How Construction Companies Track Equipment
The owners of construction companies always have the security of their equipment in mind when it comes to the possibility of stolen equipment. Tools, machinery, and building materials are often left overnight on the job site due to their weight and considerable bulk. Temporary fencing and lock boxes might deter some thieves and vandals, but they present nothing more than an irritation to the serious-minded criminal.
The act of building a structure can be likened to a ballet or an opera. Each man, each piece of equipment plays its part; one relies on the other and all proceed in stages to the dramatic reveal. When a major piece of equipment stops, so does productivity.
A good rule of thumb for any equipment manager or construction company owner is to invest in GPS equipment tracking and anti-theft systems because it can end up saving that business owner hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.
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Protecting Construction & Heavy Equipment With GPS Tracking
Construction materials and equipment carry a big price tag. To buy a used dump truck, you’ll need about $200,000; an excavator, $35,000; a backhoe, $20,000 and a bulldozer $15,000. Even small, more portable equipment is expensive. For example, a jackhammer costs $1,000, and an industrial-grade drill, $200.
When these pieces are stolen, they are almost never recovered – unless they are equipped with construction equipment tracking devices. GPS tracking systems, which are based on the original innovation of vehicle tracking systems, cost only a couple hundred dollars each and include real-time data for an entire year. Live GPS tracking transmits real time data via a wireless network where it can be accessed by a cell phone or computer. The best part? Return on investment for construction equipment GPS tracking systems will be immediate if one stolen piece of heavy equipment is recovered.
Related Article: GPS Trackers For Skid Steers
Theft Recovery On Job Sites
GPS tracking systems rely on satellite signals to determine the placement of an object, on which a GPS tracking receiver is affixed. When used for theft recovery of construction equipment and non-powered assets, GPS devices utilize real-time tracking technology. Once placed in an inconspicuous location on the asset, the live GPS tracker can provide equipment utilization tech that makes it easy to monitor equipment remotely.
The GPS tracking receiver gets position coordinates at regular intervals, and the tracking data is transmitted over a cell phone network for Internet connectivity. If the equipment is stolen, its current location can be found from a remote location using its GPS tracking coordinates. This makes it simple to track your trucks, assets, and other valuable equipment.
GPS tracking technology can be used to plot a safeguard zone on a virtual geographical map. This is called geo-fencing. If the object is moved beyond the perimeter of that protected zone, a fleet manager would be alerted to a possible theft in progress. The foreman can then check on his fleet of vehicles and see if they are safe on construction sites.
How Large Construction Equipment Disappears
One might wonder how a 20-ton piece of equipment gets stolen.
In some cases, the equipment is stolen internally, by existing employees. Workers and subcontractors have easy access to a job site and might choose to artificially boost their income by illegal means. To some, in-house theft is a way to “beat the system.” It is difficult for a business owner to trace the exact culprits who stole a piece of machinery or equipment if the act was unseen and the object is now hidden on private property. A live vehicle tracking system will provide the exact current location of the stolen goods, giving the construction company owner enough evidence to prosecute.
Another way large equipment disappears is by rental. Renting large construction equipment is big business, as one can imagine certain occupations will call for this equipment on an infrequent basis (for example, a crane to install a cell tower or to place an HVAC unit on an office building.) It could cost $1,000 to $2,000 a day to rent a crane. These equipment rental companies have the same problem as your local library: sometimes the rental doesn’t get returned. The equipment could be taken by someone using a fake identity. GPS tracking will tell where that crane went after its rental job is complete.
Preventing Construction Theft With GPS Asset Tracking
GPS tracking is an effective way to keep a “watch” over any vehicle, employee, construction equipment, or really any major asset.
Stolen construction equipment is a $1 billion-a-year industry in the nation, according to the National Equipment Register, theft recovery and risk management firm. The theft of construction equipment has become so common these days that the loss tally is a staggering value of money.
GPS tracking can significantly deflate these numbers. A fleet of construction vehicles and equipment outfitted with vehicle tracking systems might pose too much of a challenge to even professional thieves. Prevent thefts from happening with strategically-placed GPS tracking units and possibly lower insurance rates at the same time.
The alternative is to absorb the costs of theft into the operating budget, which eventually will be passed on to the consumer in the form of the costs of building a home, an office park, or even a backyard pool.
Sage is a freelance writer with a background in information technology.