How to prevent generator theft

April 16, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Home Security


For 15 years I’ve been the owner of a business that rents generators mainly to construction sites and heavy industry. Generator theft prevention is something that we take seriously. In the past 15 years, we have had five of our generators stolen. The smallest was a 1000 watt Honda that was taken from our business premises likely by a courier or similar. Our largest missing generator is a 200 kilowatt machine mounted on a heavy metal skid along with a 500 gallon diesel fuel tank that was loaded by stolen forklifts onto a stolen tractor trailer unit.

As with our big stolen generator, sometimes the thief is determined and clever. There realistically isn’t much that you can do other than to slow him down. Fortunately, the great majority of generator thieves are opportunists who commit their crimes without much preparation.


– Buy insurance, take photos, and write down serial numbers.

– Chains and padlocks should be part of every theft deterrent effort. Chain the generator to another piece of equipment, preferably something that is large and cumbersome. Use the thickest chain that you can find. A good quality thick chain can render a set of bolt cutters useless.

– If feasible, locate the generator in an area that would make the theft very physically awkward to commit. Park vehicles or equipment in a manner that blocks would be thieves from removing the generator without serious effort.

– An excellent deterrent, especially on larger generators is to have an official looking sticker made that states something like “Satellite Tracking Device Installed”. We have these on all of our trailer mounted generators. They are one foot x one foot, shaped like a stop sign, and bright red. At the bottom, in smaller print we also have a fake security company name to add an authentic look.

– I guess you could actually get satellite tracking installed, but it’s costly. While tracking can be very useful, we found it more cost effective to insure our equipment properly.

– If your generator is trailer mounted, often the hitch can be removed. Don’t rely 100% on this one though. I’ve talked with a competitor whose customer had removed the hitch. The thieves just used the safety chains to tow it away with.

– Trailer wheel lockout clamps ratchet and lock to the tire. They require a key to open. Beware though, I’ve found some brands to be very poorly constructed.

– Another popular, and even more effective method to deter theft of trailer mounted generators is to remove the wheels and put the unit on wooden blocks.

– Picker trucks can steal generators from inside locked compounds without leaving a trace. A good deterrent to this type of theft is firstly to chain the machine to another large piece of equipment. Then make sure that If the unit has a lifting eyelet on top, that you either remove it or wrap chain through it until the opening is closed, then padlock.
Source by Kevin L Nelson