Taking all the right preventive measures can’t always shield you from theft. Just ask Brian Wearing, president, EquipServ, Mableton, Ga.
Wearing is proud of his theft-prevention efforts. He registered his off-road, mobile construction and general tool equipment on the National Equipment Register (NER) HELPTech database. He uses GPS on his equipment. He does due diligence on his customers.
But even with these steps, two of his compact track loaders were stolen from different job sites this past spring.
“Both had GPS units on them. On one of the units, I could tell that the thieves pulled the GPS off and apparently discarded it on the job site. We never found the GPS, but until the day the battery died, I could tell it was somewhere on that job site. On the second machine, the thieves used a jamming device, which made the GPS active but not trackable,” Wearing says.
Wearing’s customers took precautions on their job sites, too. “One customer had the machine boxed in with an excavator. The other one had a fenced-in lot. These machines weren’t the easiest things to get to,” he says.
The saving graces were his rental contract and coverage from ARA Insurance.
“I have a good, solid contract in place,” Wearing says. That contract stipulates his customers are responsible for the safety of Wearing’s equipment while the equipment is in their care.
“Both customers have settled out. I already have received new equipment in their place,” he says, adding that he consults regularly with his ARA Insurance preferred agent and a lawyer to review his contract and make sure it covers everything needed.
Because he has ARA Insurance, he also had flexible replacement coverage. That meant he was able to immediately replace his stolen equipment.
“They gave me the newest equipment, even though these machines were two years old. That was a huge benefit. That got me back to whole right then and there. I had very little interruption,” Wearing says. In addition, because he had registered his equipment on the NER database, ARA Insurance waived his deductible. “That was very helpful too,” he says.
Wearing encourages all rental operators to review their contracts. “ARA Insurance can help you, so consult with your lawyer or your insurance company and review it every year or two,” he says.
For the future, Wearing is looking at all his options, including adding decoy GPS units to his equipment. He will continue to embrace his other theft-prevention measures and ensure that his contract and insurance coverage handle all his needs.