How do I stop my machinery/plant being stolen?

Farm machinery can be worth tens of thousands of pounds but the loss of a tractor or combine harvester at key times of the year can also lead to a loss of crops and livestock.

Four-wheel drive vehicles, tractors, trailers, caravans, horse-boxes and quad-bikes are an attractive target for thieves. Where you can, keep your vehicles in a lockable garage or building. If this is not possible, consider installing security lighting. Speak to your dealership about anti theft devices such as alarms, immobilisers and trackers.

To avoid theft of batteries and accessories, avoid leaving tractors and other farm vehicles in the fields, and keep valuable equipment away from public roads when not in use. Most farm machinery can be forensically marked to aid identification and also trackers can be fitted that alert you to movement as well as direct the police to recover your property.

A really simple tip is to use the camera on your phone or tablet to take a photo of your machines and a photo of the serial numbers along with any identifying marks; store these on the cloud on services such as Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud and you will have a safe record of your valuables if needed.

Machinery such as tractors and plant is often stolen using a trailer, sometimes even articulated lorries are used to take larger items directly from fields. If you see a large vehicle and trailer, with or without machinery or plant loaded on the back, in an area you don't expect them to be or at an unusual time of day contact the police by telephone on 101.


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