UK-based equipment tracking and fleet management company AMI Group said its technology had helped to quickly recover stolen machines.

AMI Group said bogus hires continued to pose a problem in the rental industry, but the use of anti-theft tracking devices could assist in leading to the recovery of equipment stolen through these means.

“In one recent example, a bogus construction company had hired out a total of five machines from a plant hirer, of which two were stolen but soon recovered thanks to anti-theft tracking devices installed by AMI Group,” the company said.

The customer originally contacted AMI Group to advise that two Kubota Excavators had been stolen. Both Excavators had been fitted with an AMI Nexis GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking system and AMI’s monitoring station advised that three days after the initial hire, the machines were moved from Goosney Faringdon in Oxfordshire to a location some 60 miles away in Woking, Surrey.

The monitoring station was able to pinpoint the exact location of the stolen machines and advised that they had been stored there for almost a week.

The Police were advised and the AMI Group monitoring station continued to view the two machines via the AMI Nexus web portal online until the Police arrived at the site in question. The customer was also able to go to the site and recover the stolen machinery. Enquiries are still ongoing with the Police, according to the company.

Another instance saw AMI Group report a Takeuchi Mini Excavator stolen overnight from another customer’s depot in Hull. This machine had also been fitted with an AMI Nexis GPS tracking system and AMI’s monitoring station was able to utilise the company’s web-based Nexis software portal to establish the exact time of theft, the route taken by the thieves and its current destination. The excavator was returned to the customer within an hour of them reporting it stolen.

Peter Stockton, operations director at AMI Group, said, “Unfortunately fraudulent hires are still very much a problem in the construction plant sector and scams are getting more and more sophisticated by the day.

“The theft of cars is becoming more difficult without access to keys, so criminals are turning to plant for potential theft. The installation of an anti-theft tracking device is an ideal preventative measure and the likelihood of getting the plant returned in the event of theft is far higher.”

AMI offers a number of tracking solutions and fleet management systems for applications including plant and vehicle tracking. One of the company’s latest innovations is the AMI Nexis AT5, a self-contained, battery operated tracking device which uses GPS, GSM and RF technology.

Reporting to and visible via the AMI Nexis Software Platform 24/7, the AT5 is said to be lightweight, small sized (21 x 55 x 52mm) and can be concealed almost anywhere on any asset. Via its advanced battery management software, the unit has the capacity to last up to 15 years and it is backed by IP68 waterproof rating, ensuring it is robust and heavily protected.

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