Here are some great tips to keep low-life thieves from jacking all of your expensive tools and equipment from the jobsite.
Protect Your Tools and Equipment
There’s nothing more infuriating than to have some clown steal your stuff. Tools are our livelihood; we often have an emotional attachment to them; some we regard as our babies. How do you replace a hammer that has just the right wear on the grip or a toolbox, no longer available, that fits your hand tools perfectly…you don’t. That means you have to keep them out of the hands of lowlife scumbags who don’t know the meaning of a hard days work. Here are some great security tips to help keep your babies safe.
Make your mark
Marking up all of your tools makes it tough for thieves to resell your stolen property. It also prevents other workers on the site from accidentally mistaking your equipment for theirs. There are a bunch of different ways to makes sure that your tools are clearly YOUR TOOLS. Spray or brush bright paint onto your sawhorses, ladders, and other larger equipment. Use a Dremel with an engraving bit to carve your name into power tools. Or melt your name into your tools with a solder gun (below).
Know what’s yours
Register all your tools with the manufacturer you bought them from.They will keep your serial numbers on record, and it usually helps if there’s a warranty issue. At the very least take a photo of your serial number and file it away somewhere. Knowing serial numbers will also make it easier to recover your property when they discover some Jack-wad with a whole storage bin full of contraband.
This cool little alarm system is designed to protect expensive equipment like trucks, trailers, and heavy equipment. The DeWalt MobileLock is just a little bigger than a deck of cards. Stick it in an inconspicuous spot, and it will alert you if someone is driving and operating your machinery outside of work hours.
The MobileLock has a thirty-day battery life and is weather resistant. It’s available online and at home centers for $330. The one drawback of a GPS based system like MobileLock is that you have to pay a monthly data fee. But how much is it worth to you to recover a spendy piece of stolen equipment? And you might even catch the culprits in the act, and that means fewer degenerates on the street. Your insurance company may give you a break on premiums which would offset the costs.
Foil trailer thieves
A trailer is like a huge shopping bag for crooks, a way to carry a bunch of goodies home in one fell swoop. Don’t trust a tongue locking pin. All it takes is someone to back up with a 1-7/8″ ball and they can drop the tongue on the ball and drive away. In order to be really secure you need to use a full lock on the tongue that either goes in the ball mount or around the lip and covers part of the ball mount.
Extra trailer protection
It pays to get an extra layer of protection by using a boot-style lock in addition to the coupler lock. There are many styles to choose from. We liked the Trimax TCL75 Wheel Chock Lock because it doubles as a wheel chock to prevent the trailer from rolling. Just slide it onto the wheel and press in the lock cylinder.
Shine a light on ’em
Always keep an inside light on though the night if possible. Just like cockroaches, thieves scatter when exposed to light. If you have to leave your trailer parked in a bad location overnight, try to park under streetlights if possible. Pick up one of those motion activated solar powered lights. Temporarily mount it up high on the wall or the roof and shine it at entryways and equipment. The one shown here is from Kimitech. A two-pack of these lights costs just $20 on Amazon.
Milwaukee One Key
Small hand tools like drills and recip saws can be hard to keep track of. Sometimes you can’t be sure if something was stolen or just lost. ONE-KEY from Milwaukee makes it much easier to manage and keep track of all your power tools. ONE-KEY works by connecting ONE-KEY compatible tools to an app right on your phone. From the app you can assign tools to specific workers and jobsites while also keeping a digital catalogue of your tools. ONE-KEY will even remind you when a tool needs maintenance. If a tool goes missing you can track it right from the app, making recovery simple and easy. The list of tools that come with ONE-KEY technology is increasing and ONE-KEY has already been integrated into several of Milwaukee’s product lines.
Fake ’em out
Post security stickers on the trailer or house access points so they’re visible. Who cares if you don’t really have an actual security system, as long as it puts a little bit of doubt in the mind of a would-be thief. Fake cameras also work great and are a cheap investment. Buy the ones that have led lights that blink so they look real. These here cost less than $20 for a 4-pack.
Out of sight, out of mind
If you leave your stuff inside onsite over night, never leave it out so it’s visible through a window. Tuck generators, compressors and other expensive equipment in corners and closets. The more a criminal reprobate can see, the more they’re going to want to get in. When working outside, consider hiding your work station behind a fence or other obstruction so any loser delinquents driving by don’t get any bright ideas. The less tools seen the better.
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