We hope you won’t have to deal with this one often, but unfortunately, theft of equipment —trailers, trucks, even portable restrooms themselves — does happen. In fact, the theft of heavy equipment from work sites is an increasing problem in the United States.
To safeguard yourself against equipment theft, we’ve compiled some of the best actions you can take, from prevention to reporting a theft.
Track your inventory: If a piece of equipment goes missing, you want to make sure it’s somewhat trackable. Do the groundwork in advance by keeping track of the serial numbers in your inventory. Set up a photo archive and a log of those serial numbers in your office records. When starting a new job, make sure you know which trucks, units, and other equipment are going where.
Write up contracts: Having your customers sign contracts before a job is a good way of protecting yourself from theft. In the contract, state that the customer is responsible for returning each unit exactly as it was received. Therefore, if a unit goes missing on a site, the customer should be liable to pay for it.
Get insurance: Make sure the insurance on your vehicles covers theft. Portable restroom units can also be insured to cover against any losses and while this can be costly, more and more portable restroom operators are deciding it’s worth it.
Mark your equipment: Stolen equipment will be easier to locate and identify if it’s marked with your company’s name and information.
Shop around for anti-theft devices that can be placed on or in your units, trailers, and trucks. From steering wheel locks to surveillance cameras, there’s a ton of security products that can help put you at ease.
Strategic placement can go a long way in making your units difficult to steal. A cost-effective security option is to fence off your units on a work site.
Staking your units is also a great idea as it makes them that bit harder to budge. While stakes can, of course, be removed, they add an extra deterrent to a thief. Likewise, some portable restroom operators choose to chain their units to something immovable or solid for more security.
If you do find that your equipment has gone missing, inform the police right away. Provide the serial number, as well as the location where you last saw it and who had rented it. Then, contact your insurance company with the police report. Having a record of contracts, insurance, pictures of the equipment, and branding or company marking on the equipment will all help towards either recovering your stolen property or getting reimbursed for it.
It may seem shocking to some people, but portable restrooms do get stolen. Reports of this have been increasing not only around the United States, but globally. Theft of large machinery and equipment like trailers and trucks is also widely reported. Organized criminals can quickly remove large equipment and it’s often very difficult to track. Take all the necessary measures you can afford to protect your business.