If your company rents out heavy equipment of any kind, trailers, generators, earthmovers, etc., I want you to picture the following scenario:
It’s another day at the office and you’ve just rented out a $10,000 piece of equipment to a total stranger. They had the right credentials, passed the credit check, and picked up their rental without any issue. Heck, you even kind of liked the guy renting it—he had a friendly, engaging personality and seemed genuinely concerned about the terms of the rental.
Fast forward one week: You get a notice from your billing department. “Remember that customer who drove off the lot with a $10,000 item for your one-week rental fee? His credit card company just declined the transaction for being fraudulent.”
As it turns out, the guy renting the gear was using a stolen identity. Worse, he took his rental way out of state and sold it for parts. Now you’re out your rental fee and an expensive piece of equipment. Your insurance might replace the item, but odds are it won’t cover the full cost—even if it does, you’re out one major profit-generating asset till you can buy a new one.
This is the nightmare that accompanies every equipment rental transaction. The real question is: “what are you going to do about it?”
One thing you can do is keep track of your rental equipment using GPS tracking devices and software.
Why GPS Tracking?
In the scenario given above, GPS asset tracking would have been a powerful deterrent to the theft of your equipment—especially if your GPS solution had a geofencing feature.
Geofencing allows you, as an equipment rental company, to set a predefined boundary for the service area where your equipment may be used. You can limit this area to a town, county, or state as you see fit. Once a piece of equipment with an active GPS tag crosses this boundary, you’ll get an alert—with an exact location for the item.
You can then call the renter to appraise them that they’ve left the agreed-upon rental area—or forward their GPS coordinates to the authorities as necessary to prevent a theft.
Using GPS tracking in this way makes it much easier to recover stolen equipment quickly and intact. This helps to minimize your risk of your most expensive equipment getting stolen.
Other Uses for a GPS Equipment Tracking Solution
Aside from being a powerful antitheft tool, GPS tracking for rented equipment can help you:
- Save on Insurance. Insurance companies often adjust their rates based on the risk they associate with the insured item. Because GPS tracking helps reduce theft risk, some insurance providers may offer a discount on their premiums for GPS-tagged equipment. The availability and amount of this discount will vary from one insurer to the next.
- Find Items in Your Yard/Warehouse Faster. If you’ve got a really big yard for storing your rental equipment, finding a specific item can take a long while. But, if your equipment had a GPS tag, then you’ll have the last known coordinates for that item on the record. This can narrow down your search from dozens of acres to a few feet.
- Improve Rental Delivery Schedules. Another major issue for some rental companies is making sure rental equipment gets from your yard to the customer in a timely fashion. With GPS tracking of your equipment delivery vehicles, you can make sure drivers are staying on-task instead of making unauthorized side trips or taking unscheduled breaks.
- Track When Equipment is Due for Maintenance. With an integrated GPS tracking device, you can track how long certain pieces of equipment have been in operation. Also, some onboard diagnostics systems can interface with GPS tracking devices to provide remote diagnostics alerts if a part is in distress.
If the equipment being rented has an engine, RASTRAC’s GPS asset tracking solutions have a remote starter disable option that allows you to prevent the asset from being started.
GPS is a must-have tool for modern equipment rental companies, whether you rent heavy equipment, trailers, generators, or smaller tools. Protect your business’ revenue with a proven, effective antitheft solution now, before it’s too late!
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