Every tradie knows, your most valuable assets are your tools and truck, they literally go everywhere with you. Not only are they expensive but for many, they possess high sentimental value, especially tools that you’ve had from the start of your apprenticeship. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the same set your old man passed down to you or a brand-spanking new 20-piece Ryobi set, your kit is your livelihood.
It pains us to say but tradies are becoming an increasingly attractive target for thieves. With tools carrying a fairly high price online, the opportunity to make a quick buck is too hard to turn down. We see and hear about it every day, it’s for that reason we have put our brains together to come up with a list of easy but effective ways to protect your gear.
Store or hide your tools
Out of sight, out of mind. If thieves can’t see your tools, the less likely they’ll attempt to find them and run-off with them.
Whether you build a lock-and-key storage unit, that’s more secure than Fort Knox or simply shut and lock your toolbox, take steps to hide and secure your gear.
For companies that run a fleet of marked trucks or vans, this is especially important. As a vehicle with company branding all over it screams ‘tools, tools, tools’. A secure storage unit in your company trucks should be a must!
Whether you’re on-site, at home or at the pub, make sure you park your truck accordingly.
If you’re on-site for the day and aren’t planning on running back and forth to collect tools every five-minutes, take the equipment you need and park in a way that’ll make it hard to scope out your truck. Whether you park in a spot that is in your line of view or against a wall or fence, potential thieves will think twice if they are unable to quickly get in and out.
If you have called it quits for the day, park your truck within your property, ideally in a garage or within another form of secure parking. If this isn’t a possibility, park your truck in an area that is well-lit or in view of security cameras.
Insurance, insurance, insurance!
Shameless plug, get insurance for your equipment! If you don’t have insurance or are unaware of your policy call the Cactus team today!
Your insurance policy is the ultimate safety net if something does happen to your tools or vehicle. This is a no-brainer, although, it won’t bring your tools or vehicle back if they are stolen, Cactus’ policies provide water-tight cover. If you have a policy with us our aim is to get you back on-site ASAP!
Mark your tools
Remember when your mum used to write your name on all your clothes, just in case you lost them at school? What was the outcome? If you lost it, you went to lost and found, and looked for the tag with your name on it.
The same applies to your tools. Having a unique mark on your gear will help the police identify you as the owner if they are able to recover your tools or truck. Etching unique identifiers on tools is becoming an increasingly popular practice. With many tradies starting to etch their LBP, Mobile number or initials on their equipment.
With tool theft on the rise, this practice is being encouraged by the men and women in blue. To facilitate this practice, police are now offering regular engraving sessions, where tradies are able to get their tools etched for free, with the added bonuses of a feed. To find an up-and-coming session, contact your local police department.
Keep a record
Along with engraving your tools and getting comprehensive insurance, make sure that you keep a detailed record of your tools or other work-related belongs.
Keep track of all purchases, by recording important information such as serial numbers, place and date of purchase and value of the item. I would even go as far as taking a photo. This list should be regularly updated each time you buy new tools.
Not only will this provide you with a breakdown of what gear you own, this list will also be used by police and your insurer if something is stolen. In the event that something does go missing, you will be able to provide detailed records that will help identify the tools as yours when they are recovered.
With the increase in tool theft around the country, it’s now more important than ever to take care of the tools of your trade. By following these five simple steps, you can rest assured that you’ve done everything possible to protect your equipment.
If you would like to discuss how we can help you look after your tools, truck or any other aspect of your business, contact us today to have a yarn with our team.