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Unbuilder of Eyesores
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There was a sidebar conversation going on about this so I thought I'd open a thread.

Is leaving tools on site asking to be robbed?

Or is it a calculated risk based on the added payroll costs associated with breaking down and setting up over and over?

Does it depend?

Resi.? Comm.? GC providing overnight security? Gang boxes? Security alarms/systems? Nice neighborhood? Crappy neighborhood? Other trades present (that good or bad)?

I can think of some neighborhoods I wouldn't take more than I need out of the truck for the next few hours and everything leaves the building at the end of the workday. Nothing stays in back of truck without a gear watch. Don't even leave 2x4s outside.

But I don't work in places like that much, and usually I have the place to myself. Despite having had a "no tool left behind" philosophy in the beginning, I now leave tools all the time. Carrying a 90 lb air scrubber, plus ductwork/zip ties/window thimble, electrical/mechanical bag (1/2" copper end caps, pipe cutter, screw drivers, pliers, ratchets and sockets, multiple sawzalls, chainsaw, bar and chain oil, extra chains, rags, lights, couple hundred feet of extension cords, battery chargers, batteries, impacts, pry bars, sledgehammers, respirators, knee pads and a multimaster inside and perhaps up two flights of stairs and then setting up the lights, cords, chargers, etc and squaring all the bags away would probably cost two hours per day.

The worm drive and/or demo hammer could stay in the truck if I'm not going to need them.

Curious what others think.
 

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Super Moderator
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Generally, we have a locked gang box for nails, hoses, misc. Power tools and batteries go home, but occasionally we will leave a table saw or slide saw, but always cabled up. Ali leave horses, ladders, scaffold, but many times we cable and lock those also. Been hit a couple times, but minimal loss, probably $500 or so in 25 plus years.
 

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Pro
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6,715 Posts
I leave my 24' job trailer on sight in a residential development we have the framing contracts on. We cradle the ramp and man door with the telehandler.

I also had that trailer broken into and $5k of tools stolen when we neglected to have the telehandler cradling the doors. Same development.

On private residences, we often leave tools on site, depending on the risk assessment.

I also had a customer fire me once when they overreacted about rain getting on their SIP panels while we were assembling the home... I had taken the job trailer home, but left some small tools on site. The owner initially would not allow me on the property to retrieve those tools. The police could not do anything other than escort me to the home to keep the peace ..and at the discretion of the owner.

I had mutual acquaintances talk the guy into letting us get my measly chain and some other low value property.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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Goin' Down in Flames....
Highwayman
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6,858 Posts
Sure.

I have my basic tools that go into the truck every night. Any tool that belongs on the truck, goes back at night.

If tools get left, they are either in the locked job trailer, or in a locked gang box that is bolted to the floor.

When I was a Union sparky, first thing we did at the pulp mills or saw mills we were working at, was we set up a gang box and drilled anchors into the concrete floor.

And yes, tools would remain on site for months. We would be on some of those jobs for 6 months to a year.

When I have my mini ex and skid steer both on site, it kind of hard to pack them both up and take back to the shop every night. 😳🙄
 

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Great topic that gets one thinking. The vast majority of my work is occupied residential and leaving houses / rooms staged for the next day's work is a routine for us. I usually load up my Festool equipment daily, but not always as so many of my customers are repeat customers and so i have no concerns regarding theft or use by the homeowner.
On exterior work I leave ladders on the job from start to finish along with scaffolding, walk boards etc. I always lock the ladders just so Mr. homeowner doesn't get the idea that he can use it.
I never leave trailers on the job.
Commercial jobs or large remodel jobs with multiple trades in the place, I load up each night.
If my 40' ladder got stolen I am not sure i would even be upset about it.
 

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The Dude
Untangler of blue spaghetti
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3,343 Posts
Depends. Most of my jobs the wire closet is among the most secure places in the building, but that's not my only concern. I usually roll up anyway, but most of my gear is small, light, and easy to transport.
 
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