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Vehicle and equipment theft is a major challenge facing the construction industry. Without a source of asset protection or method to recover stolen property, construction companies can take a significant hit to their bottom line when they have to replace expensive vehicles and equipment sooner than necessary.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, nationwide construction equipment theft nears $1 billion annually. To prevent losses, construction fleets are employing GPS systems to track current vehicle and equipment locations, which greatly increases the likelihood of recovering stolen property.

Which Vehicles and Equipment are Targets for Theft?

For the construction industry, 41 percent of theft occurs with light duty vehicles, such as work trucks on remote jobsites with limited supervision.

Heavy equipment and assets that are frequently targeted for theft include:

  • backhoe loaders/wheel loaders;
  • air compressors;
  • generators;
  • welders; and
  • light towers.

GPS Tracking Helps With Recovery of Stolen Assets

GPS tracking systems notify management when theft may be occurring and provide the vehicle’s or asset’s current location to enable its recovery. Setting up the right alerts and using real-time mapping capabilities increases the chances of recovering stolen property.

GPS tracking alerts notify management and/or drivers of any situation that requires immediate attention. To prevent theft, odd hours and landmark alerts can be used to inform construction managers if vehicles or equipment are moving when or where they shouldn’t be.

  • Odd hours alert. An odd hours alert allows construction managers to monitor vehicle and equipment activity outside of working hours. By setting custom times of day that a vehicle or piece of equipment is not used for work purposes, managers can monitor activity exceptions to prevent theft. For example, if a construction manager receives an odd hours alert that a work truck is moving during the middle of the night, it could mean that the vehicle is being stolen. Receiving this alert allows managers to take action right away and increase the chances of recovering the vehicle.
  • Landmark alert. By creating a landmark, or geo-fence, around a project site, construction managers can receive alerts any time an asset enters or leaves the landmark. A landmark alert is a beneficial tool to prevent theft for any piece of equipment that should stay on the jobsite. For example, receiving a landmark alert that a generator has left the jobsite when it was scheduled to be on location for another month will notify the manager that equipment theft may be occurring. Receiving this alert will allow a construction manager to contact the field supervisor to check on the equipment’s status and report it stolen if necessary.

Real-Time Mapping

When theft does occur, construction managers can access the vehicle or asset’s current location through the GPS tracking system’s mapping tool. Real-time mapping gives construction managers the ability to provide the exact location of the stolen vehicle or equipment to authorities. Having this insight will greatly increase the chances of recovering stolen vehicles and equipment much sooner.

Because construction fleets are prone to experience theft, a GPS tracking system can help recover stolen property and prevent financial loss. By setting up the right alerts and using advanced mapping functionality, construction fleets are able to recover stolen vehicles and equipment as quickly as possible.

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