View Full Version : Skidsteer theft

10-26-2007, 12:54 AM
Not a new topic, but I am building a house that is around 30 miles from my shop, it would be ideal if I could leave my machine on the job site, but I couldn't sleep at night if I did. The area is not bad (its actually pretty nice) and most excavators leave their t 300s and dozers on house lots with out problem. Most of our thefts are from illegals in the area who are landscapers or delivery drivers that act as informants to thieves.

Call me paranoid but I have known people to lose everything in one night by some idiot, so I plan on waiting until my garage door is installed so I put my machine in the garage at night. What else can I do to keep it safe? I can't park anything in front of the garage.

10-26-2007, 07:34 AM
What brand? Most now offer some kind of anti theft system on newer models. If not, call the dealer I am sure they can tell you what wire to unplug or fuse to pull.

RockSet N' Grade
10-26-2007, 08:52 AM
Pull a wire so it won't start. Lock the fuel cap ( stealing diesel is happening here plus some are pouring sugar down the fuel fill ). I don't know any real good answer, except to take the machine home every night......and everyone knows that is a pita.......but at least you will have your machine in the morning. I always worry about leaving stuff on a site, and with the times getting a little harder........sticky fingers are on the rise around here.

10-26-2007, 10:00 AM
Lock up every compartment that you can. Something that I really like about my Deere is nothing is exposed, and all I have to do is put a heavy padlock on the engine door and lock the cab door. Maybe yours and many others are the same. I find it makes is easier and quicker to secure, although I very rarely leave my equipment anywhere. I feel much better when it's with me.

You can do a GPS system, but if you don't leave it very often I don't think it would be worth it. Also, that probably wouldn't prevent someone from taking it or messing with it, but the GPS would be able to track it.

I would make some kind of hidden kill switch somewhere in the cab. You could also try something like this: http://www.equipmentlock.com/skidsteer_home.asp

I would hope most thieves wouldn't screw with it after they couldn't get it started quickly. We can only do so much though... I guess that's why we have insurance.

Also, try to park under a light, preferably with the engine door against a wall or tree. All the little things might help somebody move on to something else.

10-26-2007, 05:29 PM
One thing that can be done is to disconnect the fuel line, but nothing can stop a determined thief. Most equipment left on site around here is a rental, I have never seen an owner leave the machines on a job site. On the other hand I have been guilty of "borrowing" a skid steer myself, in the mid 80's. A contractor was repairing the street by my parent's home and left a pile of dirt blocking the driveway. I started shoveling but was so upset that I joked about using the Bobcat to move the rocks and spread the dirt. They had left the key in the ignition and I helped myself. Of course it was put back in its place by Monday and I even fixed the leaky rear tire for them. To this day I am amazed to find rental equipment left on the side of the road with the key under the seat. I would think that most rental equipment comes equipped with lojack or some other tracking system as they don't seem to be disappearing.

10-26-2007, 08:04 PM
Besides removing the key and locking the engine compartment a few good other things to do is park it the best you can out of site like behind a building and if you can throw a tarp or something over it to keep it from looking so obvious helps. We park the combines and tractors way off the road close to the end of the property if we are going to leave the machines over night. It may help some. We dont have to much theft around here though.

10-26-2007, 11:18 PM
You could get one of those bullseyes signs:) that says "If you can read this your in Range":drinkup:

Might need to get a few in different languages ,since some might not be able to read English.:usflag:

10-27-2007, 12:13 AM
I was in the Dewalt service center the other day overhearing a conversation about how Saunders construction was losing 10k(deductable) with each theft occurance. I ended up talking to this rep who sets up wireless security systems supplied through Dewalt. I do Fix'n'flips with the constant worry over theft of tools, supplies, appliances and everything else that isn't bolted down. I am about to buy this system to protect my goods because I buy the components up front and pay a nominal fee for monitoring each month. When I sell a place it goes onto the next house since I own the system and everything is wireless with battery backup. The home base(wireless) is around $1200 with each add on component(motion, vibation, cable lock,etc) around $200 each. The monitoring company calls you first then the cops. Hope this helps. George


10-27-2007, 12:24 AM
We use http://heavytrack.com/ on all of our rental fleet.

It has saved our butts many times, in one case a stolen b-hoe allowed us to recover another stolen hoe that did not have the system installed, 3 states away.

Also we install a remote kill switch that disables the run and crank wires on the machine, this allows the thief to think he is doing something wrong and leave. Very simple install and less than 150$.

10-27-2007, 12:48 AM
The GPS system is appealing but if you are trying to protect more than just your skid- copper,tubs,toilets, appliances, windows etc you might check the Dewalt system out. A nice neighborhood is a prime target as all your new neighbors sleep soundly in their safe comfortable homes.

10-29-2007, 08:22 PM
I have a Bobcat with the keyless ignition. Are these easy to steal as well, or are they just a pain in ass for thieves to bother with?

10-30-2007, 03:43 AM
Doesn't it require a code to start? If not, it's easier to steal. I thought that was the whole point of going keyless.

Most manufacturers have factory installed ignition systems that are pretty sweet. I know Linkbelt, Komatsu, Cat and maybe Deere have their own renditions. I think Link Belt's is the best I've seen, it uses a special key. You can start the machine with a standard key, but as soon as you try to travel with the machine, the travel levers lock up and the travel alarm stays on.

10-30-2007, 11:55 AM
I have a Bobcat with the keyless ignition. Are these easy to steal as well, or are they just a pain in ass for thieves to bother with?

if the thief doesn't have the code, he would have to swap out the keyless. I'm not sure whether it would start if it was previously locked even if he swapped out the keyless for a key start. If I leave my machine, I lock the keyless, back up the machine where they can't open the door, then put a cable lock across the front door. I worry too but carry good insurance.

10-30-2007, 03:52 PM
Back home, theft isn't that big of a deal, but we would always pull the master electrical key out of the engine compartment. We weren't worried about anyone making off with a machine, but if they wanted to screw with us it could easily be done. Most of the time, our equipment is parked where it isn't highly visible, making it easy for anyone to spend some time getting into it. Everyone has a Cat key, locking the doors only keeps kids and morons from getting in, but if you want professional thieves and vandals to stay out a little more precaution will be needed.

My dad wanted to put a car alarm system on the 312. It could have worked too, my buddy is a certified audio/video/alarm installer. I have an alarm on my truck that once it's armed, it cannot be started without disarming the system. If you have enough time, you can get around that, but it's usually easier for a thief to go onto another machine that isn't protected at all, much like thieves do with cars.

Team-Green L&L
10-30-2007, 03:57 PM
GPS is the best deterrent for theft in my book. Use 2 sensors though because thieves will remove the sensor located on (either the dash or steering column) and once they have removed that one they will feel like they have accomplished the goal of getting rid of it, when in fact, those sensors are dummies and don't connect to anything. The actual GPS sensor should be well hid in the grill. or somewhere else outside the cab.

GPS sensors are like $10.00 each and the software is like $150.00. It's a no-brainer for me.

This is what I do, but to each his own...

10-30-2007, 04:01 PM
Really? That's super cheap. Makes Lo-Jack look like a complete waste of time, it's pretty expensive.

Team-Green L&L
10-30-2007, 04:06 PM
I wouldn't waste my money on lowjack. It is too expensive. Think about it, a free cell phone has GPS, why should they be charging an arm and a leg for the same thing?

I use Microsoft Mappoint, Delorme Street Atlas, and a bunch of $10.00 sensors from Ebay and Craigslist and I can always see my "dots". Keeps the guys a little more "on-the-ball" also. No sitting at Burger King for 2 hours.

10-30-2007, 04:22 PM
yes it requires a code to be entered before starting. The responses seem to indicate that this type of start system is to much trouble for thieves to mess with "most" of the time. I'm happy with that!

11-08-2007, 01:13 PM
I wouldn't waste my money on lowjack. It is too expensive. Think about it, a free cell phone has GPS, why should they be charging an arm and a leg for the same thing?

I use Microsoft Mappoint, Delorme Street Atlas, and a bunch of $10.00 sensors from Ebay and Craigslist and I can always see my "dots". Keeps the guys a little more "on-the-ball" also. No sitting at Burger King for 2 hours.

Do you have to pay a service or do you just buy the software and the senors? Where did you get this stuff?