Editor’s Note: Here’s an interesting case study in logistics from one of our regular contributors.
GPS Recovers Stolen Truck
Recently the Track Your Truck GPS fleet tracking system paid for itself in an unusual way when a truck was stolen from the DMZ Trucking fleet yard in Mokena, IL. owned by Dean Zolner. Wed only had our GPS Trackers in my Mack trucks for 5 weeks when one of my drivers called and reported that one of our trucks was stolen. Another had its locks punched out. I ran to my computer and pinged up truck #300. It gave me the exact coordinates for the truck, where the truck thieves had taken it. So I jumped in my pickup and followed the coordinates to an old building surrounded by barbed wire in the downtown Gary, Indiana, about 35 miles from Mokena.
Zolner tracked and found the location of his stolen truck in just 50 minutes and worked in collaboration with the Gary, Indiana police to recover his Mack truck from behind an old warehouse. Upon recovery, Zolner got the truck to a driver who made his scheduled appointment for a pickup at 11:30 am that day.
Truck Theft on the Rise
Theft of trucks in the greater Chicago area is an increasing problem. Most of these stolen trucks are taken to scrapyards, Zolner commented. They chop them up to make money from the raw materials. Problem is, the scrap yards dont ask for titles on these trucks or anything, so these guys just pull up the trucks and the yards cut them up right there on the spot for the metal, especially aluminum.
In Chicago this spring a group of five school buses was stolen and taken to a scrapyard, but GPS trackers on the buses had already led the owners to the scrap yard where remains of the yellow buses were visible among pieces of trucks and other vehicles
GPS tracking systems are one of the only frontline defenses available to truck owners and fleet managers because police are often too busy to chase down scrap thieves unless specific information on the whereabouts of the stolen vehicle can be provided. The costs of installing a GPS unit in each truck or bus is not prohibitive, and the monthly fees are manageable even for smaller operators with 1-10 trucks in their fleet.
The dual value of a GPS tracking system to manage fleet logistics and prevent theft is becoming an investment many trucking companies cannot afford to be without.
(Image Credit: © alma_sacra – Fotolia.com)