With the hustle and bustle happening on a construction site, the simplest things can fall by the wayside. One of those is protecting your construction trucks and large equipment. This is especially true in the days of tight budgets exacerbated by the pandemic.
Don’t become complacent in taking proactive measures in keeping your construction trucks and equipment healthy and well-maintained. Construction trucks and large equipment are indispensable for the duration of the construction project.
Here are four things you can do to protect your construction trucks and equipment to keep them safe and looking sharp. In doing these things, you’ll help prevent the rising costs associated with aging and poor equipment maintenance.
1. Conduct Regular Maintenance
There’s a reason why vehicles undergo inspections every year. This is their physical to ensure they’re fit to travel the road and not put people at risk. Being proactive in the care of construction trucks and large equipment can stave off expensive problems. You don’t want the truck to break down in the middle of a job. A replacement isn’t always easy to obtain quickly.
The longer a project remains stuck waiting on a replacement machine, the higher the cost. Additionally, the price soars if construction workers, trades, or contractors can’t do their jobs. Check the following on a regular basis to do an assessment:
- Critical components
- Valves, gaskets, pumps, and switches
Smart companies will make ongoing maintenance a priority. Don’t put off replacements, repairs, or modifications. In doing that, the problem will grow more expensive and require more time to fix.
2. Keep the Exterior Looking Sharp
It’s rare you’ll ever see anyone show up at a job interview wearing shorts and flip-flops. First impressions matter. Trucks with the construction company’s logo act as advertising. They may represent the company’s first impression to potential clients. If passers-by see equipment looking rundown with peeling paint and a barely discernible logo (but enough for the prospect to know what company owns the truck), it won’t make a good impression.
Needless to say, construction trucks and large equipment require significant upkeep and maintenance costs. These giant billboards work in all kinds of weather from the extreme cold to the extreme heat. They need a protective coat to keep it shiny and looking as new as possible. It will extend the life of the equipment and paint.
Stay on top of dings, dents, and scratches. Don’t let them pile up or these could turn into a more expensive repair job. Many high-strength coating and sealants exist to protect all parts of the exterior including the bumpers, truck beds, and wheel wells. In some cases, the same material can protect interior surfaces including the flooring, steering, and dashes.
Ask about products that don’t flake or bubble after long-term use. You want something that can preserve the paint job while minimizing damage from the blazing sun or deep freeze. Another thing to investigate and ask about is coating that provides a nonslip grip to help lower the chances of slip and fall injuries. Not only will your walking billboard look good to its admiring public, but it will also contribute to safety.
3. Invest in Asset Tracking Software
Between the expensive and crucial role of construction equipment and a labor shortage, a company must maximize every asset and worker. An inventory or asset tracking system can help ensure all required assets are on the jobsite when needed. Such a system also notifies the manager to remove equipment from the site when it’s done.
You don’t want to always have everything on the jobsite. It wastes needed space, it increases safety risk, and it drives up costs. A resource management system keeps track of every truck and equipment’s maintenance history, as well as current status.
Being vigilant about using the system avoids running into issues of having malfunctioning equipment on the construction site. Otherwise, it could put workers at risk for injuries or unable to do their jobs because the equipment fails.
An asset tracking software for construction tells the company where its assets are located at all times. It thwarts the possibility of assets falling through the cracks and sitting around inactive. When a project will need an asset, the software shows what needs to be done to get it to its destination. This reduces fuel costs and idling time.
The system tracks the mileage of every vehicle and the usage of every tool. It’ll ensure every piece of equipment undergoes maintenance and service on schedule. It’s important to avoid letting anything sit too long without maintenance because it can stop working or break and cause an injury. In other words, if you don’t use it, you lose it. You also don’t want to send anything to maintenance too early because that wastes time and money.
If an asset gets stolen, the company will have its details in the system. It’ll give the investigators the needed information. If remote video surveillance (more on this in the next section) is present, the team can analyze the footage to find the recording of the asset being stolen and any identifying information including faces and license plates.
4. Take Steps to Prevent Theft
No one thinks theft will ever happen until it does. Don’t wait for something to transpire before taking action. Here’s why. Construction site theft statistics reveal theft happens more than people realize. Equipment theft is an acute problem in the construction industry.
The National Equipment Register Equipment Theft Report reveals the theft of large equipment runs between $300 million and $1 billion every year. The average is around $400 million. Why is the range so wide? The NER explains that there’s no single complete database that records every loss.
Note that this $400 million doesn’t even include the theft of tools or building materials. It also doesn’t calculate business interruption losses or damages to equipment and premises during the theft. Therefore, the costs associated with theft are much, much higher.
The average estimated value of stolen equipment is $30,000. Out of the more than 11,000 known reports of equipment theft, only one-fifth were recovered. All these statistics more than justify the need for construction site security cameras.
Think about the consequences of a theft that occurs on your jobsite. It drives up costs each day you go without the equipment and materials you need. Every single day you don’t have them, delays the project and could incur penalties. You may be forced to pay for short-term rentals. You’ll also have a frustrated client who doesn’t want to see the work slow down or stop.
No location is safer than others. More than half of heavy equipment theft occurs on construction sites. More than one-third occur on the insured’s premises.
NER says the following are the biggest factors for the high number of equipment theft:
- Inadequate security for site and equipment
- Light penalties for those convicted
- Low chance of arrest
- High chance of selling for good money
In determining what to steal, thieves look for value and mobility. The harder it is to move the equipment, the less likely the thieves will steal it. While large excavators can fetch a lot of money, they’re too hard to move. Wheeled machines like loaders, on the other hand, are easier to move and most frequently reported stolen.
What can construction companies do to help protect their construction trucks and equipment? The proactive approach to construction site security is remote video surveillance. It can help deter crime and stop damage before either happens. A trained monitoring operator works with artificial intelligence to watch for suspicious activity in real-time.
As soon as the system spots something suspicious, it alerts the on-duty operator. Without being on the jobsite, the operator can react by issuing a warning over an on-site speaker. If the intruder doesn’t turn around, then the operator can call law enforcement and provide updates while tracking the suspect.
Check out this video of a suspect on a construction site working to steal equipment: Trespasser Learns Equipment Theft Doesn’t Pay
Additional Benefits of Video Surveillance
In addition to having trained monitoring operators and artificial intelligence watching your site, video cameras record 24/7. They capture everything they see after hours on evenings, weekends, and holidays.
This will give you the evidence you need in case something goes wrong or missing. Anytime something occurs during non-monitoring hours when no one watches the cameras, trained analysts have the tools to quickly search hours of footage to dig up the suspicious activity.
Adding video surveillance to your construction site security
delivers a fast return on security That’s because video surveillance can do more than stop crime. It can also mitigate liability issues. Operators can watch areas on the site that may not be easily accessible to a security guard or patrol, and with much less liability risk.
Implementing these four things for managing construction trucks and large equipment will help optimize your ROI while maximizing safety and boosting productivity. The company’s managers gain peace of mind knowing the cameras watch the entire property and record all activity. Many are surprised by its affordability. This service can save up to 60 percent on your security guard costs.
To see what construction video surveillance can do for your business, download your free copy of the Construction Security and Safety Best Practices guide. Don’t leave anything to chance. Your workers’ safety and the protection of your equipment depend on it. For more information about remote video surveillance for your next project, contact us.