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ARA Region Four director talks equipment theft

By Angela Nussel, CERP

June 6, 2023

Angela Nussel, CERP

Angela Nussel, CERP

Hello, American Rental Association (ARA) Region Four members. I hope this finds you in the midst of a busy and profitable spring season, and enjoying some beautiful days before it gets too hot. Our business has been particularly busy. This is great news, but we all have to remember that during these hectic times we need to pay extra attention to theft and, in particular, the prevention of it at our facilities, at job sites and through conversion. Thieves continue to up their game. That means, especially when we are the busiest, we need to stay sharp and not let down our guard.

I bring this up because beginning this month and continuing on a regular basis, the In Your Region newsletter will focus on equipment theft. The stories this month will take a deep dive into just how big a problem it is for our industry, its impact on rental operations in our region, the latest stats and the steps you can take to help prevent it from happening in the first place.

Theft of all kinds is big. Catalytic converter theft has become so pervasive that it was even one of our key issues addressed in March at ARA’s National Legislative Caucus in Washington, D.C. If you have been impacted, contact Alysia Ryan, director of ARA’s government affairs at The more we let our voices be heard on this issue, the better in helping to pass the Preventing Auto Recycling Theft (PART) Act, which would levy stricter penalties and fines for such theft.

Tracking your equipment is just one step. I also encourage you to register your equipment on the National Equipment Register’s (NER) HelpTech database, which catalogs and documents equipment. It is available to members of law enforcement 24/7 and has been instrumental in helping police officers recover stolen equipment. As an ARA member, you may register up to 1,000 pieces of mobile, off-road equipment for free. That is worth the price of membership right there.

In addition, if you are covered by ARA Insurance and have equipment stolen, your deductible will be waived. That is a huge benefit.

Check out the stories in this newsletter and see the suggested tips. With equipment costs rising and the extended lead times for getting in a new piece of equipment, anything you can do to help mitigate theft is crucial.

On a lighter note, some of the state chapters in our region have hosted spring events over the past several months while others are preparing for upcoming summer events.

The Texas Rental Association will be hosting its annual Roundup event June 19-20 in Marble Falls. Registration is open, so I encourage you to sign up now so you can be part of the festivities. The event will start with a Welcome Reception on Monday. Tuesday will be a day of education with a CPR and Stop the Bleed session as well as tent ballasting education. The event will conclude Tuesday evening with a dinner and the always fun auction.

The ARA of Louisiana hosted its annual Crawfish Boil and board meeting on May 3. It was my first time attending this event, and, aside from needing to perfect my crawfish eating skills, the event was exceptional and well-attended. It was a pleasure to meet so many members and visit a few stores along the way. Thank you to everyone who came out to network.

In April, the ARA of Oklahoma hosted the “411” in Oklahoma City. ARA’s Katie Stewart talked about ARA member benefits and resources, Bonus Creative’s Beau Wright and Hilti’s Rachel Ellis presented social media and marketing strategies and National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and retired Oklahoma City Police Department (OCPD) Investigator Mark Wenthold discussed the current landscape of equipment theft as well as offering helpful tips to keep equipment and property safe.

Before I close, I would like to highlight a few other resources that can really benefit you and your staff:

  • Disaster Relief grants from the ARA Foundation. While we all hope our weather calms down before hurricane season starts, I want to remind you of the grants available to both your rental business and your employees if you or your team are severely impacted by a natural disaster.
  • The Employee Training Assistance Program from the ARA Foundation. This grant can help you train your staff by paying up to 50 percent of the training cost, with a maximum award of $2,500. If you haven’t looked into it, I highly encourage you to do so before the next quarterly deadline of June 30.
  • ARA Certified Service Technician and ARA Certified Sales and Marketing programs. These programs can boost skills, and those who successfully complete the program earn a professional designation. You can take either or both of these programs now and receive a 10 percent discount by using the promo code TAKE10OFF. Don’t delay as the promotion only goes through Aug. 31. If you or one of your team members sign up for both courses, there is an even greater discount. Contact for details.
  • The Women in Rental Conference, Oct. 23-24, and the Young Professional Network Conference, Oct. 25-26. Both conferences will be held in Clearwater Beach, Fla. Registration for each conference opens July 5. The events sell out quickly, so be sure to secure your spot early.

I hope everyone has a safe, productive and theft-free summer.

Angela Nussel, CERP, ARA Region Four director
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Austin, Texas