Stop, thief! Keep your work vehicles, tools and equipment safe while on holiday

May 26, 2021 | News | 0 comments

Can you afford to spare £365?

That’s how much it would cost you, on average, if your work tools were stolen.

When we turn up for work in the morning, we expect our tools, vehicles and equipment to be right where we left it. But the truth is, that doesn’t always happen and that’s when the problems begin.

By having your work vehicles, equipment, tools or plant stolen, you could lose a whole day, week or even month of work while you try to either locate the stolen items or find and afford replacements.

Not to mention the insurance claims and all the hoops that need jumping through for that. In some cases, we’ve known customers to have lost entire jobs and projects due to having their work equipment stolen.

But this blog is not all doom and gloom. Actually, what we’re going to do is give you the know-how to make sure you don’t fall foul of theft. We’re pretty experienced in this topic after 25 years in the industry so we’ve more or less seen every type of theft or attempted theft you could think of!

 

So, what kind of thing are we talking about?

When we talk about work vehicles, equipment, tools or plant, that covers basically every industry and trade you could image. We’re talking:

  • Diggers/Excavators/Dumpers
  • Tractors (both agricultural and compact)
  • Lawnmowers
  • Chippers
  • Vans
  • Toolboxes
  • Drills
  • Trailers
  • Compressors/Compactors
  • Security gates/fences
  • RTVs
  • And so much more

Basically, it is anyone who works with anything of value, and depends on those items for their livelihood or job!

 

Our first tip is… Do as much as possible to slow thieves down

Most thieves are opportunists who take advantage of items left unguarded. Let’s say you are an arborist and own your own chipper. You usually park it on your drive, blocked by your work van (which you use to tow the chipper during the day). All it would take is for the thieves to smash the van window, let the handbrake off then they have full access to the chipper to steal it. If your chipper was then secured with quality locks and chains or another style of deterrent, the thieves would probably give up.

And the outcome? A broken window which you could claim a replacement for on your insurance.

 

Tip #2… Understand the costs involved

You may look at a lock that costs £70 and think, ‘no way am I paying that!’ when you could get one off the internet for £10. And rightly so. But how do you think that £10 lock is going to fare against bolt cutters or a grinder? Does £10 buy you quality and strength to withstand an attack?

Also think about how much your piece of equipment, vehicle, tools or plant cost in the first place. If it cost £10, 20, 30,000 then spending £70 to secure it seems like a no brainer.

Conversely, what is the cost to you should your equipment or vehicle be stolen? As we’ve mentioned above, it could cost days/weeks/months of work which would be costly. This is both financially and reputationally, if you ended up letting a client down or losing a project because you didn’t have the tools or equipment to do the job.

Also, what is the cost to you if you think about the stress you’d feel if you had to go through insurance claims to replace your stolen items? Sometimes, paying £70 is worth it for this alone. Nothing should be worth more than good mental health and being able to sleep soundly at night.

Speaking of insurance claims, what about your premiums after the claim has been settled? Your annual quotes will have gone up 3, 4, 5x the price they were before, and you will have lost your no claims bonus in most instances. Insurance really isn’t there as a comfort blanket, it’s a safety net for when all other options have been exhausted.

And all of a sudden, £70 doesn’t seem so much, does it?

 

Tip #3… Know how much effort you want to put in

Depending on how committed you are to keeping your tools, equipment, plant and work vehicles safe, you could spend a good while at the end of each day securing it all. From our experience, and from chatting with our customers, we know the majority verdict is it’s always better to spend 30 minutes at the end of your day locking it all up, for peace of mind.

We know it can be a faff and on nights when you’re running late, you might think ‘oh I’ll just not bother tonight.’ But that night could be the night an opportunist comes along. And yes, it’s a pain but it’s also quicker than earning the money to replace your van that’s gone walkies!

 

Tip #4… Is tracking worth it?

Tracking and GPS devices are very common in theft prevention and many vehicles come fitted with them these days. Installing a tracker in your plant, vehicles or fleet will let you know where it is at all times and you are more likely to be able to recover your vehicle if stolen.

But let that situation from ever happening if you can prevent it?

Yes, you might be able to recover the plant but what damage will it have sustained by then? Will it be working and in one piece and just how you left it? Likely not. Unfortunately, many thieves will steal something for the parts so often vehicles and equipment are broken down and dismantled.

Our opinion – and it may be slightly biased! – is that tracking should be the last line of defence. Have robust steps in place to prevent ever needing the tracking, by using security devices and anti-theft products like locks and chains, posts and padlocks.

 

Tip #5…  Know when the peak seasons are

Unfortunately, theft does not take a holiday, nor does it succumb to recession, Brexit or global pandemics. Summer times, national holiday days and Christmas are all times when we see peaks in theft of commercial plant, vehicles, tools and equipment. For the national events like Christmas, thieves know that trades are ‘tools down’ for 2 or 3 weeks so it’s the opportune moment for them.

Summer holidays also pose a risk. You have worked hard all year and deserve a few weeks off for some rest and relaxation. You also deserve to not worry about your belongings during that time and to be able to completely switch off. Leaving your equipment and vehicles in the safest way is the easiest way to make sure you can relax knowing there’s a 99.9% chance it will be there when you return.

 

What next? 

If you’re thinking ‘right, I really need to get some more protection’ then you’re in the right place. We’re a little biased but Lincmaster products are some of the best out there.

Out of 10,000’s of products sold, only 3 instances where our products didn’t stand up to the test!

Check out our FAQs to find out a bit more, then head over to our Products page to see what we’ve got available.