As reported on Insurance Business Canada, experts and industry leaders are asking heavy equipment owners and operators to be more careful with their machinery – or risk theft.
There have been five recorded cases of heavy machinery theft so far this year in Newfoundland and Labrador, CBC News reported. The most recent case occurred on February 18, when burglars stole a backhoe to smash into a restaurant and steal its ATM.
Heavy equipment is surprisingly – and woefully easy – to steal, explained Northbridge Insurance vice-president of risk services Fred Muldowney-Brooks.
“First of all, it is a relatively easy device or a machine to steal,” Muldowney-Brooks said.
Part of the reason why it is easy to steal is due to the industry norm that all machinery be capable of operation through master keys – anyone can buy them, and they work on any machine of the same brand.
But just as it is easy to commandeer heavy equipment, it is also simple enough to deter theft.
“Preventing thefts is almost as easy as stealing,” remarked Muldowney-Brooks, adding that there are failsafe measures such as kill switches for batteries, fuel disconnects, cab covers that can lock down the windows, and so on.
The expert also notes that there are intervention measures as well, such as GPS trackers, tire deflators, and locking mechanisms for functions such as steering columns and hydraulic cylinders that can further deter criminals.
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