9 February 1996

Pump lock stops theft

NO fuel, no go – the principle behind a device aimed at reducing thefts of diesel-powered farm and construction machinery.

In simple terms the Plantitheft, from Graham Thompson, is a solenoid-operated valve which switches the engines fuel pump on and off. When the valve is switched off the fuel pump is "dead" – no go.

Fitted in the fuel line at the injector pumps inlet, the Plantitheft is housed in a metal box and operated by a key. In the morning the driver uses the key to switch on the valve when carrying out his daily maintenance checks. All he has to do in the evening is to turn the device back on.

Surely, a sharp blow with a hammer and the thief is back in business? Not quite.

The Plantitheft unit is designed so that if smashed off, its thread shears off in the pump inlet and the fuel line cannot be reconnected. Also the boxs shape means the engine casing prevents it from being twisted off. And if the thief manages to prise open the box, the all-important valve is still protected by a hard resin packing. &#42

The Graham Thompson Plantitheft unit is a solenoid-operated valve which allows tractor drivers to isolate their steeds injector pump at the turn of a key. Price is £125.