Equipment theft is an all-too-common problem, especially for owners of compact equipment. In addition to the monetary loss, theft also costs contractors and dealers in lost time and increased insurance rates.
As part of its ServiceTrac maintenance program, Perimeter Bobcat, the Ingersoll Rand Company Store in Atlanta, GA, has found a way to fight back against equipment thieves.
When Scott Davison, senior rental manager for Perimeter Bobcat, arrived at the office one day this summer, he expected a typical day. Instead, he received a disturbing call from an alarmed customer. Orlando Cruz of Piedmont Landscaping had left a rented Bobcat T250 compact track loader on a job site for the night, and when he returned in the morning, it was gone. Cruz was concerned because another piece of rental equipment had been stolen from a job site the previous year, and the contractor’s insurance had to pay for the replacement of the machine.
Davison knew where to look for the machine — his computer.
Perimeter Bobcat’s ServiceTrac program uses a global positioning system (GPS) to track machines for servicing and location monitoring. At any time, the Perimeter Bobcat team can instantly locate each piece of equipment and check service readings.
Davison entered the serial number for the stolen Bobcat T250, and satellites located the machine about 15 mi. from where it had last been seen. Davison called the police and then headed to the machine’s location.
The Bobcat T250 was exactly where the GPS said it would be. Davison noticed other competitive models of equipment parked next to the Bobcat T250. The police arrived and, after further inquiry, arrested the two individuals responsible. Davison then helped police identify the owners of the other pieces of stolen equipment, including another Bobcat machine.
As a result of his recovery efforts, Davison was asked to arrange a Bobcat product demonstration by a grateful owner who was previously loyal to a competitor.
For his help in closing the equipment and automobile theft operation, Davison and Perimeter Bobcat were recognized by the Douglas County Police Department.
Davison now is planning to install the ServiceTrac GPS system on all of Perimeter Bobcat’s larger Ingersoll Rand products, including compaction rollers and material handlers. Additionally, he will host a training class for local police departments to familiarize officers with how to identify serial numbers and recover stolen machines.