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Dozy dozer thieves tracked by telematics

7 Jun 19 A gang of plant thieves had not counted on the power of modern telematics to track them down.

Whitelock's D6N
Whitelock's D6N

Whitelock Developments discovered that its Caterpillar D6N dozer was missing on the morning of 11th March 2019. It contacted its dealer, Finning, for help in tracing its location, since the machine was fitted with the PL542 Product Link telematics box. This technology provides machine telemetry and location tracking data to the Finning’s Finsight team in Cannock.

The Finsight advisors were able to tell Whitelock that the dozer was 33 miles away from the customer’s site, just outside of Huddersfield, in a wood by the side of the road.

The thieves had removed the machine’s Whitelock decals, and had begun to dismantle the cab, but the unit itself was still in working order. After finding the machine, Whitelock Developments owner John Whitelock was able to load the machine onto a trailer and return it to site. The entire process, from contacting the Finsight team to the dozer’s return to site, was completed in less than 24 hours.

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John Whitelock said: “The Vision Link software allowed the Finsight team to guide us to the exact location, helping us to recover our machinery and minimise the disruption to our operations. We were so pleased when we turned up to the location and found the dozer, and it has absolutely proven the value of working with Finning, the Finsight team and the Vision Link software. The system has not just helped us to optimise our operations, but it has prevented us losing a valuable asset, allowing us to continue working with the minimal amount of disruption.”

Wesley King, product support account manager for Finning UK & Ireland, said: “Machinery theft is a huge problem for the plant sector, but the Vision Link software and our Finsight team are helping to reduce the threat that this can pose to businesses that rely on their equipment. It’s always nice to know that our Finsight team can provide a business with the peace-of-mind to know their machinery is protected against theft even when they aren’t on site.”

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