With expensive equipment in the field, it doesn’t always make sense to bring it back to the shop every night. Sometimes, Robert Turner, fleet operations manager at RIPA & Associates, has to lock up gear and equipment on-site. Previously, he would lock what he could in a warehouse or shed, then move a bulldozer or heavy equipment in front of the door. The procedure didn’t always deter thieves from walking or driving off with expensive gear.
Now, Turner stores his equipment inside a secure Conex container, along with a police siren, strobe light and the telematic system transponders, all connected to solar power. If the door opens, the siren and strobe go off and the system sends emails to Turner and his staff, immediately alerting them to what is happening and on which jobsite.
Turner recalls receiving an alert at 1 a.m. A dozer was starting up at a jobsite. Then, a door to a Conex container was opening. Turner quickly realized this was not a maintenance team that forgot to notify him they were there, but a theft in progress. He immediately notified the local police, who responded in time to foil the robbery attempt. When Turner arrived on the scene, roughly $200,000 worth of electronics and equipment were staged for pickup by the would-be thieves. The jobsite was secured and no property was lost.
Since the addition of the extra security from the telematics system to the Conex containers, Turner has only lost a few, smaller items due to theft. “Thieves might still grab something within arm’s reach and run away, knowing their presence has been given away, but the item is usually small and way less expensive than other equipment,” Turner said.