A-Plant finds stolen loader in the Middle East

By Murray Pollok09 September 2008

A-Plant's recovered JCB skid-steer in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates.

A-Plant's recovered JCB skid-steer in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates.

UK rental company A-Plant has successfully tracked a JCB skid-steer loader stolen from its fleet to a location in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. The loader was found using A-Plant's A-Trak GPS satellite tracking and security system developed with Enigma Vehicle Systems.

Enigma hosts the A-Trak system on behalf of A-Plant and, by following the satellite reports from the tracking devices in the stolen loader, it was found that the machine left the country from Southampton docks nine days after it was stolen. Through further tracking, Enigma was able to pinpoint the new location of the machine in Sharjah.

Eleven days after the initial theft in the UK, Ian Keam-George, chief executive of Enigma Vehicle Systems, arrived in Dubai with DataTag scanning equipment to identify the equipment. Three days later, the Sharjah police took two suspects into custody together with the skid-steer loader and a generator stolen from another UK rental company.

Andy Wortley, IT director at A-Plant, said: "Enigma has been very flexible in the way they have developed the system with us. The ability to track stolen machines abroad is a standard feature of the systems developed by Enigma and the recovery of the skid-steer loader after a trip of well over a thousand miles to the Indian Ocean is a brilliant display of the powers offered by A-Trak."

The A-Trak system utilises mobile GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) devices, fitted to A-Plant equipment such as dumpers, rollers, excavators, telehandlers and compressors, which provides internet tracking and telematics information by communicating with host servers with bespoke software running to decode the incoming data.

All equipment covered by the A-Trak system remains in contact with the server all year round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so its status is available at all times. Once linked to the A-Trak system, customers can request positions, ringfence machines (for additional theft protection) and send text messages to remotely immobilise and/or release equipment.

Andy Wortley said: "Customers are excited by the information and protection provided by the A-Trak system. In the first instance it is proving to be a powerful deterrent to the theft of A-Plant equipment with a 98% recovery rate, significantly reducing downtime and costs for both A-Plant and our customers. The swift recovery of our machines using the A-Trak security system is really pleasing for our customers as they are not additionally charged for the stolen machine."

Note: Enigma's chief executive, Ian Keam-George, will give a presentation on asset tracking technology at next week's Europlatform conference, being held in Maastricht, The Netherlands on Tuesday 16 September, the day before the APEX aerial platform exhibition. Europlatform is a joint venture between Access International magazine and the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF). See www.europlatform.info for details.

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