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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX area
    Posts
    267

    Default Building a cage to keep critters out.....

    Got a call from a guy who owns a food import business. He has two coolers, 35' X 50' and 60' X 60'. Last weekend somebody stole his condensing units off his roof. Then they cut a hole in the roof and stole most of his wiring and copper tubing. I'm giving him a bid on replacing his refrigeration equipment and would like to bid some cages to protect his new stuff.

    Does anybody have any experience building cages to protect equipment from thieves?

    LMK
    Triggerman

    Ammonia refrigeration tech
    Trailblazer 302 (yes, it's new)
    Millermatic 180 w/Autoset
    CST-250
    HF-15 High frequency
    XR15 w/Push-Pull Gun
    Victor O/A, DeWalt, North mask


    "A professional knows what to do. A craftsman knows why."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    377

    Default

    I don't have any experience building thief-proof cages, but I can offer this. The tube and bar method is saw proof to an extent. Using stainless, build the cage with rolling bars inside of tubes. Stainless can't be cut with oxy equipment, (pocket plasmas aren't around yet) if someone trys to cut through the tubing with a saw, the bar inside the tube will roll when the blade hits it, instead of being cut. Hope this makes sense.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX area
    Posts
    267

    Default Absolutely

    Thanks Mr. Tig.
    Triggerman

    Ammonia refrigeration tech
    Trailblazer 302 (yes, it's new)
    Millermatic 180 w/Autoset
    CST-250
    HF-15 High frequency
    XR15 w/Push-Pull Gun
    Victor O/A, DeWalt, North mask


    "A professional knows what to do. A craftsman knows why."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    163

    Default

    Some of the economic gurus seem to think that commodity/copper prices will collapse,if they do the problem should go away. Has he considered alarming the equipment? Even just a sign:

    SILENT ALARM
    YOU LOOT-WE SHOOT


    would go a long way and gives the crooks something to think about. Not a good solution if you are in the welding business, though.

    As far as cutting SS, it's possible to use the OA torch as a "plasma torch" sort of. The torch gets the metal up to the melting point and the oxy blows it out of the cut. Not pretty, slow, but works on the thinner materials.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX area
    Posts
    267

    Default I love that sign!

    Thanks Doc!

    Unfortunately, near downtown Dallas, signs don't work too well. These units are going to have be protected by steel and at best it will only slow them down.

    Thanks for the suggestions guys!!
    Triggerman

    Ammonia refrigeration tech
    Trailblazer 302 (yes, it's new)
    Millermatic 180 w/Autoset
    CST-250
    HF-15 High frequency
    XR15 w/Push-Pull Gun
    Victor O/A, DeWalt, North mask


    "A professional knows what to do. A craftsman knows why."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Posts
    304

    Default

    I've built a few trailer locks over the years. One little thing I do is to pin-point the most vulnerable areas and lay a few beads of hardfacing. At least if someone tries to saw through, they will have to have some extra blades with them.

    As a side note, we were having a horrible time with that very problem in OKC. The local govt got into it and tightened up the recycling depots. From what I understand, now you have to log your driver's license, tag or some other types of ID. Some HVAC friends of mine say that it is at least slowed down. After all, if you can't sell it, it's just junk. SSS
    Last edited by SkidSteerSteve; 12-09-2006 at 09:01 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX area
    Posts
    267

    Default Thanks Steve

    I hadn't thought of the hardfacing thing. I have some good plans drawn out to make the bid and have identified the weak points where it could be attacked. If I can strengthen those areas thieves would be left with few options like hooking onto the equipment, cage and all and ripping it from the roof together. I can't stop everything, but I can slow them down.
    Triggerman

    Ammonia refrigeration tech
    Trailblazer 302 (yes, it's new)
    Millermatic 180 w/Autoset
    CST-250
    HF-15 High frequency
    XR15 w/Push-Pull Gun
    Victor O/A, DeWalt, North mask


    "A professional knows what to do. A craftsman knows why."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    Last weekend somebody stole his condensing units off his roof. Then they cut a hole in the roof and stole most of his wiring and copper tubing.
    holly crap, thats insane, they stole the coolers off the roof WTF did they bring a crane with them??? that is one sad situation.
    these guys are working way to hard to keep from getting a real job. i just cant imagin working that hard to steel some copper tubing and wire?? some one should call the stupid police and have these fools put down.
    its a dam shame to have some thing like that happen. better build a good cage these fools are determind to work too hard.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Posts
    304

    Default

    Actually,it's not all that hard. Most of the cases we have had around here, they simply field-strip the unit with screw guns, a few quick snips with some pliers/cutters and you have $50 worth of metal. They would throw the slabs off the roof and then drive around and load them up, leaving the heavy cases and compressor in place. Not rocket science, just be quiet and quick. I used to strip all the units that came into a shop I worked for several years ago. Even when prices were down, I could get some good fun money by staying an extra couple hours a week. Welcome to capitalism and supply/demand. Make something worth while, and somebody will take the risk. Fortunately, our company hasn't been hit, but several local building companies have had their projects stripped of the the rough-in wiring over the last few months. We have adopted a policy of getting the wall board installation started within 24hrs of the mechanical inspections to ward off would be thieves. So far it has worked, but I've spent a few nights in my truck with cell phone and shot gun watching remote job sites though. $10,000 worth of material and labor (not to mention, the collateral damage / delays) is worth a night of sleep SSS
    Last edited by SkidSteerSteve; 12-11-2006 at 08:21 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX area
    Posts
    267

    Default What happened...

    These guys spent most of a day and night dragging the condensers to the edge of the roof and pushing them off. When they hit, the ground did most of the disassembly work for them. They left one unit behind the place all broken up. After the cops came and investigated the crime scene the bandits came back two nights later and picked it up, too. Did I mention these guys were working in the middle of our ice storm?

    James, you're right, it is amazing how hard some people will work to keep from working. HAHA!

    We had a job going last year and the construction site was hit every weekend. Thanksgiving weekend the general contractor's trailer was hit and they took everything but the carpet. They took his desk, his chair, his phone, coat rack, job prints and even his pictures of his wife and kiddos.
    Triggerman

    Ammonia refrigeration tech
    Trailblazer 302 (yes, it's new)
    Millermatic 180 w/Autoset
    CST-250
    HF-15 High frequency
    XR15 w/Push-Pull Gun
    Victor O/A, DeWalt, North mask


    "A professional knows what to do. A craftsman knows why."

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