The Urban Ag Council, a professional organization representing the Georgia landscape industry, reports that members are experiencing an uptick in equipment theft at worksites, offices, and storage facilities. To address the issue, the UAC is summoning a “call to action” from all landscape companies and compiling data from those who have experienced recent or past theft (2014-2016). Armed with this data, the UAC hopes to meet with law enforcement agencies, equipment manufacturers and suppliers to determine a course of action to reduce these losses.
The organization is collecting information via a confidential “equipment theft worksheet” available from the Urban Ag Council. To access the worksheet, visit https://urbanagcouncil.com/call-to-action-equipment-theft-crisis-help-needed/
Here are some general equipment theft prevention strategies to consider:
1. Train employees on company procedures to deter equipment theft. In addition, discuss what to do in the event of a theft or robbery.
2. Take Inventory: Establish a routine of equipment inventory. Keep documentation and photo records of serial numbers, makes, and models of equipment.
3. Parking strategy: Be strategic about where you park your vehicle on each jobsite or lunch destination. Park in well lighted locations visible to the work crew and avoid leaving equipment unattended in back lots or hidden areas that are conducive to theft. Position trailers so they aren’t easily accessed or swapped to another vehicle.
4. Deterrents: Lock vehicles, trailers, trailer tongues, and secure equipment when unattended. Don’t leave keys in trucks or commercial mowers.
5. Tracking Devices: Install tracking devices on large equipment.
6. Be Alert: Pay attention to suspicious activity.
7. Insurance: Review your policy and ask your insurance provider about theft prevention.