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GPS tracking of plow equipment and post theft recovery

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by mishnick, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    After numerous thefts of equipment and vehicles from my condo style shop complex I looked into the idea of installing Internet video cameras and GPS bugs on my plow, my truck and other vulnerable equipment. I am impressed with the things they can do and initially I was gung-hoe. Motion sensors on cameras would alert when someone is in my yard or shop, GPS "geo-fences" would tell me where they are and or where they are going and you can even kill the engine remotely! The question I have for you all is if you think this stuff is effective or a waste of money? The big issue I am seeing is that the police simply don't respond. My neighbor had his trailer and skid steer stolen. When he happened to come across the vehicle used to haul it away (recognized from security video, plates and face) he called police who told him to stop following and no one responded. In another case a friend was hit by a drunk driver who took off but got caught in traffic. He was able to catch up on foot and get his plate, model of car and call 911 to report live from the scene. It took police more than 4 hours to respond "because no one was in imminent danger." The guy eventually drive off Scott free never to b found. So is it worth buying all this technology and paying the monthly fees to be able to know when your stuff is being taken and locating it if the cops can't b bothered to respond? At $25 to $50 a month per unit minus insurance discount is it worth putting GPS security tracking on my plows and vehicles? Any opinions are appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  2. plowcrack

    plowcrack Member
    Messages: 79

    Yes. A friend of mine has this on all his equipment (50 + units). Knows where it is at all times, if the engines are running, speed, etc. Hes had 5 or so thefts since installation and recovered the machines every time. He just drove to the lication and camped out til the cops showed up. The two times he was following the scum bags he had the cops on the phone and like you said above the cops told him to stop following. He politely said F u and told them to get their Ase in gear or he would take matters into his own hands. Cops showed and he got his stuff back no problem. Thieves now rot in jail.

    So I say emphatically - Yes! It is worth the cost especially when you figure in the insurance discount and the huge feeling of satisfaction when the dirt balls that took yer stuff get caught!
     
  3. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Sounds like your friends don't have a gps tracker problem, they have a cop problem. I like the first response you received. I wouldn't stop following the guy until they arrived and would "suggest" they get their act in gear and do their job.

    That "not being in immediate danger" is just BS in the drunk driver case.
     
  4. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Senior Member
    from jersey
    Messages: 232

    gps is great for monitoring your employees not messing around. if you want to deter criminals you have to have a more proactive approach. hidden switches to tun on/off fuel pumps block in the plows with large vehicles and so forth. cameras and tracking sounds great but usually don't stop the action and it's a risk about getting your stuff back at all or you may get it back damaged. so either stop the theft up front or just use insurance and get new equipment.
     
  5. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    These r all great points and I really appreciate your input. The "Cop problem" is something I wish I could get stats and policies on. If I new what the priorities and protocols r I could make better decisions. It will b interesting to know how much I will save on my insurance, which brings up a good point.... The guy who lost his trailer and Case 430 only got $3000 from insurance because they were old but it cost $25,000 to replace. I am also considering the satisfaction of not letting the thieves win.
    A final point I have learned is that having this on your vehicles gives points for OH&S (occupational health and safety here in Canada) To qualify for government and many large contracts u must b core or c-core certified. Being able to find your plow trucks any time, anywhere and / or being alerted when one doesn't move for a while (broke down or stuck) means lone operators r in less danger. All these factors need to b considered so keep the insights, experiences and opinions coming!
     
  6. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Senior Member
    from jersey
    Messages: 232

    the only other thing i can think of is... you mention that you are in a condo style campus. so i assume there are a few other businesses in there? if so you are all under the same risks and could benefit from pulling together and hiring a guard service for after hours. lets say that costs $60,000. per year for a guard on duty for off hours. if you have 10 businesses in the complex that means each of you are responsible for $6,000 per year for the security guard. that is only $500 per month or $115 per week. that might be the most value for your money in this case.

    you would have to get every business owner on board to split the costs and the more businesses there are the more the split and the cheaper this becomes.
     
  7. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    That is an interesting thought. We have 28 or 30 bays but of course some companies have two or four bays. The hard part would be getting everyone to work together. One shop (with four bays) already has security cameras etc so they would be a hard sell. Others, like the mobile beef barbeque shop, have nothing outside to steal. We have also considered electric gates but apparently, before I moved in, there were gates but they kept on getting hit by the big trucks so they took them down. Perhaps if I had the "geo-fence" GPS alert and some sort of security company that would patrol regularly and respond quickly when alerted. The question is will some low paid, retired old fart security guard driving a Ford Focus be willing to confront some crack head thief in the commission of a crime? I will investigate local security companies, thanks for the input.
     
  8. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Tracking and recovery is just a fringe benefit of liability tracking for potential lawsuits. Everyone should run gps with the low costs that they are.

    To prevent theft you have to disable equipment. Standard/master keys are available for everything.

    Disconnect switches are very easy to install. Even most shops are reasonable to install them
     
  9. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    "Potential lawsuits"? Can you elaborate on that? Are you suggesting that a company is liable for damages done by someone who stole your equipment... I could understand if reasonable precautions were not taken. Like leaving the keys in a truck while parked making it possible for some punk to go for a joyride but beyond that what are the risks you are suggesting?
     
  10. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Ya, I would go with the GPS tracking units and forget the security at the shop.

    Too many variables such as "what if" you moved locations or other businesses in the strip decided to leave also.

    That and the added bonus is you can monitor your equipment during snow events and better track how work is getting done.

    In our BNI group, we have a Sprint rep who is selling tracking units for large fleet companies to better monitor their trucks. In the case of a fuel delivery services with 1000's of trucks, they have found a lot of waste in drive time, idle time in trucks, extended breaks, and even trucks going off "course" and filling up tanks that aren't on the list (stealing).

    So I think the benefits benefits from GPS tracking out-weigh any other options, especially in terms of theft control.



    .....
     
  11. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,924

    What's the cost of the gps per month?
    I looked into it awhile ago, and there was a lot of complaints about "roaming" and no signal.
    Not sure if this is still an issue but a thought at least
     
  12. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    As for the disconnect switches, I agree that they help but unfortunately in my world, dealing with landscaping and snow removal many of the employees are "transient." That means that far too many people know that you have a master switch and where it is. In my case, I know that my neighbors hire casual laborers from a homeless shelter that is just a few blocks away. That, I believe, is half our problem. The homeless people are brought in for a days work where they see all the "resources ripe for harvesting."
    I suppose a person could install master switches with padlocks to make them more difficult but on something like an F550 with two batteries so far apart you need two master switches and in my experience the switches cause problems of their own. Further to this a trailer and or a snow plow doesn't benefit in any way from such a device.
     
  13. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I don't buy it, a well installed unit will have a master switch in a location that can't be easily turned off.

    Think of it this way also, if someone is stealing a vehicle, are they going to spend the extra 10 minutes trying to find a well hidden switch, or just get the heck out of there?


    .........
     
  14. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Prices are as follows from my research so far: Here in Calgary Alberta.... The most expensive I have seen is $50 per month per vehicle. That's with installation and no up front hardware costs. 3 year contract and they do all the service and repair when they fail. Another company offered $40 per month but almost $300 per vehicle up front to buy the hardware but no contract. The cheapest was from Telus, they offer a simple device for as little as $25 per month but again with a contract. These simple ones will tell you geographic position and speed etc but are not connected to the vehicle other than battery feed so they can't tell you if the engine is running or if PTO is engaged. More complicated units can tell you engine temp, rpm, who is behind the wheel (operator FOBs) and odometer readings for service. All systems seem to have the same basic web based monitoring and geo-fence options. You can program alerts that will tell you if the vehicle moves during programed hours, if they move say outside your compound or you can program a complex route and get alerts when they stray off course whatever distance you select. Another useful alert is idle time, not only to save fuel and catch dog ******* but to be alerted to people who break down or are in the ditch / stuck. I did see one unit that was offered for $15 per month online but I never got an answer back from my enquiry.
     
  15. HKusp

    HKusp Member
    Messages: 33

    It sounds like you have done your research and pretty much made up your mind. I think it's a good idea, and in the future, I agree with those that said next time tell the cops to effe off if they tell you to stop following. I make one more suggestion, if they tell you to stop following, tell them you are going to beat the perps up yourself if they don't come do their jobs. I don't know if that is going to get you in trouble in Canada or not, they seem to side with the perp more than the victim even more there than they do in the states.
     
  16. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

     
  17. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    At this point these claims are all from stories people have told me during my research so I can't say they are facts. I would love to test the waters myself and see what happens. But I guarantee that if I threatened to beat on the perps that police would respond immediately and arrest me for uttering threats. That is what they call a person "in imminent danger." Not me, them... We have real issues here with property owners having no power to pursue and confine people caught in the act of a crime. If you confront them and they run away you have to "let them go." If you run after them and physically restrain them you will be charged with assault. this I know from personal experience. I have adopted the policy I learned in military. One warning shot to the head, and when they keep on coming you shoot to kill over their left shoulder.... two empty casings, one hole in the head. Dead men tell no stories. If only I were allowed to have a firearm here... But I know if I did I would use it and be in jail so perhaps it's better.:gunsfiring:
     
  18. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Slip and falls. GPS proves when your equipment is on site.
     
  19. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Battery disconnects are useless. Everyone can pop a hood and tighten in 10 seconds. I use a toggle wired into the fuel pump power line on my gas trucks. Larger diesel equipment I do other things with.
     
  20. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,806

    Like what tell me Steve.:popcorn:

    We have thought of doing that on my larger equipment as well. A friend had a switch put in his skid steer and recently the skid quit. Cat told him he friend the electronics and it was his fault.

    Cant win. If someone wants something bad enough they will find a way. My1st skid steer got stolen and I think it was taken away on a flat bed.