In 2016, the National Equipment Register reported that law enforcement officials that over 11,000 pieces of capital equipment were stolen from various locations in the United States. Of that number, approximately 350 were forklifts. That number alone should get the attention of forklift operations. But we also know that forklifts likely aren’t the only capital equipment that you use. Mowers and riding tractors were the top category (approximately 4,750), and significant numbers of loaders (approximately 2,000), tractors (approximately 1,620), and utility vehicles (approximately 800) were also stolen. You may have these or other types of equipment in your operation, and protecting your investment by establishing security measures is something that all operations can get behind.
While we can’t guarantee any one or combination of security measures will ensure equipment theft protection, there are some measures that you might take to help.
Equipment Theft Protection: Routinely Inspect Locks and Fences
Locks and fences are good first deterrents to help with equipment theft protection. But an equipment theft possibility might increase if your locks and fences fall into disrepair. Develop a security routine that includes a walk of the fenced perimeter on a reoccurring timeline. This will help to make sure you can identify any weaknesses and fix them before they allow criminal access.
Equipment Theft Protection: Ensure Recording Equipment Functions Appropriately
Any recording equipment such as surveillance cameras you have on the premises should be checked to ensure they have the correct angles. Law enforcement can better assist in the aftermath of a theft when views are not obstructed. Also ensure that your recording equipment isn’t recording over any old footage as a default. You can lose important evidence.
Equipment Theft Protection: Protecting Rental Fleets
Protecting your property when it’s on your premises is one thing. Protecting a piece of rental equipment once it leaves your premises is another beast entirely. To help prevent the theft of rental equipment, it’s important that you have a detailed rental documentation process. Vet renters appropriately. Run credit checks that leave paper trails. Make photocopies of I.D’s. And make sure that all of your employees are appropriately trained on these procedures and that they follow the standards every time.
Equipment Theft Protection: Register Equipment
Databases like the NER allow you to register equipment VIN numbers and identifying characteristics in order to help law enforcement officials track equipment should it be stolen. Organizations like the American Rental Association have partnerships with databases that can help you protect your equipment.
While these aren’t the only practices that can help you protect your equipment, and they aren’t a guaranteed deterrent to theft, they might help you secure assets. Getting into contact with local law enforcement to ask for advice and begin a relationship is also key to future protection.