A real-time GPS vehicle tracking solution can prove invaluable when protecting company assets. Not only does it provide up-to-the-minute data on assets’ whereabouts, but also sends out alerts in real-time when it detects unauthorised movement.

Leading German construction company Heinrich Walter Bau (HWB) recently experienced the value of having vehicle tracking in their vehicles, when one of their wheel loaders worth 90 000 Euros (approximately R1,3 million) was recovered by Ctrack, a wholly owned subsidiary of Inseego Corp. HWB had been using the Ctrack vehicle tracking solution for over ten years, giving them full visibility across their 100-strong fleet of construction equipment.

According to Michael Dülger, head of the mechanical engineering department at HWB, two criminals broke into a temporary site office located on an HWB construction site in Bergerhausen, a suburb of the city Essen in North Rhine-Westphalia, earlier this year. After obtaining the keys of the wheel loader in the office, they loaded the asset onto the back of a truck trailer and drove off.

Dülger received an alert from Ctrack on his smartphone that one of his vehicles was moving without the ignition switched on. At the time, he dismissed the warning as a false alarm; however, looking at the latest Ctrack movement report the next morning prompted him to immediately contact the Essen police. Following the wheel loader’s GPS position, they located it approximately 10 km from the construction site. The criminals were asleep inside the cab of the truck next to the road, with the wheel loader concealed underneath a tarp thrown over the trailer.

Thanks to Ctrack’s advanced telematics technology, the asset was recovered within four hours. Had it gone missing, it would have had significant financial implications – not only regarding its value, but also the countless hours of labour and machine time lost. In addition, HWB would have had to deal with insurance costs of over 10 000 Euros (approximately R130 000).

The value of equipping the Ctrack solution cannot only be measured in money, says Dülger. “It also meant the difference between life and death for two of our employees.”

Recently, one of Dülger’s truck drivers pulled over at a rest stop after informing the office that he was feeling ill. After two hours, Dülger noticed the vehicle was still parked in the same spot. He called the employee, who was paralysed and barely able to speak. Dülger immediately phoned the emergency services and informed them of the vehicle’s GPS location. By having clear directions to the employee’s location, they were able to arrive at the scene early enough to save his life.

In another incident, an employee operating a dump truck accidentally drove into a power line on a construction site, causing a tip-over. Though he suffered a severe electric shock, he was able to phone Dülger and notify him of the incident. Thanks to Ctrack, Dülger immediately knew where the employee was located and could assist him in time.

“It is a sense of delight to know that using Ctrack to monitor your fleet doesn’t only safeguard company resources, but can also protect the most valuable of assets, namely that of a human’s life,” said Maria Johanning, Managing Director of Ctrack Germany.