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Plant Hire Security

Published on 27 April 2023 by PlantClassifieds

Plant Hire Security

Theft of plant machinery in the plant-hire industry is growing alarmingly, and perpetrators are stealing more and more plant machinery yearly. The value of stolen equipment in the UK is estimated to exceed £400 million annually.

To ensure the security of construction vehicles, especially when it comes to theft, it’s essential to take specific measures.

Here are some tips to avoid plant theft on site:

1. GPS Trackers

One such measure is to use GPS trackers. When hiring a digger or any other movable plant, you should ensure it comes fitted with a tracker. Some insurance companies require all hired-in plants to have a tracker, so it’s essential to check your policy to ensure adequate coverage.

You can set up a geofence around your digger, excavator, wheeled loader and telehandler and receive alerts through GPS trackers if someone is using the machine outside the designated area or engaging in suspicious activity, such as unauthorised use during non-working hours or on weekends.

2. Chipped Keys

Another critical safeguard against theft is chipped keys. These keys have an identification code embedded in an IC chip unique to the machine, so only the associated key can start the plant machinery. Chipped digger keys are one of the most secure ways to prevent theft, but it’s important to remember to take the key with you when you leave the site at the end of the day and not to leave it in the site cabin.

One obvious downside to chipped keys versus a generic key non-chipped key is that you must have the key with you in the morning, as you will need it to operate the machine.

3. Equipment Storage

When it comes to storing plant overnight, there are a couple of options.

Smaller diggers can be locked up in a container, while for diggers and dumpers, you can place the digger bucket in the bowl of the dumper to ensure both machines are secure.

4. Additional Plant Security

Apart from securing the site, you can also take steps to enhance the protection of each piece of equipment. You can achieve this by activating wheel locks, shut-off systems, battery switches, ignition locks, and other hidden deactivation devices. Removing circuit breakers, batteries and fuses is recommended for enhanced security when plant machinery isn't in use.

Technology has become crucial in preventing the theft of heavy equipment. One effective solution is a digital, wireless video system that provides clear and interference-free security at any work site during night hours. You can configure the system to record continuously during off-hours or only when motion is detected.

You can choose to use a single camera to monitor multiple locations in real-time or several cameras placed in different corners of the equipment-storage area. Setting up these modern systems is straightforward, requiring plugging in the cameras and receivers.

If you have a large fleet with many pieces of plant machinery, installing a light tower on the premises may be wise. Some light towers can reach up to 30 feet in height, providing 360-degree coverage of the work site. The rotating beam of light can be a powerful deterrent for potential thieves, as it draws attention to any area at random intervals.

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