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The National Equipment Register (NER) regularly receives reports of heavy equipment staged for snow removal being stolen, and this often increases with news of an impending major snowstorm.
- During storms or pending inclement weather, machines being loaded or operated at late hours or on weekends is not suspicious to the general public or law enforcement — this is something that thieves take advantage of.
- Machines are often left unmonitored in publicly accessible areas for extended periods, in order to provide snow cleanup.
Equipment owners, dealers and rental operators must be conscious of security on any machines sent to publicly accessible areas in anticipation of snow and ice management, and take steps to reduce vulnerability of equipment and attachments:
- Do not leave machines in the open. Work with property managers to determine an area on the site where machines can be secured or parked where video surveillance can monitor them.
- Disable machines that must be left in the open. Remove relays, battery cables, etc., to make operating a machine more difficult for a thief.
- Put signs on machines. Use the signs to warn would-be-thieves that the machines are under video surveillance and monitored by GPS systems.
- Reach out to the local businesses. Be sure property managers and businesses at the location know how to reach you if they see something odd occurring with your machines.
- Contact local police. Let the patrol officers in the area know you have machines that must be left in the open and be sure the duty officers or watch commanders have your emergency contact information.
- Protect attachments. Park machines with plows and snow blowers against a curb, wall or bollard to make removal more difficult. Tilt the plows forward to the ground if it does not damage the contact edge. Park machines blade to blade.
- Be prepared. Be sure your NER registration is up to date and all machines are recorded accurately. Update the emergency contact information if numbers or personnel have changed. Have current photos of machines, especially if you are using plows or snow blowers in place of buckets.
Source: National Equipment Register