VisionLink helps recover stolen Skid Steer in under 10 hours (2019)

WesTrac recently helped a customer recover a stolen Cat Skid Steer within 10 hours using VisionLink technology.

You turn up on site to find your machine has been stolen. What do you do?

Equipment theft on the rise

It’s a bad situation to be in and something we don’t like to think about, but it’s happening every day, on sites around Australia. The National Equipment Register estimates that around $650 million of high-cost construction machinery is stolen each year. That figure is rising, and it doesn’t even include all the smaller items being stolen, like tools and generators.

A single stolen machine can have a devastating impact on a business, especially if it’s an owner-operator who needs it to put food on the table for their family. If the machine isn't insured against theft, there’s also the significant cost of replacement. Then, regardless of insurance, there’s all the losses the business will sustain because of project delays, productivity losses and the cost of quickly sourcing replacement equipment, i.e. hiring a machine. It’s a lot to think about and it’s the reason why protection against equipment theft should be a top consideration when choosing an equipment solutions partner.

WesTrac recently helped a customer recover a stolen Cat Skid Steer within 10 hours using VisionLink technology.

VisionLink helps recover stolen skid steer in under 10 hours

Technology saves the day

Richard Sage is the Operations Manager at MTS Hire & Sales (MTS). On a morning in March 2019 he turned up to work to find a Cat 249D Skid Steer Loader had been stolen. He immediately notified the police, his WesTrac rep and Lucas Cilia, Director at MTS.

Immediately after being notified, the WesTrac Technology Team got to work. Thankfully the 249D was fitted with a telematics device (Product Link PL240B). This device enabled one of our specialists, Martin Reid, to login to VisionLink and check a range of data points associated with the stolen machine, which included:

  • When the machine was last turned on and off
  • Last location and current location
  • IMEI and SIM details (to help police accurately triangulate the signal)

Taking it one step further, Martin used Google Maps to narrow the stolen machine’s location down to a single building. By 10:30am that same morning, he was able to pass all this information onto Richard, who relayed it to the police. Within 30 minutes, the police had enough to go on and actions were taken to recover the Skid Steer.

VisionLink helps recover stolen skid steer with the help of Google Maps

The building that Martin had identified was correct and the police uncovered a whole warehouse full of stolen equipment. After the forensics team had finished, the 249D was released back into the hands of MTS that same day, all in under 10 hours.

"VisionLink is a powerful technology that, when utilised to its full potential, can really impact operational efficiency. For WesTrac, it allows us to provide the best possible service to our customers. In the case of the stolen skid steer, VisionLink did all the heavy lifting, I just clicked a few buttons and acted quickly." - Martin Reid

Choosing the right partner

When MTS picked WesTrac to be their equipment solutions partner they did so knowing that they were getting the resources, technology and expertise required to be able to provide them with the best possible service. By quickly assisting MTS with the recovery of a stolen machine, Martin exemplified one of our core values of providing solutions service and satisfaction to our customers.

"We've chosen VisionLink for a variety of reasons - the cost of the unit, a fair subscription price and, most importantly, the WesTrac support network that backs the product itself. VisionLink is valuable for us, not just in regards to equipment theft, but also to monitor unauthorised usage of plant, managing a servicing schedule and analysing the geographical information associated with where our equipment does most of its work, as this helps us run a more efficient operation." - Lucas Cilia

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