If you’re in the market for an excavator, you want to ensure you’re not buying stolen equipment.
Not only is it illegal, but it can also lead to financial loss and legal trouble. So, how can you check if an excavator is stolen?
Start by running a search on the National Equipment Register (NER) website. NER is a database that tracks stolen heavy equipment, including excavators.
By entering the excavator’s make, model, and serial number, you can find out if it has been reported stolen or has any insurance claims history. This can give you peace of mind when making a purchase.
1. Gather Information
Before purchasing an excavator, it’s important to make sure it’s not stolen. Here are some steps I take to gather information:
The first step I take is to check the documentation. I ask the seller to provide me with the original purchase receipt, registration, and insurance documents.
I also ask for any maintenance records they have. If the seller cannot provide these documents, it may be a red flag that the excavator is stolen.
If the seller provides the documents, I carefully examine them. I look for any signs of tampering, such as altered dates or signatures.
I also verify that the seller’s name matches the name on the documents. If the seller cannot provide documentation that matches their name, it may be another red flag.
Verify Serial Number
The next step I take is to verify the excavator’s serial number. I ask the seller to provide me with the serial number and then check it against the National Equipment Register (NER) database.
NER is a national database of stolen heavy equipment and ownership that helps recover equipment for owners and insurers of equipment.
If the excavator is listed in the NER database as stolen, I immediately stop the transaction and notify the authorities.
If the excavator is not listed in the NER database, I still verify the serial number by physically inspecting the excavator.
I look for any signs of tampering or removal of the serial number. If the serial number has been tampered with or removed, it may be another red flag that the excavator is stolen.
By checking the documentation and verifying the serial number, I can ensure that I am not purchasing a stolen excavator. It’s important to take these steps to protect myself and prevent the purchase of stolen equipment.
READ NEXT: What is Subsistence Farming? A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding this Traditional Farming Practice
Use Online Resources
When it comes to checking if an excavator is stolen, online resources can be incredibly helpful. Here are two online resources you can use:
Search Stolen Equipment Databases
One of the best ways to check if an excavator is stolen is to search stolen equipment databases. The National Equipment Register (NER) is a national database of stolen heavy equipment and ownership that can help recover equipment for owners and insurers of equipment.
You can call 866-663-7872 or visit their website at www.ner.net to search their database.
Another database to check is the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). This is a database maintained by the FBI that contains information on stolen vehicles and equipment.
You can access this database through a law enforcement agency.
It’s important to note that not all stolen equipment is reported to these databases, so it’s a good idea to check other resources as well.
Check Online Marketplaces
Another way to check if an excavator is stolen is to search online marketplaces. Websites like eBay have listings for used heavy equipment. You can search these websites by make and model to see if any listings match the excavator you’re interested in.
However, it’s important to be cautious when buying heavy equipment online. Make sure you’re buying from a reputable seller and ask for documentation proving ownership of the equipment.
By using online resources like stolen equipment databases and online marketplaces, you can help ensure that the excavator you’re interested in purchasing isn’t stolen.
It’s also important to remember that these resources aren’t foolproof, and it’s always a good idea to ask for documentation proving ownership of the equipment before making a purchase.
READ NEXT: Protect Your Farm: 10 Things Covered by Farm Insurance
2. Conduct a Physical Inspection
When inspecting an excavator, it is important to conduct a thorough physical inspection to ensure that the machine is not stolen. Here are some steps to follow:
Look for Signs of Tampering
One of the first things to check when inspecting an excavator for theft is signs of tampering. This includes checking for broken or damaged locks, ignition switches, and doors.
If any of these are damaged or broken, it could be a sign that the excavator has been stolen.
Additionally, it is important to check the excavator’s identification numbers, such as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and the engine serial number, to ensure they match the numbers on the registration and title documents.
If the numbers do not match, it could be a sign that the excavator has been stolen or has had its identity changed.
Check for GPS Tracking Devices
Another way to check if an excavator is stolen is to look for GPS tracking devices. Many modern excavators come equipped with GPS tracking technology, which can be used to track the machine’s location in real time.
If the excavator has a GPS tracking device installed, it can be checked to see if it has been reported stolen or is being tracked by law enforcement.
If the excavator does not have a GPS tracking device installed, it may be possible to install one. This can be done by a professional GPS tracking company or by purchasing a GPS tracking device and installing it yourself.
Once installed, the GPS tracking device can be used to track the excavator’s location and ensure that it is not stolen.
3. Contact Authorities
If you suspect that an excavator may be stolen, it is important to contact the authorities right away.
By reporting suspicious activity and seeking assistance from law enforcement, you can help prevent the sale or use of stolen equipment, protect yourself from legal trouble, and contribute to the recovery of stolen property.
READ NEXT: Starting a Small Farm: A Complete Beginner’s Guide
Report Suspicious Activity
If you observe any suspicious activity related to construction equipment, such as an excavator being transported in an unusual manner, or if you come across an excavator that appears to be abandoned or out of place, it is important to report it to the authorities.
You can do this by contacting your local police department or by calling the National Equipment Register (NER) at 866-663-7872.
When reporting suspicious activity, be sure to provide as much information as possible, including the location of the equipment, the make and model of the equipment, and any identifying marks or serial numbers.
This information can help law enforcement officials identify stolen equipment and locate the rightful owners.
Seek Assistance from Law Enforcement
If you are considering purchasing an excavator, it is important to verify that it is not stolen before completing the transaction.
You can do this by contacting your local law enforcement agency and asking them to check the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database for any reports of stolen equipment.
Remember, purchasing stolen equipment can result in serious legal consequences, including fines and imprisonment.
By seeking assistance from law enforcement and verifying the history of the equipment, you can protect yourself from these risks and ensure that you are making a responsible purchase.
Jack is the owner, chief editor, and senior writer of this website.
Machinery, engines, and farming have always been a passion of his since he was a young boy. Growing up on a small farm in rural America, he learned the value of hard work and dedication from an early age.
After completing his degree in Engineering, he decided to follow his dream and became a farmer in 2009.
Since then, he has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field. He has grown a variety of crops, tended to farm animals, and worked with all sorts of farming machinery. Continue reading…