Plant Security Advice to Prevent Theft

Theft of plant and machinery from construction sites, the plant hire industry and farms has been increasing. Machinery has been left on construction sites unsecured and vulnerable during the disruption to the industry over the past year.

Whilst all machinery is at risk mini diggers are a major target for thieves and organised gangs in the UK. 

Read our advice below on a few simple precautions to deter thieves – remember the best security is a layered approach with the aim of making your property a less attractive target to thieves.

10 Advice Tips for Plant Machinery Security


Remove Keys

When not in use, all vehicles and plant machinery should have their ignition keys removed and where possible, their immobilisers and or anti-theft devices activated.

Secure Over Night

When left overnight machinery should be secured in a compound or container if possible. As an extra measure block the container with large concrete blocks to prevent easy access.

Use Chains

Larger items that cannot be stored in a secure container should be chained to immovable objects like a large concrete block or where possible consider interlocking the machinery together.

Park In Secure Places

Where possible, try to park Plant and Machinery in locations which have passing surveillance either from passing traffic or pedestrians and if possible overlooked by housing.

Fit Tracking Systems

Fit immobilisation and tracking systems – the use of tracking systems can notify the owner the machinery is being interfered with or moved, allowing for a prompt response to either prevent the theft or detain offenders. Anti-theft devices make your plant machinery less attractive to the thief. SBD have several members which specialise in this area and can advise on the best system and fitting of the product for your plant type.

The CESAR System

The CESAR System is the National security marking system of the Construction Equipment Association and Agricultural Engineers Association with the aim of reducing plant and farm theft.

Secure Your Tools

If tools are to be left on-site overnight, consideration should be given to using secure tool vaults and cabinets, or other high-security storage.

Check Vehicles

It is good practice on larger construction sites to check vehicles as they leave, to prevent equipment and construction materials such as copper and lead being stolen.

Fit Fuel Theft Alarms

Fuel theft alarms which monitor the fuel tanks can help to reduce the theft of diesel which is a problem on remote sites.

Secure Gas Cannisters

Gas bottles are also a target, specialist containers can be found in SBD Member Products to help tackle this type of theft.
Plant Machinery

Take Note

Keep an inventory of equipment owned or hired, including serial numbers and registration numbers – accurate and detailed records allow for the identification of stolen plant machinery.

Take colour photographs from several angles and additionally take videos with a smartphone if possible Without this your mini digger could be any mini digger. Remember to include any identifiable features

Further advice on Construction Sites Security can be found in our Construction Site Guide 2021:

Download Guide Here

Specialist SBD approved mobile CCTV / PID’s systems can deter theft on construction sites by offering SSAIB / NSI monitoring services. If you do decide to use CCTV it is important to read the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) advice on Domestic CCTV systems. Click the button below to find out more:

Police Preferred Specification Products for Vehicle Security