Theft prevention hints and tips

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by topsites, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    For those of you to whom this has never happened, congrats but please don't assume it will not happen.
    I am sorry to break the bad news but it is early now, in about a month or three at the most, thieves will begin looting!
    I believe this is a good time to start preventive measures, an ounce of this is worth a pound of saved headache.

    Every single year we all read and share stories of mysery right here, our fellow Lco's have equipment stolen ranging from a silly $10 garden rake all the way to someone driving off with the entire loaded truck and trailer outfit. Yes, every single year!

    It is a really sick world out there, I think last year one of the guys had his entire load stolen twice!
    I'm not sure he's still around, but even one time is enough to put a seasoned business under, nevermind a new one.

    I've been pretty lucky but I had a backpack blower walk away, which, in 5+ years that's considered very lucky.
    Now I am not counting the few hundred dollars worth of numerous small tools and knicknacks that are just as easily missplaced, but you don't missplace a big dollar tool if you get my drift.

    Some of the measures I've taken and use religiously that help:
    1) Instead of using the provided trailer tongue latch clip, I padlock the tongue's latch onto the receiver.
    > This also tends to prevent accidental miss-latching the hitch, at least for me.
    2) Bought a locking receiver pin (that big pin that goes through the hitch itself).
    > They're not cheap, about $16... But why lock the tongue, if...
    > So they can't pull the whole receiver out of the hitch and hook that up to their truck's tow package, and drive off with your trailer.
    3) ALWAYS grab the keys OUT of the ignition!!!
    > Lock the truck after visual confirmation that the keys are in your hand (so you don't lock them inside).
    > Buy a clip so you can latch it onto a belt clip as the keys hang in your pocket.
    4) Use one padlock each side of the trailer gate, somehow make it so you can lock that gate when it's closed.
    > Yes, 3-4 guys can still lift your mower out, but it's not as easy.
    > At night, back the trailer and truck with the gate up against a tree!
    5) A chain and padlock threaded through every handle of everything in the truck's bed keeps this stuff all in one place.
    > Yes, a bolt cutter takes care of this, but not every thief has this handy.
    > Do not assume your gas cans are safe.
    6) Make sure your truck box and any tool boxes can be (and are) locked.

    Make no mistakes, the above will not stop the determined thief.
    But it slows them down, and it prevents the crime of opportunity.

    Hope this helps someone.
  2. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    All good points everyone should pay attention to.

    Remember ...

    Think ... and always expected the unexpected.
  3. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    How many of you unload your trailers and trucks each night into locked bldgs, or leave it loaded all night so its easier in the morning? Open or enclosed trailers? I know I sometimes am too tired,so I back in and throw a tarp over equipment go eat and shower.:confused:

    RICHIE K LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 647

    We have a 30 x 50 shop/warehouse on a 150 x 150 fenced in yard with cameras on a wireless system that i can veiw from my home this year im going to get a dog from a pound to. But the best thing is to always lock things down in all our trucks i have a kill switch installed
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I myself do the tarp number, as the tarp stays over the equipment pretty much all the time (on top of the chain and lock)...
    I've found that while out of sight is out of mind, but it also helps protect it from the weather.
    As for the trailer: Back it up with the gate against a tree to prevent the gate from opening.
    It might help further to have obstacles on either side as well (so it can't be pulled out to the side, thing which the locked receiver / tongue should help prevent as well).

    The off-season equipment, what can go under the house does, but a lot of it is too big: This also gets chained up, tarp over it.

    Dirt is a slight deterrent as well.
    Stupid as it may sound, dirty looking equipment may be somewhat less likely to catch the eye vs. shiny bling blings.
    Yet another reason not to wash it as much :laugh:

    A quick fix on the Z, for those who have this, is pull out a relay.
    Mine has 3, you may have to pull them one at a time until you find the one that disables it.
    Still, easy fix, now it won't start (at least not right away).

    The security cams are not a bad idea... I myself got tired of it, everytime I'd hear a noise I would end up running outside, so I bought a 2-cam auto-switch monitor set from ebay and this lets me see the outside from within the house.
    While it doesn't record, the mere visual presence of the cams helps as well.

    While more prevention is always better, this is in no way absolutely foolproof, but it helps.
  6. CA CLT

    CA CLT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Has anyone here with enclosed trailers had problems with theft?
  7. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    Someone here had their enclosed broken into last fall. They got through the side door after cutting off the lock. If I remember right the tailgate was backed up next to a building to prevent theft if broken into.
  8. CA CLT

    CA CLT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    As we all know, if they really want your stuff, the dirtbags will find a way to get it. I've lost 3 blowers in one shot before and it hurts. The replacement cost of the blowers was about half of what a new 6x12 enclosed trailer would have cost. I think in most cases, an enclosed trailer will eliminate theft. Most of these thefts are crimes of opportunity rather than well though out plots. They see the stuff sitting there and they strike. I'm going enclosed this year.
  9. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    I unload equipment everyday when were done and put it in a locked storage building but if that doesn't stop them I also have motion sensor lights, Big Dog, and Big Gun! Had problem with gas being stolen last year so had to put locking gas caps on trucks. I would just like to get my hands on the little ********
  10. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    Motion sensor lights are a nice addition their cheap and thieves dont like working under lights.

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