Theft of contractors’ equipment is a serious problem in the construction industry today. The National Equipment Register estimates the total value of equipment stolen from construction sites to be in excess of $600 million annually and rising. This cost does not include the expense from business interruption such as short-term rental costs, project delays, and lost production. Equipment theft occurs with all types of construction contractors, in all locations. The five states with the most incidents of heavy-equipment theft were Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina. These five states accounted for 43 percent of total equipment theft, with Tennessee, California, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Ohio rounding out the top 10. These 10 states accounted for 62 percent of all thefts! Historically, contractors’ equipment theft occurrences are divided evenly between organized rings and individual (non-professional) thefts. However, the number and sophistication of professional theft rings concentrating on construction has increased recently. Organized theft rings dismantle the equipment for resale of parts and use the Internet to sell stolen equipment to unsuspecting contractors. Equipment stolen in the U.S. is often exported to other countries
Construction theft is high because it is a very convenient target
- Construction sites are often remote in with poor lighting at night.
- Security at construction sites is virtually nonexistent during normal and off-hours.
- Off-road vehicles and equipment traditionally do not require titling and registration. Equipment is only identified by product identification numbers, not the standard 17-digit VIN numbers used for cars and trucks.
- Many mobile equipment manufacturers use common keying on their equipment – a single key fits both the cab door and the ignition for each model they manufacture.
- Many contractors do not have a good inventory of equipment they own or lease.
- There is a high demand for construction equipment and spare parts, especially when the construction economy is booming!
No single method or device can eliminate theft.
However, there are ways to reduce theft losses:
- Secure the premise/worksite
- Secure individual equipment
- Register equipment
- Track equipment
An effective theft prevention program will include more than one approach and be adapted to reflect variations among construction sites. Supervisors should be held accountable for implementing the theft prevention program and jobsite inspections should be made to verify its effectiveness.
On the tracking component….Our area:
There are different types of tracking systems on the market. Some are designed to recover stolen construction vehicles and equipment after a theft. When the owner discovers the equipment missing and calls law enforcement to report the theft.
GPS (global positioning system) fleet management systems have the ability to continuously monitor and track construction equipment. Most GPS systems have a “geofence” capability that generates an alert if an asset leaves a permitted area or enters a prohibited area. In addition, many systems can define alert parameters (i.e., off-hours) and generate an alert if an asset moves or is moved during that period. Another capability of a GPS-based system is the use of software to electronically lockdown or disable vehicles so they cannot be moved. With this type of system a company owner can remotely disable or enable equipment ignition, monitor vehicle condition, and generate an alarm if the equipment moves outside of predetermined boundaries.
For information on these types of tracking systems or any other GPS tracker questions, please feel free to contact at Vista Track GPS.