In this four-part series, a Pinellas County construction attorney is discussing high-tech ways that construction companies can control, monitor, and track their construction equipment. In the first and second sections, we covered some time-tested ways you can deter thieves as well as some emerging methods like GPS tracking technology. In this section, we will feature a similar technology in radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology.
RFID technology is similar to the barcode you see on products you buy at the store; however, the smart labels that are part of this technology do not need to be scanned directly. Utilizing a RFID reader, they can convert “radio waves to a more usable form of data.” Once this information is collected from the smart label, it can be “transferred through a communications interface to a host computer system.” This technology is being utilized in agriculture for cattle monitoring, in manufacturing for locating supplies and delivery, and in construction for both equipment tracking and recordkeeping for tools and supplies.
One issue with construction sites is that the equipment keys are often cut the exact same way. The one key fits all system does make it easier for construction professionals to start their equipment and operate it; however, there are many drawbacks. For example, if someone were to accidentally leave one key out over the weekend, an intruder could access any piece of equipment of the product line. Many thieves also buy duplicate keys online, so they come to the jobsite prepared.
As technology advances, sticking a key in an ignition will become a thing of the past. Keyless ignition systems require a PIN instead of a key to operate the machinery. Owners have the control to change the PIN whenever they need to, so the only people able to operate the equipment are those that were informed of the new code. This technology also prevents the equipment from being hot wired, so the only way the equipment can be operated is if the person is aware of the PIN.
For more information about anti-theft tracking technology in the construction industry, please read section four.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.