11 Mar 2021
How Coronavirus has increased the need for plant tracking
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought many difficulties, dilemmas and political dramas over the past year. The phrase ‘now more than ever’ has echoed throughout. But, if your business relies on construction machinery, now more than ever, you really need to protect it with plant tracking devices. Here’s why…
March 2020 saw the announcement that the UK was going into lockdown. This, temporarily at least, sent many industry sectors and the public into paralysis, as it wasn’t clear at that point what we were about to confront or indeed, how best to tackle it.
For the construction industry the situation seemed particularly confusing as guidance was at best unclear.
We spoke to one of our customers during the early stages of the first lockdown. He said he’d immediately told his groundworkers and staff to go home as per the government guidance. Only to be told by the contractor that he needed to ‘get the lads back on the job or lose it to someone who will’.
So that was it. The construction sector carried on working throughout 2020, albeit having made big changes to working practices. Temperature scanners started appearing at site entrances and office receptions. Companies adapted to the need to limit the amount of people on site by running AM and PM shifts.
The situation also then presented other issues like the sharing of vehicles and site accommodation and the need for space for staff and separate travel for workers. Many struggled to source extra vans as demand immediately increased.
After the national trauma and financial upheaval caused by Coronavirus, there is now a feeling of optimism, particularly in financial and economic circles that we may by heading into a modern-day version of the ‘Roaring Twenties’, replicating the financial boom which followed the end of the First World War.
As we continue through 2021, our customers and contacts in the construction sector are telling us they’ve have never been so busy. Confidence in the sector is buoyed by things like extended stamp-duty relief offered by the government, record low interest rates and increased investment in infrastructure projects across the UK. However, the problem of supply and demand again threatens to slow progress.
The issue this time, similar to being unable to source vans for site workers in 2020, is the difficulty getting hold of new machines, in particular excavators and dumpers. Many manufacturers are quoting their UK dealers delivery times of six to nine months for their most popular machines.
It’s claimed the cause of the long delivery times for new equipment stems from the outbreak of COVID-19, when engine manufacturers predicted the crisis would cause a worldwide recession and therefore demand for machines would plummet. The demand for new machines has not slowed as anticipated and has in fact increased into 2021. As a result, the supply chain has been unable to catch up.
Another contributing factor in the shortfall in supply has been delays in delivery of parts and machines through the ports, as a result of the recent changes in border controls for goods entering the UK.
This lack of new machines in the marketplace has seen a surge in demand for second-hand equipment, leading to an increase in the value of used plant. The upturn in value has led to a spike in plant theft across the UK, compounding the current problem faced by plant hire companies and contractors who do not have plant tracking equipment in place.
If you’re a machine owner, it is vitally important that your equipment is kept safe and working, as currently you will find it very difficult to replace any lost machinery or assets.
We provide various plant tracking, immobilisation and security options which can help you keep your equipment on site and safe.
We have over 20-years’ experience in the plant security and vehicle tracking sectors. We have a 24-hour Alarm Response Centre and UK-based customer support to ensure that you get the service and support you need.