If we had to make a list of construction managers’ top concerns, we’re positive construction site theft would be close to the top. The loss of equipment, tools, and materials can cost individual construction companies thousands of dollars per year. As for the entire construction industry–the costs range in the billions. Here are some chilling statistics:
• According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, more than $1 billion in construction equipment and materials are stolen each year.
• In 1990, Caterpillar, Inc. reported $1.2 billion lost from the theft of heavy equipment.
• According to statistics from the Associated General Contractors of America, individual contractor companies lose an average of $18,500 per year in tool theft.
• Another study estimates that construction theft can add an additional 2% to the total cost of a project.
The most popular targets for thieves range from tools and heavy machinery to building materials, fixtures, and scrap metals like copper.
According to statistics compiled by the National Equipment Register (NER); mower, riding or garden tractors are the most popular machinery stolen in 2012, representing almost 1/2 of all heavy equipment theft. The next most desirable heavy equipment targeted by thieves are loaders and wheeled or tracked tractors.
Contractors without adequate construction site security systems are often taking huge risks because most equipment is easy to disguise, difficult to trace, and have high resale value on the black market. For instance, backhoes can cost from between $45,000 to $55,000, skid steer loaders from $25,000 to $35,000, generators up to $25,000, and forklifts from $12,000 to $50,000, roughly.
Further issues that make construction security more difficult are:
• Stolen tools and machinery can be resold quite easily because there is no widely accepted method for registering and recording serial numbers.
• Larger equipment is often keyed alike, making it easy to obtain "universal keys" that can start and operate multiple machines without the need for a master key.
Some contractors consider the loss from theft to be a "cost of doing business". But taking preventive steps can be the difference between small losses and a problem that gets out of hand.
Secure Pacific has a long history of keeping construction sites safe from theft. Take a look at some of our recent success stories – including 52 arrests within the last 18 months! — or sign up for a free, no-obligation security estimate today.