11 Tips to Keep Your Tractor Safe

You have a lot invested in your tractors and farm equipment. Stealing farm equipment isn’t a new trend to report on, but it does happen more often than you’d like to think. As I was reading the Spring issue of...

11 Tips to Keep Your Tractor Safe

You have a lot invested in your tractors and farm equipment. Stealing farm equipment isn’t a new trend to report on, but it does happen more often than you’d like to think. As I was reading the Spring issue of...

You have a lot invested in your tractors and farm equipment. Stealing farm equipment isn’t a new trend to report on, but it does happen more often than you’d like to think. As I was reading the Spring issue of AGCO Advantage magazine the other day, I found these tips on how to “Make a Thief Think Twice” before touching your farm equipment (by Lynn Grooms and Red Barn Publishing). To keep your tractors and farm equipment safe, you should always make sure to:

  • Keep records on equipment, including year, manufacturer, model, serial number and photos.
  • Duplicate a unit’s product identification number (PIN) or other serial numbers in at least two places on the equipment, one obvious and one hidden. Use etching tools, die stamping or a steel punch. Also,you can add an owner-applied number (OAN) – that’s a number you create yourself.
  • Register your equipment on a national database that works with law enforcement, such as the National Equipment Register (NER).
  • Get thief-deterring decals to show you’ve registered with NER. They’re free if you’re a subscriber to NER’s services. For details, visit www.nerusa.com or call 1-866-663-7872 to learn what equipment is listed.
  • Install case-hardened or laminated steel padlocks, preferably with tamper-proof guards. Also, “blind” or enclosed locking devices on equipment doors and perimeter gates are good preventative measures.
  • Anchor equipment left in the field with either chain or cable, preferably case-hardened versions thick enough to resist torching, saws or bolt cutters.
  • Immobilize equipment by removing the battery, lowering blades or buckets, or even removing tires.
  • Group equipment together, such as pinning a tractor between two other pieces of equipment, so it requires considerable time and effort to move.
  • Direct lighting onto equipment.
  • Install theft prevention devices – such as anti-siphoning devices or kill switches that prevent electrical current from flowing from batteries or to the starter. On higher-risk or higher-value equipment, disable fuel, hydraulic and/or electrical systems.
  • Use GPS trackers. But before you buy, make sure the technology works in your area. Some cellular-based devices might not have coverage in certain rural areas. You also need to weigh the costs. Some of these devices can cost as much as $600

If your equipment gets stolen…

  • Report your loss to law enforcement, as well as your insurer and a specialist service (such as NER) to increase chances of recovery.
  • Communicate with neighbors and others in the community , especially people with similar equipment. Let local ag retailers sand grain elevator managers know.
  • Contact the equipment manufacturer about the theft. Many dealer networks maintain “hot” lists.
  • Offer a reward through NER’s Stolen Equipment Hotline at 1-866-637-8477.
  • Contact sources, such as the ACTION network in California and Farm Bureaus, who have e-mail alert systems to let other owners and law enforcement know about the theft.

For other great tips on keeping your farm equipment safe, or to order a subscription of the AGCO Advantage magazine, contact your local dealer.

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