well as tracking elements to ensure that you are aware of your equipment’s location at all times. Apart from in-use technology, there are also time-fencing features that you can integrate into your vehicles to help monitor unscheduled usage. This additional feature will help to track equipment in the event of theft, and it will notify you via email or text message if there is any movement of the vehicle.

•    Train operators on effective site protocol

Business owners need to be strict on employees with operating schedules. There should only be a select few who are trained to access these heavy duty machines. This will ensure structure and proper protocol for specific units, making them responsible for any accidents. They will need to park the equipment once their shift is complete, shut down and lock it according to a site process. Make an effort to park your vehicles in a specific area, to avoid the high-risk items from being exposed as easy targets.

•    Make sure a manager is always present 

One of the most important tips for managing expensive equipment is ensuring that you always have a manager on site to show your employees that you are watching them, and monitoring their movements. You never know what could go wrong, but when you put someone responsible in charge, it puts less pressure on your employees if ever they’re faced with a situation where someone wants to vandalise or steal your equipment while they’re working. If equipment is stolen, report it immediately. 


Final words

Equipment loss is frustrating, especially when you haven’t got a prevention plan in place to decrease the risk of such an event. It’s even more frustrating when you’ve spent all your money on a specific item, only to find out that something has happened to it. If you haven’t got the money to purchase your equipment up front, taking out construction equipment finance will help you save on those costs and use that extra money to implement proper security systems on-site.

It’s important that your company takes the correct steps to train and inform your employees about the possibility of theft, along with the procedures on how to prevent on-site issues. Although there is no guarantee that your company will not endure such an unfortunate event, if your business is up to scratch on the latest preventative measures, it will help to deter thieves which could lead to this. 

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