by Udo Rypstra

Baffling hi-jackers through wireless devices

How wireless tracking can deliver a 98%-plus recovery rate

Deon Mayley
deon mayley.jpg

Securing vehicles and assets in transit has become a necessity for businesses in South Africa with the continued high levels of theft and hijacking. Criminals are not only after vehicles, but often are more interested in the goods being transported, abandoning the vehicle as soon as is convenient.

Traditional tracking technology makes use of GPS transmitters hidden in the vehicle in an attempt to provide the location of the vehicle at all times. Unfortunately, the criminal element understands this and will often steal a vehicle and park it under roof for a few hours to prevent the owners from tracking it via GPS.

“During this time, the thieves can trace the GPS device by following the wire linking it to the vehicle’s battery,” explains Deon Bayly, MD of Mtrack. “These devices require a significant amount of power to operate and therefore need to be hooked up to the battery at all times, making it fairly easy to find. 

“Moreover, the size and the requirement for an external power source make it impossible to hide a GPS device inside the goods being transported. This means that once offloaded, the goods are gone forever.

“This also means that the real recovery rate of stolen assets using GPS devices is not as good as some vendors would like you to believe.”

Bayly advises transportation companies to rather consider smaller wireless devices with internal power sources. These can be more easily hidden, even inside packages being transported, and remain independently active for longer, meaning they can be reused for multiple trips and in multiple vehicles.

Mtrack is a self-contained, self-powered wireless location unit that not only meets these criteria, but uses cellular networks to determine its location. Cellular signals are not as easily blocked in parking blocks or garages, making it harder to hide stolen goods and vehicles.

The size of the Mtrack device also makes it easy to hide and difficult to discover. Its minimalist installation requirements mean the unit can be fitted into most assets quickly and covertly, and it is a fully portable solution that can be easily moved from asset to asset. Possibly its best feature is that its battery life lasts, on average, one year.

The unit can also be set to detect movement. The movement sensor capability allows the unit to go into alarm mode if it moves when it should not – such as when it should be spending the night in a warehouse.

“The results achieved by Mtrack after 10 years of service in South Africa and 15 years internationally is an unbeaten 98.4% recovery rate,” adds Bayly. “These are proven statistics that no other vehicle tracking technology can match.”

Because Mtrack can be hidden in a load as easily as it can in a vehicle’s cab or trailer, it is a suitable technology for use in dealing with high-value robberies as well as simple vehicle theft. Previously, the truck could be recovered without the trailer and goods. With Mtrack, owners are now able to track and recover the goods in transit as well as the trailer and truck should there be a unit in each.

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