Rental Service Corporation (RSC), a division of Atlas Copco and one of the biggest US equipment hire companies, has registered its entire mobile fleet with the National Equipment Register (NER) in an attempt to reduce theft and increase recoveries of stolen machinery.
Each of RSC's mobile units, including its forklifts, will carry special NER markings to warn would-be thieves that the equipment is registered on the NER's national database.
NER president David Shillingford said RSC's equipment would still be protected, even if the markings were removed.
"If the (NER marking) is removed, the unit is still registered on the database and can be identified in a number of ways," he said.
Established in 2001, the NER has worked with more than 370 US insurers, as well as 2000 law enforcement agencies and a wide range of equipment owners to build a database of more than 40,000 detailed equipment theft reports and 10 million ownership records.
Since 2001, stolen equipment estimated to be worth USD3 million has been identified and recovered by accessing the NER database.
Through a 24-hour hotline, the NER provides theft and ownership information to law enforcement agencies that believe they have located suspicious construction and farm equipment.
RSC risk, safety and environmental director Priscilla Oehlert said theft was a significant concern for all rental companies.
"The more fleets that register equipment, the more (police) officers will use the NER and the harder it will be for thieves to steal,'' she said.