Would you allow a complete stranger to borrow your work truck for a day? Probably not. So why would you make it easy for other construction crews to use your heavy equipment when you aren’t around?
Universal keys are commonplace in the construction industry, but they often lead to equipment theft and misuse. For example, if you rent a telehandler and leave it at a jobsite over the weekend, anyone with a universal key could hop aboard and knock out a few tasks. This form of utilization theft — what we call “microtheft” — tends to fly under the radar. Many contractors and crews don’t even realize it’s happening to them. But we can all relate to the problems it causes.
Microtheft is a hidden cost in construction. It burns your gas, places extra wear-and-tear on your machines and can cause a litany of maintenance issues. What if another construction crew runs over a bundle of rebar while using your telehandler and damages your tires? You end up paying for all of that.
Bartley Stevenson, owner of Milam Contracting, is no stranger to these headaches.
“Before we started working with EquipmentShare, other contractors would frequently use our machines while we weren’t at the jobsite,” Stevenson said. “Even if it was just for five or 10 minutes, I consider this theft because they did not pay to transport the equipment to the jobsite, and they were not paying for the hours, fuel and service. Plus, there were also safety concerns and injuries that could occur.”
Stevenson said microtheft is much more common than you’d think.
“I’d bet microtheft happens 1,000-times more often than the total theft of a machine, and it’s why 100% of my company’s fleet is now connected to EquipmentShare’s ecosystem,” he said.
Stevenson uses EquipmentShare’s cloud-connected keypad to prevent microtheft and create a safer, more secure jobsite. His equipment is far less likely to be misused or outright stolen from the jobsite — and even if it is, EquipmentShare’s GPS tracking can help him find it.
Just as important, our keypad ignition lock helps Stevenson save money. The cost of fuel and maintenance can quickly add up, especially if other crews are “microthieving” on the same site. By keeping unauthorized users off of your machines, we estimate contractors could save up to 8% of their annual rental costs. So if you are spending $1 million every year on rental equipment, EquipmentShare’s keypad alone could save you up to $80,000.
That’s the beauty of using EquipmentShare’s technology to prevent microtheft and create a fully connected jobsite. We help construction professionals like Stevenson better manage and track their assets, people and materials. As a result, they gain greater jobsite visibility, save money and avoid unexpected maintenance issues.
Learn more about EquipmentShare's cloud-connected keypads.