Put in a plan to prevent heavy equipment theft

All areas and all types of equipment should be considered potential targets

Police are reminding owners that summer long weekends are potential elevated times for equipment thefts.

Recently, several pieces of heavy equipment have been stolen in the in the Lower Mainland.

It’s also a problem on Vancouver Island, especially in remote logging locations. These thefts are planned with buyers already in place. Police are urging equipment owners, dealers and rental companies to actively put plans in place to prevent this.

Below are some common sense steps the National Equipment Registry suggested equipment owners can take, to protect their assets.

However, all areas and all types of equipment should be considered potential targets and steps taken to protect them:

  • Try not to leave machines on isolated roadways, unfenced properties or job sites over long weekends – where possible, move machines to yards or locate a secure lot near the sites where you can temporarily store the machines, such as a car dealership or storage yard.
  • Disable machines that have to be left behind. Have field service mechanics remove battery cables, pull fuses, relays or ignition circuits, or remove tires. Be sure lighting works to expose activity on a site, not facilitate it.
  • Leaving a machine or materials loaded on a trailer invites theft, even if secured within a yard. If trailers must be left loaded, implement additional security measures to preclude theft. Set the frame on jack stands or cribs, remove the hitch or use a hitch lock, and park the trailer away from the gate.
  • Designate an employee or supervisor to make a random check of sites throughout the holiday weekends, particularly Saturdays. Be sure this person knows what machines, tools and materials should be at each site so that missing property is not overlooked, and can be reported quickly and accurately.
  • Do not leave job boxes or small equipment unsecured at job sites.
  • Contractors and sub-contractors should advise site security guards if any activity is expected over the holiday as thieves are often familiar with the work site and may enter the site on the pretext of moving the equipment.
  • Thieves have targeted construction and agricultural sites as easier targets than gas stations for fuel theft. Try not to have fuel trucks top off machines until Sunday or Monday, and this weekend may be a good time to rotate in new tank locks. When grouping machines, be sure the fuel tank is facing the street – do not hide it on an unobserved side providing cover to thieves.
  • Contact your local police immediately if you have a theft and have a handout ready with the job address, pictures of your equipment and emergency phone numbers that can be handed over to the police with a picture of the machine and the full serial number.