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Protecting your Heavy Equipment Investment

In response to the recent headlines as noted below The Heavy Civil Association in conjunction with other related NL associations are reaching out to respective members with the following information.

“Heavy equipment used to smash windows, steal ATM at Sobeys in St. John’s” CBC News
“Heavy machinery was the tool of choice in a couple of bust-ups in St. John’s over the past couple of days,” VOCM News

In the stories above, not only was the Heavy Equipment used to break into business establishments, the theft will also be a burden for the Company or individual whose equipment was stolen. The Equipment will need to be replaced and any job where that equipment was used will be delayed.

So how do you protect your investment?
Here are some simple, relatively low-cost (or no-cost, in some cases) steps you can take:

Tips to protect yourself against heavy equipment theft

Keep accurate records of all your equipment – year, manufacturer, model, serial numbers or VINs, photos, lists of key holders – anything that can help identify a machine if it is stolen.

Do background and reference checks on all potential employees.

Keep a list of people authorized to enter/leave your worksite, who is authorized to use certain equipment, and always log visitors in and out.

Try to keep a site’s perimeter fenced and equipped with well-secured gates, or other types of barriers such as ditches or berms.

Keep your site well-lit at all times, or install motion-activated lighting.

Make sure all keys are removed from equipment when it’s not in use and kept in a lock box or other secure location. Keep a record of keys and a sign out/sign in sheet.

Install gauge protectors and panel locks on your equipment, or install engine immobilizer systems. Failing that, a simple way to make it difficult for thieves to start equipment is to disconnect batteries or remove ignition fuses.

For larger investments, you may want to spend money on sophisticated GPS tracking technology (search online for “GPS heavy equipment theft prevention” – there are many options on the market).
Consider contracting a security guard service to monitor your worksite and/or installing video surveillance systems.

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