How to protect heavy equipment from theft during the holidays

Updated Jan 16, 2018

Since equipment thefts tend to increase in December and January because machinery is left unattended more frequently than other times of the year, the National Equipment Register (NER) has provided a few tips aimed at theft prevention.

• Test to be sure that alarms and lighting are all operating properly.

• If you are getting a high number of false alarms, thieves may be testing your responsiveness; watch for vehicles “casing” your property.

• Test cameras in daylight and after dark- are the images capturing license plates, faces, etc?

• Make sure fences and gates provide a complete barrier to adjoining businesses and vacant land.

• Move light or highly targeted equipment into service bays or more secure areas of your site.

• Do not leave ANYTHING on a trailer. If you have to, block it with several other vehicles.

• Conduct a security survey of your site- walk around the property to see if there are vulnerable points of access or cover.

• Communicate with neighboring businesses, especially those which will be open during the holiday; raise their awareness so that thefts in progress are recognized, and be sure their staff have your emergency contact information.

• Designate someone to check up on yards and sites at different times during the holiday.

Should a break-in or theft occur, be prepared to respond:

  1. Beforehand, determine what police agency to report to and do so quickly when a theft or attempted break-in is discovered.
  2. Get information on what was stolen out to other companies and clients as soon as possible.
  3. Report any thefts to NER as soon as is practical, and contact NER on any equipment identification/Serial Number questions.

• Review your fleet inventory:

  1. Update new equipment.
  2. Physically verify serial numbers/PINs- is what’s on the machine PIN plate accurately recorded in your records?
  3. Update your NER fleet registration, and be sure your emergency contact details are accurate on NER.

NER’s full guide on protecting equipment from theft is available here.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was written by Equipment World’s staff, a sister publication of Total Landscape Care.

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