May 26, 2023

Found Files: A Track Load of Trouble

A Track Load of Trouble

It’s 2 a.m. in rural Mississippi and an EquipmentShare track loader is taken from a jobsite. It’s precisely the kind of situation T3 — and the EquipmentShare security team — is designed to handle. As the bad guys started moving, so did the good guys.

“When this went down, we immediately started the conversation with the security team,” said Mike Sanford, the branch manager for EquipmentShare’s Mobile, Alabama, location. “With T3, we could see that the machine stopped at 4 a.m. near Mobile.”

For Nathan Wesley, a security operations specialist at EquipmentShare’s Columbia, Missouri, home office, challenges like this play to his strengths.

“I was with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department for almost eight years,” Wesley said. “Our department has a lot of law enforcement experience. We can speak the lingo, and we know what local law enforcement needs to move quickly on cases like this.”

According to Wesley, who works the night shift on EquipmentShare’s 24-hour security team, the day-shift team monitored the situation throughout the day but with no movement. Did the thieves find a way to circumvent T3? Thanks to EquipmentShare’s talented team of technicians and installers, no. 

“The telematics guys did a great job with installing the unit,” Wesley said. “They know our hardware inside and out, so when we need them, they know what the trackers can do.” 

As the day-shift team was handing the case off to Wesley and the night shift in Columbia, the thieves were waiting to make their next move in Mobile.

“People that like to steal things like to move them at night,” Wesley said. “So when I’m monitoring, I can see the movement and call law enforcement.”

With the power of T3, both Wesley and Sanford were about to see their chance.

“I’m an early riser, and I like to get the coffee made and get everything ready for the day,” Sanford said. “So when I saw the machine ping again at 5 a.m. in Florida, I contacted the security team. Nathan was on it.” 

Meanwhile, in Columbia, Wesley saw the movement as well. And thanks to careful coordination with local law enforcement in Mississippi, who had entered the stolen track loader into a national database, everything was in place for a successful recovery.

“I’ve had a lot of good fortune with our general managers willing to work with me at all times,” Wesley said. “Everything was working perfectly, and the location made sense.”

“Nathan Wesley coordinated local law enforcement and got Jackson County sheriffs on the scene,” Sanford said. “The thieves were asleep in the cab of the truck.”

Thanks to the diligent work of the security team, the branch team and law enforcement across three states, the track loader was recovered behind a hotel near the highway in northern Florida. According to Sanford, the ¾-ton truck and trailer used in the theft are also believed to be stolen. 

“Our technology was critical for this recovery,” Sanford said. “But EquipmentShare doesn’t depend on technology alone. We also have the manpower to monitor this, and the human factor hit home here. This is the definition of a team effort.”

“This is the passion side of my job,” Wesley said. “I can help the company, our customers and make a difference and feel involved in what I do. Everyone wants to feel like you were part of a successful day. And the way everybody came together to work on this was really cool. It’s a lot of fun!”

Of course, not everyone involved had fun. Instead of getting away with tens of thousands of dollars in stolen property, the alleged thieves are now facing a track load of trouble — multiple felony charges in Mississippi and Florida. 

As for the wayward track loader?

“We had to put a few things back together that they ripped apart,” Sanford said. “But we had it ready to go 24 hours after we got it back.”

This is just one of the ways T3 is changing the construction industry. Get started with a tech-powered rental today or find out how to add T3 to your owned fleet

Want to be part of a team that can serve customers like this? You can! Check out EquipmentShare’s careers page and find out how you can help build the future of construction. 

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