How can you prevent equipment theft?

Construction equipment theft prevention has become a growing concern among fleet owners as more machines disappear from worksites across the country. Even though equipment theft is common, and recoveries are rare, there are steps that you can take to minimize the odds of theft occurring on your fleet.


Know what drives equipment theft 

Generally, equipment theft is driven by easy access and resale value. Any piece of equipment that has a lucrative brand name, is relatively new, and can easily be loaded or driven off could be considered an easy target for theft at any given worksite. Contrary to popular belief, thieves are not deterred by sites that house government vehicles.


Recognizable indicator on each vehicle 

With worksite equipment, you’re not required to have registration or titles. As such, it could be tempting to simply pass on putting labels or numbers on each piece of machinery for the purpose of identification. However, when you don’t mark a given piece of equipment with an identifier, it could be very difficult, if not impossible, for law officers to recover in the event of a theft.

Therefore, it’s important to place identifiers — such as names, symbols or digits — on each piece of heavy equipment at your worksite; this can be done via stamping or engraving. Better yet, apply an identifier to each equipment part that could possibly be removed and sold separately on the black market.


Use of CCTV cameras, motion sensors and light towers 

These days, technology plays a vital role in preventing heavy equipment theft. A digital, wireless video system can add clear and interference-free night-time security to any worksite location. Depending on the system, you could have it set up to record continuously during off hours, or have the cameras programmed for motion activation. You might choose to have a single camera monitor several different locations, moment-by-moment, or have several cameras attached to the same system — with one placed in each of the corners of the equipment-storage area. With most modern systems, the wiring is simple. You simply plug the cameras and receivers into outlets. If there’s a lot of equipment to be accounted for in your fleet, it might be prudent to install a light tower on the premises.

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