Every now and then, equipment thefts at construction sites and businesses make the news.
However, the recent building boom happening in major New Zealand cities – coupled with a shortage of vehicles, assets and supplies entering the country — means these thefts (often of trailers, excavators, diggers and other expensive equipment) are occurring more frequently, much to the frustration of businesses and the employees on the receiving end.
While taking out insurance on machinery and equipment is a great fall-back option exercised by most companies. The claims process can be daunting - there are high excess fees to pay, paperwork to go through, and assisting police in their investigation can be lengthy.
Dealing with the inconvenience of stolen goods means downtime from work, not to mention the scramble to replace the stolen equipment, especially if the assets cannot be recovered. Solutions available, such as tool-marking, installing security cameras and alarms, are only remedies presented after-the-fact. Police can often have their hands tied — especially when it comes to recovering the assets.
In this instance, it pays to keep track of valuable tools and equipment with available digital technologies, such as asset tracking sensors or solar-powered telematics, all designed to monitor powered and non-powered assets.
These GPS-enabled units use the latest Internet of Things (IoT) and LTE-Cat-M1 (4G) networks to track your machinery accurately and cost-effectively. With features such as out-of-hours alerts, they can ensure that assets are monitored, and thefts can be prevented in real-time.
Do not be fooled by the low-key appearance and smallness of these sensors – that’s one of their biggest benefits. They are not only built rugged to handle harsh working environments and therefore extremely durable — but also offer exceptional long-life battery performance.
This means that the sensors can be attached to anything from lighting towers and generators to diggers and excavators, even tools. Once fitted, you can setup alerts to track when assets move from sites and fleet managers can locate and recover stolen assets.
Sydney-based Global Utility Construction (GUC) learned first-hand how asset tracking could do just that, when one of their traffic control utes was stolen from a worksite in Parramatta of western Sydney. GUC provided the police with the real-time location of the vehicle, which was fitted with telematics, allowing the police to pursue the culprits and ultimately apprehend the thieves and recover the vehicle.
Five reasons to install an Asset Tracking Sensor (ATS) device
- Rugged: With New Zealand’s infrastructure sprawling from the North to the South Island, an IP67 rated device enclosure provides assurance that you can track from anywhere – without worrying about the elements.
- Easy to self-install: Securing the device to any asset is important, but knowing you can do it yourself is a big step toward simplifying your asset management. Using security-rated screws ensures that no one with a Philips screwdriver can just disconnect it. Placing it close to other factory-wiring can help hide the device better, so long as it’s kept in view of open air for full GPS satellite functionality.
- Configurability: You get two modes to choose from, with added configurability for each. With Heartbeat mode, the default 12-hour GPS ping can be set up to wake up to six times a day at scheduled times. With Movement mode, you can stay with the default 30 minutes wake up for dual ping (where it was 15 minutes ago and where it is now), or configure it to suit your business requirements.
- Movement alerts: When set to movement mode, you can set up business hours within the system, for example, 7am to 7pm. If the device detects any movement outside of this, it’ll automatically notify you that something is happening.
- Long battery life: While these devices typically have a small footprint, you can choose your set of parameters for timed GPS updates, allowing the battery life to last for up to five years. It uses lithium batteries that can be bought off the shelves and replaced easily anytime and by anyone. And the in-system battery meter means you can easily check the status whenever you want.
Tracking your assets is an inobtrusive and easy way to not only ensure expensive tools and equipment are monitored but also a great preventative measure against potential crimes that can put a spanner in the works of your business.