To Stop an Equipment Thief, Think Like an Equipment Thief
Crime is on the rise everywhere and with so many construction companies powering down for the holidays, equipment theft is rising accordingly. Pandemic issues such as reduced staffing and unemployment also raise risks.
Equipment thieves strike fast. They bring their own trucks and lowboys and it takes them only minutes to get a dozer, excavator or backhoe onto a trailer and down the road. In many cases, these stolen machines are loaded into a cargo container before the sun comes up (making it all but invisible to law enforcement) and then put on a ship bound for a country where they can never be traced.
But there are a number of steps you can take to keep yourself from becoming a victim of equipment theft. Here’s a checklist of things you should do short term and long term to protect your iron this winter and all season long.
Short Term Precautions
- Fully illuminate your shop building and equipment yard at night and eliminate any shadowed spots where thieves might hide. New LED bulbs cast a lot of light and use less electricity than traditional lights.
- Install security cameras and alarms. There are hundreds of these available today, so your best bet is to hire a security consultant to help you choose a robust and tamper-proof camera system. Some of today’s security cameras can distinguish between a raccoon and a human being, so you won’t be alerted every time the local wildlife comes searching for a free meal. The price of an expert consultation on these systems is well worth the money.
- Regularly test your alarms and cameras to make sure they are working properly and you’re getting good images in daylight and dark.
- Harden your perimeter. Fences should be at least eight feet high. Razor wire isn’t pretty, but it stops people from going over the top, and cutting through a fence is noisy and time consuming. Install tamper-proof bollards at gates, so even if thieves get over the fence, it will be almost impossible for them to drive a truck into the yard or equipment out.