Posted April 12, 2023

Welcome – Leverage technology

The overwhelming majority of survey respondents – 57 percent – said they haven’t updated their security strategies despite escalating crime.

by Clair Urbain, editor, publisher

Equipment theft continues to be a problem in the world of construction. Pro-Vigil, a cloud-based video surveillance solution surveyed nearly 120 business operations leaders, nearly half of whom were in the construction industry, 28 percent reported that physical security incidents increased in 2021, up from only 20 percent reporting an increase in 2020. Even more concerning, the overwhelming majority – 57 percent – said they haven’t updated their security strategies despite escalating crime.

Stolen equipment and supplies mean downtime. In addition to the costs related to replacing stolen items, there’s also a financial and reputational hit to construction companies from downtime while they wait for replacement equipment and supplies to come in.

That’s what happened with Arvada Rent-Alls, this issue’s cover story. One of their compact telehandlers was stolen from a renter’s job site over the new year holiday. It wasn’t immediately reported, so the trail went cold, until they were able to tap into telematics data.

Although the factory-installed telematics system was pulled from the machine by the theives, another better-hidden system tracked the machine’s location as it was stolen, briefly stored, and then moved to the San Francisco Bay area more than 1,200 miles away.

That machine would have been nearly impossible to find without the telematics system, but unfortunately, too many rental centers don’t fully embrace using these systems to their best advantage. Even Arvada Rent-Alls admits that it didn’t turn on the geofence function on many of its machines until is experienced this theft.

Sure, it takes time, which means money, to activate these systems, but the cost is more than covered with the prevention of the theft of one piece of equipment.

This article oroginally was published in the May-June 2023 issue of Pro Contractor Rentals magazine. ©2023 Urbain Communications LLC. All rights reserved.