The Cost of Lost Heavy Equipment
Heavy equipment accounts for the most expensive portion of construction theft, according to data compiled by equipment recovery provider LoJack. Wheeled and tracked loaders are the most popular target for thieves, comprising 36 percent of stolen equipment. This type of equipment costs an average of $77,404.07 per unit to replace.
The next most popular target is towables that are brought to locations via truck hitch or trailer, such as generators, cement mixers, welders, air compressors and light towers, accounting for 35 percent of losses. This category of equipment costs an average of $22,737.40 per unit to replace.
The third most popular target for thieves is skid steer loaders, which make up 15 percent of stolen equipment. Skid steer loaders can include powered attachments such as small cranes and forklifts, adding to their total dollar value. This type of equipment costs an average of $36,532.71 to replace.
Excavators are the next most popular target for thieves, accounting for 7 percent of thefts. Like skid steer loaders, excavators can also come with expensive attachments. Replacing this type of equipment costs an average of $44,980.38 per unit. Utility task vehicles account for another 6 percent of heavy equipment thefts. Replacing UTVs costs an average of $11,308.67 per unit.
These losses can be avoided or minimized by taking construction security measures to deter theft and recover stolen property. Fences, security cameras, motion-sensor-activated lighting and warning signs can help deter thieves. Mobile surveillance cameras are ideal for this purpose since they can be placed in virtually any location. Cameras should be placed at points where thieves have to pass in order to access your premises, such as fence gates, as well as in locations near expensive equipment. Mobile surveillance cameras can also be placed in hidden locations to capture thief identifying details, which can assist with equipment recovery. These types of cameras are also useful for creating construction time-lapse videos, which can be used both to document theft activity and to create documentation of project progress to show clients or to use as marketing videos.
Circling larger equipment around smaller equipment, chaining pieces of equipment together, using wheel locks, locking up keys, installing fuel shut-off systems and removing fuses and circuit breakers can also help deter heavy equipment theft. Make sure to keep good inventory records on all equipment to support loss claims and to help assist law enforcement with equipment recovery. Stamping or engraving equipment parts will help make recovery easier.