NICB Releases Recovery Rates on Heavy Equipment Thefts

20 Jul 2016

According to a report issued by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB,) which was co-produced by the National Equipment Register (NER,) heavy equipment theft is on the rise. In 2014, when the report was released, 11,625 pieces of heavy equipment were reported stolen to law enforcement agencies, which was an increase from the 11,486 pieces of equipment that were reported stolen in 2013 – a 1.2 percent increase.

Of the 11,625 pieces of heavy equipment that were reported stolen to law enforcement agencies in 2014, only 23 percent were recovered. This data illustrates that this type of crime is costly for all parties involved with heavy equipment, including companies that insure the equipment, individuals or companies that own the equipment, and agencies that rent the equipment.

According to this report, the types of equipment that were stolen the most include:

  • Riding and tractor mowers – 43%
  • Loaders, including skid steers, backhoes, and wheel loaders – 17%
  • Wheeled or tracked tractors – 12%

The NICB stated that the only effective way to reduce this type of crime is through education and proper prevention efforts.

The following preventative efforts are effective ways to deter the theft of heavy equipment:

  • Installation of hidden fuel shut-off systems on equipment.
  • Removal of fuses and circuit breakers when equipment is not being used or is left unattended.
  • Use of sleeve locks to keep backhoe pads in an extended position, with their wheels off the ground.
  • Use of hydro locks to keep articulated equipment in a curved position, which will prevent it from being able to be moved in a straight line.
  • Making equipment hard to move, or completely immobile, when it is not in use, by assembling it in a “wagon circle”.
  • Keeping and maintaining a photo archive, as well as a specific list of the PIN and component part serial numbers of every piece of heavy equipment.
  • Inscribe heavy equipment with identifying marks, such as corporate logos, the name of the owner, or a monogram.

According to the president and CEO of NICB, Joe Wehrle, in order to combat this type of theft, the support and cooperation of heavy equipment manufacturers is crucial. By sharing information and working with the NICB, manufacturers can help to improve the recovery rates of stolen equipment and prevent future thefts.

In addition to the above preventative tips, if you own or operate heavy equipment, you can protect your equipment from theft by utilizing GPS tracking devices.

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