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Social media has been embraced by plenty of tradies here in Australia.

The pros and cons of social media usage can be debated until the cows come home, but there is one area in particular where it has worked well.

On any given day there will be a number of posts doing the rounds of another tradie who has had his or her tools knocked off.

A stolen trailer post on Facebook

The idea is that the post gets shared far and wide in order to help track down said tools.

So just how far and wide can such posts be shared?

The one pictured to the left was posted by a young tradie less than a week ago, and has been shared an astonishing thirty-two thousand times!

Short of running a quarter page advertisement in a major metro newspaper, there is no way to get this sort of exposure.

Does it actually work? It’s difficult to say without following up each post, but it certainly can’t hurt to have tens of thousands of other sets of eyes out there.

The impact of tool theft

There’s no question that stolen tools can have a massive impact on a tradesman, but most people who don’t work ‘on the tools’ couldn’t know just how much.

Scanning the comments on a few stolen tool threads really drives home the message of what it means to tradies.

Here are just a few:

“I know how hard you’ve worked for this and the effects it has, your dedication working almost every day including most weekends to save for a house in today’s market while most people your age are out partying and enjoying their money, I also know this is close to a year of savings for you on your wages even more in the past as you’ve recently been on apprentice wages the past 4 years.”

Social media post showing the hurt of stolen tools.

“I couldn’t imagine the feeling of having to take a loan and spending the time to replace what you already own or the effects of going to work putting in the effort you do knowing that you’re basically working off something that was taken so easily from you I’m sure it would feel like you worked so hard for free the past 12 months. The effects just snowball they effect you physically, mentally, attitude and work ethic wise.”

Even the parents of theft victims feel the pain:

“This has happened 3 times to my son who is a chippy…. then they even burnt his new work ute. It destroyed my son who had just completed his apprenticeship and saved a lot of money to set himself up. And nobody cared or did anything about it!!”

Dedicated pages

Although much of the sharing of stolen tools happens from individuals pages, there are now pages dedicated to stolen tool reports.

One such Facebook page is called Stolen Tradies Gear.

The page has over 30,000 likes and attracts posts almost daily detailing the theft of trailers and tools.

Many of the comments on this page really show how much contempt there is for people who steal tradie’s tools, and most of those comments cannot be published without an R rating!

Tips for tradies

Prevention is almost always better than cure, so the first step is to try and protect your tools from theft as well as you can.

It’s also a good idea to photograph your trailer if you have one, as we can see that posts including a photo of the stolen trailer are always shared far more widely.

Stolen Tools

Unfortunately you can’t provide 100% protection for your tools, and as good as social media is, it will very rarely result in the safe return of your gear.

With this being the case the final tip we have is to insure your tools.

Despite what some tradies think, tool insurance is actually very easy to get and is very affordable.

Claims are also relatively straightforward where you have suffered a genuine loss which meets the criteria for your specific insurance policy.

Having not only your tools, but also your livelihood stolen is one of the worst things that can happen to a tradie.

Keeping your tools well secured, photographing them, sharing any theft on social media and having the right insurance coverage will go a long way to avoiding the headache.

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