HDD equipment, tooling and other supplies are worth a lot of money for thieves looking to make a quick buck. To help prevent your jobsite from becoming a criminal’s next target, Vermeer Customer Training Lead Dan Vroom offers up these easy-to-follow tips.
· Observe your surroundings: Every jobsite is different, so it's important to do a little research when your crew is moving onto a site. If the area you’re working in seems unsafe to leave equipment unattended, don’t take chances. Load everything onto trailers and take it with you at night.
· Secure your directional drill: Before leaving the jobsite for an extended period, the drill operator should take a few minutes to ensure the following is secured:
o Make sure drill rod shields are in place to help prevent thieves from stealing rods.
o Put the cover on the operator display and lock it to prevent costly vandalism.
o Remove drill housing and bits or keep the drill head in the ground.
o Create a barrier around the directional drill and other equipment using barrier fencing or cones.
o Take equipment keys with you, and if the drill has a cab, lock that too.
· Lockout your drill: All Vermeer directional drills are equipped with a remote lockout system, which gives the locator or appropriate crew member the ability to disable the thrust, rotation and drilling fluid flow during operations. The remote lockout system will also prevent the machine from starting, so it can help prevent a thief from starting and moving your drill when you’re not around.
· Keep a clean and organized jobsite: Unlike other construction sites, HDD sites can span from several blocks to an entire neighborhood. From shovels to locating equipment and tooling, everything your crew uses on a regular basis should have a place where it is stored at night. Someone also needs to confirm it is all there before it is locked up, because when supplies or tools get left unattended, it's an open invitation for thieves.
· Make crew members responsible for what they use every day: Just like assigning daily responsibilities for maintenance, make sure every crew member knows what they are responsible for putting away at the end of the day. For example, locators are among the most common items stolen from an HDD jobsite. Make sure the person who last used the locator that day knows it's their responsibility to have it in his or her possession at all times unless locked in a jobsite storage trailer or in the cab of a truck.
· Lock up: While it may seem like ensuring your storage trailer and onsite vehicles are locked up, most jobsite stories start with “Well, we thought we had everything locked up.” Check and double-check to make sure anything that can be locked is. If a few people can lift a machine, like a pump or a generator, make sure it is locked inside an enclosure. Trailers should have hitch locks so they don’t disappear. Finally, theft doesn’t just happen at night, so be sure to lock trailers and trucks anytime they are left unattended.
· Label or brand your equipment: Thieves looking to make a quick dollar from selling your equipment don’t want to have to paint over or remove your company’s logo and phone number. If your equipment does go missing, it will be a lot easier to identify if it has your company’s name on it.
Bonus — Add GPS to your most valuable equipment: Even if you follow these tips, theft can still happen, which is one of the benefits of having GPS added to your equipment. GPS will allow you to track your equipment and improve your chances of catching the criminals that took it in the first place. You can add Vermeer Fleet — a productive tool with GPS — so you know exactly where your machine is on most Vermeer Navigator® Series II and S3 horizontal directional drill models.
To learn more about jobsite safety, visit Vermeer.com.
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