As part of Farmer’s Weekly’s Farm Security special we highlight some top tips to help your keep your tractor secure.
What can you do?
A really determined and clever criminal will get past most obstacles. Like driving into the farmyard and dragging the tractor on to a low-loader with an ultra-powerful winch. Then using a scanner to detect any tracking devices and jumping on them
But not all thieves are that good and there is a lot you can do to make it difficult for them.
• Don’t leave the keys in the ignition and lock cabs at night
• Put the tractor or handler out of sight in a locked barn when it’s not being used
• Be wary of storing important kit in barns near a footpath
• Chain kit to stanchions in the barn or another implement (but don’t forget to remove the chain when you come to get in the tractor the next morning)
• Buy half a dozen geese and let them wander about the farmyard. Much more effective than a dog at making a noise
• Think about the possibility of a motorised gate to deter potential thieves. Not a cheap option, though the Agriwheel allows you to motorise an existing gate.
• Look at driveway alarm options. These can work on PIR detectors, rubber hose alarms across the road or even vibration sensing wires buried alongside tracks. All are now available as wireless options, so no need to dig lots of trenches. Companies like Alarms for Farms, Sutcliffe and Ultrasecure are all worth a look.
• Be extra careful about leaving tractors in fields overnight. It’s tempting if the field is a long way from base but if you do, make sure it’s as hidden as possible.
Secure your shed
Hiding tractors away in closed shed might be a nice idea, but many machinery sheds have open bays that are visible to all. Even if you do put them away in a closed building, repeatedly opening and closing traditional manual sliding doors gets tedious.
One way to solve both problems is to fit either roller shutter doors or one of these Hydroswing AGD hydraulic doors. They go up to 36m (120ft) wide and 12m (40ft) high and can be opened and closed with a remote-control unit up to 15m (50ft) away.
The hydraulic rams and exterior truss make it very difficult for a thief to overcome, says the company, and very noisy to try to ram-raid.