25 August 1995

Code numbers to crack crime

By Robert Davies

IFOR Williams Trailers, which produces 300 trailers a week, has declared war on thieves.

In response to calls from the police, the Corwen, Clwyd, based company is now "burning" easy-to-read, tamper-proof, reference numbers into the steel frames of new trailers. All code numbers will be stored on a new company data base, which can be accessed by police investigating the ownership of suspect vehicles.

The numbers are cut right through the steel of drawbars before the whole chassis is galvanised, making it very difficult for thieves to change them. Farmers planning to buy second-hand trailers will also be able to check with the company that the seller is the legitimate owner.

Det-constable Frank Kitt of South Wales Police, welcomed the companys initiative. He reckoned it would make life very difficult for thieves, as they would have to alter the structure of the whole drawbar to change code numbers.

Ifor Williams will provide the burned-in numbers in addition to stamping the same vehicle identification number (VIN) on to the draw-bar, which experience shows can be altered.

Peter Leslie, technical marketing manager, said it was particularly important for used trailer buyers to check that VIN stamps had not been interfered with.

"Be aware that if you should be unfortunate enough to purchase a stolen trailer, and it is subsequently identified as such, you will have no right of ownership," Mr Leslie warned.

For both identification systems to work it was important that buyers of second hand trailers informed the company in writing about the change of ownership.

Branding, which is already being used on the companys Hunter range, box van trailers and LM6 flatbeds, will eventually be extended to all models. &#42

Ifor Williams is "burning" identification numbers onto its trailer drawbars. The aim is to reduce thefts of its lightweight tractor ranges.