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Heidi Shaffer and Dave Olson, Published October 07 2011

Trade Talk: They help keep track of equipment in the vast tracks of the Oil Patch

The oil boom in western North Dakota is music to the ears of Fargo-based Pedigree Technologies, a provider of products and services that keep track of equipment and vehicles.

“There’s more and more companies coming in with more and more equipment, so it’s just going to be a huge market for us,” said Todd Reisenauer, market development manager for Pedigree, which is located at 1810 North Dakota State University Research Circle N.

Since the oil boom began several years ago, Pedigree has helped clients keep tabs on their property using asset tags, devices that attach to a trailer or vehicle that can then be monitored via satellite or cellphone tower communication.

Increasingly, new clients are coming to Pedigree because they have lost expensive machinery to theft and they want a way to get items back if it happens again, Reisenauer said.

“What we’ll typically do is put an asset tag somewhere on that piece of equipment where it can’t be easily spotted or taken off. Then it can be kept track of at all times,” he said.

“The smallest one (tag) we use is a little bigger than a cellphone,” he added.

The sheer volume of equipment in the Oil Patch can result in the misplacing of things, Reisenauer said.

“We help customers recover things every day,” he said. “In the oil field, something just gets moved and nobody knows whose trailer it is. We say, ‘Here it is.’ ’’

Looking for Loretta

The Loretta Block in downtown Fargo is under renovation and soon will be ready for retail and commercial tenants.

Kilbourne Group, which is developing the property, is putting together a history of the building and wants the public’s help. A photo of Loretta Elliott, the girl for whom the block was named, hasn’t yet been found.

Loretta was the youngest daughter of Peter Elliott, who planned the Loretta Block.

The building in the 200 block of Broadway got its first tenant in 1909, when a furniture store moved into the southern two-thirds of the Loretta Block.

Anyone with an image of Loretta who wouldn’t mind sharing it may contact the Kilbourne Group at info@kilbournegroup.com.

Deli set to open

Cracked Pepper, a deli-type restaurant offering fresh soups, sandwiches and salads, plans to open this month.

The business at 4955 17th Ave. S., Suite 124, Fargo, will also offer baked goods, said owner Angeline VonBank.

A rotating menu will be the norm, she said.

Readers can reach Forum business editor Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511 and Forum business reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555.