Stop Thief! How to Prevent Your Tractor Getting Stolen
Have you ever had your tractor, trailer or machinery stolen? If so, you’re not alone.
When you picture the British countryside, you might think of rolling green pastures, winding country lanes and a wholesome community feel. But stats show our countryside has been under siege from repeated criminal activity in recent years — with losses from theft hitting a seven-year high of £50 million for British farmers in 2018.
Vehicles and trailers are all high-value targets for gangs taking advantage of isolated locations to steal machinery and raid tool stores. So, we don’t want to make it too easy for them now, do we?
Here are eight ways you can prevent thieves from getting to your machinery…
- Make your mark
Mark or customise your farm equipment to ensure it is easily identifiable. Even just painting your initials on the equipment should do the trick. This will deter thieves and help you recover your machinery if it does get stolen.
- Sound the alarm
Many companies offer alarms for tractors and trailers. Some even come with motion sensors to create an invisible force field, which will set off a piercing alarm if anyone comes inside it. Car alarms can also be fitted onto your equipment to prevent anyone from messing with it.
Most of the time, the irritating sound of the alarm alone will be enough to give the thieves a fright and have them running a mile.
- Keep track
Hiding a GPS tracker on your tractor will not only help you locate it if stolen, but many devices also act as an excellent remote alert system. Through your smartphone, you can designate the exact coordinates of a safe zone and will be alerted instantly if the tractor moves away from this area.
- Behind closed doors
Don’t tempt pesky thieves by leaving your equipment out in the open. We’ve all heard of the saying “out of sight, out of mind”. This is an excellent adage to stick to when it comes to protecting your machinery.
The more barriers you can stack up between your tractor and sticky fingers, the safer it will be. So, ideally, you’ll store your equipment indoors behind a locked gate. For added security, many people also opt for dedicated re-enforced shipping containers, as opposed to traditional wooden sheds, to store their tractor and machinery.
But if this isn’t possible, at least keep it in a protected location that you can’t see from nearby roads or access points.
- Cut the power
If you keep your tractor in a remote area, it might be worth wiring a kill switch into the tractor circuit. Most equipment dealers will be able to do this for you.
Although a thief could find the switch and wire around it easily enough if they wanted, thieves tend to be pretty lazy and always look for the simple option. So, they’re far more likely to assume there’s something wrong with the tractor, give up and move on.
- Clamping down
Like we mentioned above, the more barriers you can put between your equipment and opportunistic thieves, the better. Wheel clamps and steering wheel locks are two of the easiest ways to add security to your tractor, making it pretty much impossible for anyone to drive off with it.
The best thing is they take only a few seconds to attach and remove — if you have the key that is! Without one, robbers would need to cut through the steel construction. Something even the most persistent thieves won’t be willing or able to do.
- Keep watch
Criminals hate security cameras because the recorded footage can help you and the authorities identify them; so, if they see one, you can bet they’ll think twice about going after your machinery.
As thefts tend to happen at night under cover of darkness, it’s well worth paying extra for a decent camera with high-quality night vision. However, if you’re looking to save a bit of money, even cheap fake cameras could be enough to scare the bad guys off.
- Light it up
Installing motion-detecting lights is another great way to deter would-be pilfers. Motion sensor floodlights will illuminate the area instantly as soon as the thief walks across it — alerting you to the intruder and leaving them looking more like a deer in headlights than a criminal mastermind.
And one final word of warning?
It’s pretty easy for a thief to steal a tractor, take it to an auction and then unload it on some poor unsuspecting customer. So, if you’re buying a second-hand trailer or tractor, always take extra care. We would always recommend asking for proof of ownership and keeping an eye out for anything that seems suspicious or out of the ordinary.
If you have any concerns about keeping your tractor and trailer safe, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re always happy to help!