Landscaping equipment can be an easy grab for many thieves, which can lead to business troubles, high expenses and most of all, frustration.
Recently, two backpack blowers and wallets of landscaping workers were stolen from a truck while they were at a job, according to Patch.com.
That same day, a chainsaw, backpack blower and backpack containing a cell phone and personal items were also stolen from a different company’s landscaping vehicle. The items valued approximately $850.
There are a few steps to take when protecting your belongings, according to our sister’s publication, ProPickup magazine. Whereas a thief’s preference might always change, there are always the same basic steps a company should take when protecting equipment on and off a jobsite.
- Solid Record Keeping: Keep accurate inventory records of all vehicles, trailers and equipment. For vehicles this means making a copy of the vehicle registration and insurance, keeping the title locked up in the office and not in the vehicle, logging VIN numbers, taking descriptive notes and taking color photos of the front, sides and rear of the truck(s). Keep these in a safe or a safe deposit box and give a copy to your insurance agent. An extra copy of important papers to be kept at home is also a good idea.
- Lock Up: Focus on security beyond locking doors and parking trucks and trailers behind chain-link fences and well-lit, frequently patrolled lots. Realize that removing ignition keys and locking doors is not enough to keep vehicles safe; a thief can pop an OEM door lock in less than 30 seconds and be driving your truck and trailer away in less than a minute. And hot wiring a piece of equipment can take even less time.
- Tracking: Thanks to GPS it is now possible to track the location of an asset as often as every three seconds, and if that asset is moved, the tracking software will alert you via an email or cell phone text message so you can alert the local police. Depending upon the tracking system used, it is possible to activate the security device when the asset is moved beyond a certain area, turn on or turn off the engine, sound the lights and horn, lock and unlock doors, shut off fuel and even perform vehicle diagnostics.