How valuable are your assets?
Over the past few years, Fleet Management systems have changed in many ways. In the early days, GPS tracking was mainly utilized for keeping an eye on fleet and assets. Today, new functionalities, such Big Data analytics, engine health insight, driver behavior information, risk and performance evaluations, dispatching capabilities and more, are transforming the way fleet owners run manage their fleet. Fleet Management systems are designed to equip managers and business owners with crucial data to forecast targets, address costly processes and scale business for growth.
When investing in assets for a company, it may seem that an obvious approach is to purchase or update an insurance policy.
In reality, the repercussions for having your insurance pay out a claim for a lost or a stolen piece of equipment can be very costly in the long run. Some companies may actually consider absorbing the costs of lost equipment over risking an increase on their prime, due to an incident or theft.
Did you know that only 23% of stolen heavy equipment in the United States was recovered in 2014? This means big costs, not only for equipment owners but for equipment rental companies and even for the insurance companies themselves.
According to the 2014 Heavy Equipment Theft Report published in October, 2015 by the National Crime Information Bureau (NCIB) 1,475 Tractors and 1,907 Loaders and 5,051 Mowers were stolen in the United States in 2014 alone.
18% were loaders (out which 70% were skid steers, 22% backhoes and 8% wheel loaders);
14% were tractors;
7% were utility vehicles;
4% were excavators;
3% were forklifts:
13% comprised of bulldozer, generator, compressor, welder, trencher, roller and others.
According to the research, there are a few factors that determine which type of equipment thieves are more likely to steal.
- Value and mobility: Value is the primary factor that drives equipment theft, except for assets that are too large to move on a smaller trailer.
- For example, large excavators are valuable but are rarely stolen as they are difficult to move.
- Dozers and wheel loaders are the most valuable types of equipment, but backhoes and skid steers are easier to transport and perform multiple functions on job sites.
- Wheeled machines are generally the more frequently stolen equipment.
- Demand: The number of each type of equipment in circulation determines how popular it is on the market and its likelihood to get stolen. For example, skid steer loaders makes up 36% of new construction equipment financed in the United States in the last five years.
Fleet Complete to the rescue!
At 4:15 pm one Wednesday in October, a site superintendent of an oil construction company noticed that an air compressor was missing from their job site. He called the asset manager on duty – Kristal – to report the missing asset. Kristal was still new to the Fleet Complete system at the time and reached out to the local Fleet Complete Account Manager to assist her with locating the missing unit. The compressor had the Fleet Complete Asset Tracker installed on it and was reporting once a day as per default.
At the permission from Kristal, the Account Manager has logged into their account and updated the Asset Tracker’s reporting schedule from once per day to every 5 minutes to help determine where the equipment was and relay this information to the local police. At approximately 5:15 pm, a police detective has contacted the Fleet Complete Account Manager to gather information about the Asset Tracker and it’s position accuracy in order to prepare a search warrant. The next morning, the search warrant was executed at the address obtained from the Fleet Complete application and the missing air compressor was safely recovered less than 12 hours from the time it was reported as stolen.
“I want to say a HUGE thank you for assisting us last night after-hours to work with the Calgary Police to recover our stolen air compressor. Helping us after hours was above and beyond, and I am so happy to report that we have recovered the equipment, saving us thousands in replacement cost. Fleet Complete to the rescue!” – Kristal
Screen 1: Fleet Complete app displaying the last captured location of an asset. Screen 2: Fleet Complete app displaying the status of the asset, such as ambient temperature, humidity, light exposure and barometric pressure. Screen 3: Trip Replay displaying consecutive position and activity transmissions from a vehicle, such as speed, direction of travel and status.
One stolen asset is one too many.
A family-run irrigation services company provides installation, construction and many water management services to their customers. Employing the use of various equipment, such as John Deere Skid Steer and Compact Excavator, Ingersoll Rand Air Compressor, Volvo Pro Loader and others, the company relies on each asset’s unfailing performance for timely project delivery and reputable brand image.
In one year, the company had suffered through 3 separate incidents of theft. Earlier in the year, a service truck worth of $50,000 was stolen, but was recovered the next day thanks to the Fleet Complete Fleet Tracker installed in the vehicle. A few month later, an excavator worth of $90,000 was stolen from a job site, but also was recovered from a farm south of the city. The third stolen item was worth much less in monetary value of only $3,000, but this trailer was a vital piece of equipment as it was rigged for a specific piece of equipment. This trailer’s loss would have delayed the project and incurred additional replacement and delay costs.