Theft Prevention for Trucks and Construction Equipment

Posted 05.08.2013

Theft prevention should be a primary concern for everyone from the truck owner/operator to the company owner who manages a fleet of heavy equipment. These valuable assets keep your company moving, and without them you could be sunk. Here’s a short list of easy things to do to take them off a thief’s radar.

1. Weld Company Name Into Equipment
If you have a piece of construction equipment or a flatbed trailer, have a welder weld the company name into the equipment. This will make it harder for thieves to sell equipment and make it more traceable.

2. Install GPS Tracking Devices

Many companies already have GPS tracking devices installed on equipment and trucks to monitor activity. This isn’t just a good idea for trucks and heavy equipment, but valuable tools as well. When you install them, put a sticker on the cab window stating that a GPS device monitors the truck or equipment as this may deter theft. LiveViewGPS is just one of the companies offering solutions in this area.

3. Don’t Pick Up Hitchhikers
While this is a no-brainer for many reasons, many truckers pick up hitchhikers to help cover fuel costs, have some company on the road or just because they’re nice people. While you may not be dealing with a professional truck thief in the passenger seat, they are potentially unstable people that could be a threat to you or your truck.

4. Don’t Park in Unlit Lots
Many truck stops and highway gas stations have well-lit lots that will deter thieves. If you are stopping for something to eat, try to do it at a spot that gives you a clear view of the lot and your truck. Attended lots are the best bet, but rare unless you are on a major highway.

5. Use Secure Kingpin Locks
If you want to securely lock your truck to your trailer to prevent theft, purchase and use a heavy-duty kingpin lock. These aren’t just good for theft prevention, but can prevent accidents on the loading dock as well. Carrier Security has both these locks and glad hand locks, which attach to the emergency brake of the semi-trailer.

6. For Caterpillar Owners
Caterpillar has recently upgraded their key system to one that can have the same code for different pieces of equipment, and that is rigged so that the machine cannot be hotwired to bypass the key. It’s being sold with all new Caterpillar heavy equipment, and you can contact Caterpillar about retrofitting your old equipment to the new system.

If theft does happen, contact the police right away. You can also contact the manufacturer, who keep a list of stolen equipment and alert shops where it may be taken in for service. Always make sure to keep a comprehensive file on each piece of equipment including photos and serial numbers should you have to make a claim against your insurance.

If you are looking for financing for heavy construction equipment or a new truck or trailer, contact Patron West. We’re a financing broker that will get you the lease or loan you need for your new equipment.

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