"I found the machine exactly where KOMTRAX team said it would be"

Komtrax-b-(1).jpgThe owner of a Victorian excavation firm is thanking his lucky stars after brand-new equipment stolen from his site was located within just 30 minutes.

Thieves stole Nick Fazzalari's Komatsu PC45MR-3 Excavator from a worksite in Melton, 40 kilometres north-west of Melbourne's CBD, in the early hours of the morning.

However, the thieves realised that the PC45MR-3 was fitted with Komatsu's KOMTRAX GPS tracking system and abandoned the machine, a fact Nick is only too happy about.

"My machine was operating in Melton; I'd worked that day and knocked off at about 3pm. When I went back to work at about 6am the next day, the machine was gone," he said.

"I got in touch with Brian, my local Komatsu dealer, at about 7am; he put me straight through to Mary Jo O'Donovan in the KOMTRAX team.

"By 7:30am, they'd sent the location of the PC45MR-3 about 15 to 20 kilometres away in a public park, so I went over and found the machine exactly where KOMTRAX team said it would be.

"The thieves must have found out that the machine was fitted with GPS tracking; you could see that they'd tried to pull the electrical systems out."

Machinery theft is an all-too common occurrence in Victoria, with local police estimating that on average, three machines are stolen every day, with less than two per cent found and returned.

"The police told me that the thieves had wiped their fingerprints off the excavator, so it seems like they weren't new to the game," said Nick.

"I'd actually bought the PC45MR-3 brand-new three weeks ago to replace a competitor's excavator that was stolen a few years back.

"It's such a relief to track it down and be able to get back to work."

Nick stated that had the machine not been found, he would not have been able to sustain his excavation company, NDF Excavations.

"While I bought the PC45MR-3 for its performance and reliability, a part of the reason behind it was to secure the $80,000 investment I'd made having KOMTRAX fitted was peace of mind that I'd hoped I wouldn't have to use, but now I'm very glad to have had it!

"The machine itself is insured at a discounted rate because of its GPS tracking unit but the loss of income would have been absolutely devastating to my business.

"Even though the thieves tried to rip out the beacon radio, GPS aerial and GPS unit, Komatsu took the machine and restored it to its original condition; it's back to work already, which is just a fantastic result."