Jobsite Vehicle and Equipment Theft Prevention

Date: April 12, 2022

Allison Koehler, Risk Control Consultant

Need to Know Practices to Keep Your Valuable Assets Away from Criminals

Did you know that the number of equipment thefts corresponds with peak construction periods? The number of risks and exposures for vehicle and equipment theft grow as temperatures rise, the days get longer, and equipment activity increases. Continue reading to learn why construction and industrial job sites are enticing to thieves and how to keep your valuable assets out of the hands of criminals.

Learn the Facts

Check out these statistics from the National Equipment Register's (NER) 2016 Equipment Theft Report:

  • Only 21% of stolen equipment got recovered by law enforcement.
  • There were 121,238 theft reports in the NER database.
  • The annual estimates of the cost of theft vary from about $300 million to $1 billion.
  • High-crime areas tend to be problem areas for contractors.

Factors at Play

When equipment is transported and relocated between sites and jobs, it becomes vulnerable to theft. Missing stationary equipment is more noticeable than equipment that gets moved around.

Long holiday weekends mean job sites idle, less security, and more opportunity for theft.

So why does vehicle and equipment theft appeal to thieves? The value of equipment combined with the low theft detection and lenient penalties if prosecuted and convicted all play a part in a thief's desire to steal.

Stolen equipment can cause business interruption, including short-term rental costs, project-delay penalties, and wasted workforce and management time.

Good Practices

As an owner, it is your responsibility to protect your company's vehicles and equipment. Use these good practices to prevent theft on the job site.

  • Apply warning decals on registered equipment.
  • Always keep padlocks locked. Unlocked padlocks can easily be switched out to locks only accessible to thieves.
  • Install transmitters/GPS tracking devices on trailers and equipment.
  • Register equipment with NER. They keep track of large quantities of equipment and provide information to law enforcement to assist with theft recovery.
  • Apply your company name in conspicuous large lettering, as well as in a hidden location on your equipment.
  • Store equipment in a locked container or well-lit fenced area.
  • Bring target items onto the job site only when you need them, rather than storing them on-site for the entire job.
  • Park expensive equipment closely behind less expensive equipment.
  • Never leave equipment on trailers.
  • Install cutoff switches to fuel, hydraulic, or electrical systems.
  • Re-key newly obtained equipment as most equipment has universal keys.
  • Designate someone to check up on the facility at different times during the holiday. Random activity at your location could spoil a thief’s planning.
  • Contact law enforcement or check their websites to determine if the area has a high crime rate. If so, take extra precautions to secure equipment.

We are here to help protect your business against vehicle and equipment theft. Ask your BITCO Risk Control Consultant about BITCO's partnership with NER. Click the button below to find a local agent near you.

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For information purposes only. BITCO's blog content does not address all potential circumstances and is not a substitute for business, safety, or legal consultation.

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