For many contractors, equipment theft is what drives them to explore equipment tracking technology. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), roughly $1 billion in construction equipment is stolen annually. And a 2008 Cygnus Research study commissioned by LoJack and the NICB showed the majority of equipment owners surveyed (71%) had been a victim of theft, with 29% experiencing five or more incidents. Only 38% of the stolen equipment was recovered, with 70% incurring damages of $5,000 or more.
"There are many hidden costs that go beyond the price tag of replacing equipment," adds Bob DeAngelis, senior director, LoJack Commercial Division, "such as business downtime, increased insurance premiums and increased operating costs, to name a few."
If theft is an overriding concern, a single-function equipment tracking system, designed strictly for location and recovery of stolen equipment, is an option. Such systems utilize a transmitter/receiver (transponder) covertly hidden on the machine to track equipment location after a theft occurs.
In the case of the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System, once the theft is discovered, the owner files a stolen equipment/vehicle report with the police. A silent radio frequency signal is then sent to the equipment, activating the hidden transponder. Police Tracking Computers, installed in police vehicles, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, are then able to track and recover the stolen item.
According to DeAngelis, the suggested retail price for this service is $795, with no recurring monthly fees. This investment is often recouped with the recovery of a single stolen machine. "Not only does it protect these expensive devices from theft," he states, "but it also helps protect businesses from the many additional costs associated with theft."
More on Equipment Theft
According to a recent survey done by Cygnus Business Media on behalf of LoJack and National Insurance Crime Bureau that 71% of construction equipment owners have experienced equipment theft, 29% have had five or more incidents of equipment theft, 70% of recovered equipment incurred damages of $5,000 or more and 62% of the stolen equipment was never recovered? Mike Harrell, LoJack Corporation's Law Enforcement Operations Liaison for the North Carolina area sits down with the Construction Business Podcast to discuss these and other trends affecting construction equipment owners.