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ARA Region Seven director talks equipment theft

By Andrew Heesacker, ECP-SM

June 6, 2023

Andrew Heesacker, ECP-SM

Andrew Heesacker, ECP-SM

Hello, American Rental Association (ARA) Region Seven members. I hope all your businesses had a busy spring and now have a bustling summer. 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. As a matter of fact, operations on the Front Range have recently seen an increase of thefts of Toro Dingos, according to Toro’s Jody Kerr. 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.

I know all too well the impact theft can have on a business. We had our 6-month-old forklift stolen off a job site last year. Thanks to GPS, a proactive police force and the help of other ARA members, it turned into a success story that offered us many lessons. For instance, we put GPS on all our equipment. It is now part of our equipment acquisition process. Today, many machines have the tracking built right into the machine’s telematics. That is a huge plus. We also have found that having an established relationship with our local law enforcement officers has been very advantageous. We have reached out to the police who now do checks on our property once a night. It pays to have regular contact with those in law enforcement.

Theft of all kinds is big. Catalytic converter theft has become so pervasive that it was even one of the 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.

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.

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

  • 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 on 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. I have taken advantage of the ARA Certified programs. So have others on my team. 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.

Before I close, I just want to highlight what a great time I had at the ARA of Colorado’s Rockies baseball game event May 13. Even though the outcome of the game wasn’t what we had hoped for, the camaraderie with rental peers and the food and drink made this event a blast. It was great to see so many attend this always fun event.

In addition, Arizona members, don’t miss the June 14 event at Sunstate Equipment Co. in Phoenix. Learn how to be in compliance with Department of Transportation regulations — critical information for your business. Watch your email for event and registration details.

I hope everyone has a productive and safe summer. Be sure to invest in theft-prevention protocols and tactics. And if you see something, say something to area law enforcement officials.

Until next time.

Andrew Heesacker, ECP-SM, Region Seven director
Arvada Rent-Alls

Arvada, Colo.