Forklift Theft Rising in the UK

With industry starting to recover after the lean, lean, times of an extended recession, it’s vital for every business to take advantage of the improvement in the UK economy. But with an increasing level of equipment theft from warehouses and construction sites that potential increase in business is being stymied.

The asset recovery company, CanTrack, told us that every year over a billion euros of plant and machinery is stolen in the EU and with huge demand from growing economies overseas and insufficient identification markings on most plant and machinery that figure is only going upwards.

When we looked at the website of the Fork Lift Truck Association it’s easy to see that a rise in forklift theft is reflected in this general increase. Once stolen valuable fork lift trucks are very easy to sell and very difficult to recover. Recovery rates for such machinery is exceptionally low in the UK at less than 5 percent.

What can you do to enable asset recovery quickly and reliably if the worst happens and your forklift is stolen?

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Resist Forklift Thieves

While physical restraints and secure areas offer some protection against opportunistic thieves, they don’t offer much resistance to professional organised criminals. Modern thieves come equipped with the tools they need to get in and out quickly from your site or warehouse. They also steal to order so their robberies are carefully planned.

The most effective response to this growing threat is an efficient and reliable asset tracker that you can depend on if your forklift is taken.

So what should you look for in a best in class asset tracking device?

Forget about GPS for Forklift Theft Recovery

Some forklifts now come with built-in GPS trackers which, so their manufacturers contend, offer protection against theft. Unfortunately that doesn’t reflect the reality.

GPS trackers need to ‘see the sky’ and any disruption in that clear line of sight to the satellite above will distort the signal. Thieves come prepared with signal jammers and detectors and GPS has little protection against them. If you put a fork lift truck into a curtain sided HGV or a metal outbuilding then the location signal is doused and you may never find your forklift again.

For proper theft protection for forklifts you need a forklift tracker that uses a combination of mobile and radio based signals to continue to broadcast when theft occurs and will continue to signal its location even when underground. And that’s another place criminals try to hide fork lifts!

Normal GPS asset trackers depend on the battery power of your forklift truck to work continually. But that makes it easy for thieves to find and disable them or by looking for a GPS aerial. You can avoid those problems by going for an asset tracker with a long-lasting rechargeable battery. That makes it easier to hide deeper within your forklift and harder for criminals to find.

An Asset Tracker as Hard-Working as your Fork Lift Truck

You need an asset tracking device that can continue to work on your forklift in whatever demanding locations you need it to. So look for a properly accredited and tested device which can vibration, shock, bump, humidity and temperature extremes with ease. A high Ingress Protection level against dust and against the effects of water is also important.

Make sure also that your forklift tracking monitor has been EMC tested to BS EN standards so you can be confident that the electrics of the tracker do not interfere with the electronics of your forklift.

The Human Element of Theft Recovery

It’s not all about the tracking device though when it comes to forklift theft recovery, there’s also a human component worth considering.

You should find an asset tracking service that has a dedicated investigative team, preferably drawn from people with a law enforcement background. Nothing aids the recovery of a stolen forklift more than professionals on the ground who understand how the police work and what information they need to do their job effectively.

Most stolen plant and equipment is on its way to a buyer within 24 hours so the time frame for recovery is very tight. Anything that can speed up the recovery process offers you a vital advantage over the criminals.

Find out More about Fork Lift Asset Trackers

For more information on asset trackers for fork lift trucks go to CanTrack https:/ CanTrack is a leading UK provider in the asset tracking and fleet telematics industry with over 10 years of experience and innovation.