WA family business recovers lost excavator
A plant hire and earthmoving business in WA has thanked KOMTRAX for the return of stolen equipment.
With the theft of expensive and essential utility equipment seemingly on the rise, Stretch Industries have recently recovered their PC18MR-3 excavator thanks to Komatsu's KOMTRAX tracking and monitoring system.
Stretch Industries are a nine year old family business, operating from Melville in Western Australia. The company is managed by Director James Stretch and his father Anton Stretch.
Primarily specialising in earthmoving and plant hire, Stretch Industries operates a small fleet of utility equipment. The company services the Perth Metropolitan region and regional areas of Western Australia, where the machines work against some of the country's toughest earth.
In May 2014, one of Stretch Industries operators had the company's PC18MR-3 excavator parked at his house in Applecross, WA. Locked and secured, the machine was due on site in the morning to begin a large job that the company had been contracted to undertake.
When the operator walked outside, the excavator was gone, and no clue was offered as to its new location.
James Stretch explains that the company felt the impact of the theft from the second the machine was noticed missing in action.
"My immediate thought was obviously about that days' work. Then I considered the flow on from that as well. It had the potential to hugely impact on our business adversely, and I straight away knew I needed to track it down"
Having purchased the machine second hand, Mr Stretch was unaware that KOMTRAX was standard equipment. As word spread about the machine going missing, the previous owner made contact to inform him that recovery could be as simple as a phone call.
"Initially I didn't realise KOMTRAX was installed. I had given up all hope of tracking it down; reporting it to the police had gone nowhere."
Contacting Komatsu and alerting them to the theft, the KOMTRAX team were quickly able to identify trends in the locations and use of the machine.
"I got onto Mary-Jo at Komatsu, and we started following a trail." He said
Resisting an urge towards vigilantism, Mr Stretch notified police and after giving them the appropriate ownership documentation to prove it was his, rightfully repossessed the PC18MR-3.
"Excavators and utility machines are our businesses life blood, and it is where we derive our livelihood. Without the machines Stretch Industries wouldn't exist." explained Mr Stretch.
"While the machine was missing, we had to sub contract a lot of work out which was a direct impact financially. I also lost time running around trying to follow the trail. Both ends financially suffered from being a machine down and we noticed the impact immediately."
"We repossessed the excavator on a Thursday and had it back working Monday. I can't thank KOMTRAX enough for the service they provided; we wouldn't have found it without them."
"That machine is very important to us and it is good to have it back and working hard for us".
WA Police are continuing enquiries with key parties regarding the initial theft and resale of the stolen excavator.