On the road to recovery

Plant and vehicle theft costs the construction industry millions each year, but tracking technology is leaving thieves nowhere to hide

Enigma Vehicle Systems says its Skyline GPS tracking and security system is the first in the construction plant and vehicles industry to combine tracking and recovery with a full telematics capability. The company backs this up with some impressive results – the recovery rate for stolen plant from one of the leading plant hire companies fitted with Skyline is in excess of 90%. With this company alone, equipment recovered since February 2006 amounts to £1.2M.

The Skyline system consists of servers, hardware and software, which the company says provide information for detailed, relevant and user-friendly reports on a 24/7 basis. Each vehicle or piece of plant is in constant contact with the server, so status is available to Enigma users at all times. Additionally, users can request positions, add zones around equipment and vehicles for additional theft protection, and monitor hours used per rental or accumulatively. Access to the system is via client software, internet browser, PDA or text only requests from a mobile phone.

At the heart of the Skyline system is the in-plant or in-vehicle hardware, the Skyline X1 module. This is a small device containing a circuit board, a quad-band GSM/GPRS modem, a high-sensitivity global positioning system (GPS) receiver to improve reception where it is poor and battery back-up. This is all housed in a compact weatherproof housing, which Enigma says lends itself to covert installation.

The Skyline X1 module sends data from the vehicle or piece of plant by mobile GSM coverage, which is almost seamless within UK. Using a service, known as general packet radio service (GPRS), data can be sent at fixed intervals and received within, on average, two seconds of transmission. Using GPRS, the Skyline X1 module receives updated positions from the GPS network, every second, stores this information and transmits data to the server.

Reporting movements

The Skyline X1 module reports vehicle movements both authorised or unauthorised, tamper, ignition state and a host of other data via eight input/output ports that can be used for monitoring additional sensors. These may be fuel level, battery level, coolant, engine running/not running, engine covers open/closed and so on. Each system can be customised to provide the security and telemetry required by the user.

Options available on Skyline are:

  • 24/7 monitoring through an approved secure operating centre
  • keypad immobiliser with remote immobilisation feature
  • text polling from mobile phone
  • PDA access with street level images
  • driver identification option (Skyline X8 Plus only) using electronic tags
  • lone worker protection
  • portable, personal tracking with voice capability

Ian Keam-George, chief executive of Enigma Vehicle Systems, says: “Stolen vehicle and plant tracking systems using GPS are not new. But the application of Skyline is. Skyline was developed with security as the principal requirement – it is the first combined stolen vehicle recovery system that also provides information to both the user and the location responsible for the asset. In many respects it’s a revolutionary development for plant hire.”

The Skyline system can be used on any vehicle and all types of site equipment from excavators, compressors and dumpers to generators, forklift trucks, traffic light sets. The system can be seen by visiting the company’s website.

Enigma Vehicle Systems


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