"I'm very glad Komatsu helped me to recover my equipment so quickly"
Tony Goodrick can breathe a sigh of relief after civil construction machinery stolen from his worksite was found and returned.
The director of Rotorua-based Goodrick Contracting Ltd credits the safe return of his equipment to the KOMTRAX asset-tracking system fitted as standard to his Komatsu PC30MR-3 excavator.
"I didn't buy the PC30MR-3 because of KOMTRAX, but I'm certainly glad it had it!" he said.
"The thieves forced their way into the depot where we were storing our equipment, took our flat-bed truck with the PC30MR-3 on it, offloaded the excavator in bushland, and then went to dispose of the truck.
"They'd tried to dump the truck in the ocean by driving it straight across the beach and into the surf, but it got bogged down in the sand.
"The first alert we got that our equipment was missing was actually when we received calls from people who found our bogged truck and called us, asking us to remove it from the beach!"
Mr Goodrick said it only took a call to his local Komatsu dealer to track down his missing excavator.
"I rang the local Komatsu dealer at Rotorua and told them that my equipment had been stolen," he said.
"One hour later, Komatsu called back, told me that they'd located the excavator and gave me the exact coordinates where I could find it.
"I immediately called the police and gave them the coordinates; they went looking for it but it was raining so heavily they couldn't spot it from the road, plus they didn't have permission to go traipsing across private land.
"Komatsu got in touch with us when they learned our excavator was still missing and offered to remotely immobilise it I agreed instantly."
Unfortunately, the thieves had caused substantial damage to Mr Goodrick's excavator.
"Over the weekend, it had done more than 28 hours of work at the hands of inexperienced and careless operators," he said.
"They had damaged the main lifting ram and almost every panel, but apart from that I have to say that our excavator was in pretty good shape, considering the treatment it received.
"When we remotely immobilised the PC30MR-3, the thieves pulled the fuel system and all of the fuses out because they didn't know why it had stopped.
"It only had 250 hours on it when it was stolen and Komatsu restored it to brand-new condition, even fitting new panels and completely repainting it."
Mr Goodrick said the benefits of KOMTRAX extend far beyond keeping track of machinery use, condition reporting and maintenance reminders.
"Machinery theft is big business in New Zealand buying these machines signifies a significant investment on our part and we set our targets based on the operation of that machine," he said.
"To lose such a piece of machinery outright would have been devastating not just in terms of capital expenditure, but a huge hit to operations and our ability to fulfil contracts.
"I'm very glad Komatsu helped me to recover my equipment so quickly and that they were able to restore it to as-new condition too."