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Contractors World - UK & Ireland Vol 2 No 1

replacement equipment, loss of business and increased insurance premiums. The insurer has also discovered that thieves have become more sophistcated in the methods they employ, even posing as plant manufacturers maintenance workers in order to remove vehicles from site. The problem, in part, stems from the tight deadlines which many construction projects operate under. Ease of use i s of pr imary importance and the equipment needs to be available for operaton immediately, without the need to disable immobilisaton systems or search for unique keys. This has led manufacturers to develop plant with a single common key operation system, leaving much equipment on site wide open to thieves who can easily obtain keys. The rate of thef is ofen made worse by the common practce on building sites of leaving keys somewhere in or near the equipment. Of those pieces of equipment that are locked up, a large majority are secured with a small chain and padlock that are easily removed.

Thieves are also attracted to plant because of the very low recovery rates – less than 10% compared with motor vehicles, which enjoy a recovery rate of around 55-60%. This is because items of plant have few identfying marks that can be readily and easily seen and lack of registraton documents mean it is difcult for the police to identfy stolen plant and return it to the owner.

In 2000, the Home Ofce set up the Plant Thef Acton Group (PTAG) with the objectve of combatng plant thef. The group brought together representatves from manufacturers, plant hirers, insurers and the Police. It also includes The Natonal Plant and Equipment Register (TER), a company who operates a natonal database of owned and stolen plant – something that is essental if recovery rates are to improve. PTAG’s work is startng to make a diference but the constructon industry themselves are key to improving thef rates.

The CESAR scheme promoted by the Constructon Equipment Associaton (CEA) is also proving to be an efectve tool in recovery of plant. Contractors World also notes that more and more equipment is being fted with actve tracking systems which are not only used to allow plant owners to track where equipment is being used but at what tme. They can also ring-fence the equipment to work within certain areas and at certain tmes without setng of and alert.

Deterrents are no reason to relax measures

Alan Harris, Allianz Cornhill Engineering Director, said: “The UK constructon industry can ill aford to contnue to lose equipment to thef at this rate. We knew the problem was bad but had not realised the massive economic impact this must have on the industry.

As the commercial and residental property markets slow and the constructon industry sees increasing pressure on profts, it cannot sit back and let more and more equipment be snatched from under its nose.

”Constructon companies must wake up to the fact that small investments in security and registraton with the TER can pay dividends. Money spent on security measures such as physical locking devices, covert identfcaton marking of equipment and efectve site and depot security can quickly be recovered through insurance discounts, reduced claims and less downtme. This will mean lower rates of thef and, ultmately, a lower cost to the industry”

Click here for more informaton:

>>> Allianz Cornhill


Finning, the UK’s sole supplier of Caterpillar® equipment, fts the ofcial CESAR plant registraton and security system to all new Caterpillar machines that it supplies.

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