Effective ways to prevent farm equipment theft from happening

Owning and running a farm is expensive. Apart from the production, you need to ensure you have the correct equipment to deliver on your objectives. And over and above the equipment startup and maintenance costs, you need to ensure that your farming tools and machinery are kept safe.

Protecting your farm’s livelihood needs to form part of your business plan. These units are long-term investments, and therefore should be treated as such. After a long day’s work, your workers should pack away your equipment and tools with respect, and make use of the correct precautions to avoid putting your resources at risk throughout the night. Knowing that you have a strategic plan in place where you don’t necessarily need to be there every single day to watch equipment being packed away will allow you, as the business owner, to take time off the farm should you need to. Of course, you will need to ensure that your equipment and machinery is insured for further protection in the event of units going missing.

Here are a few tips to consider when protecting your items from theft or vandalism:

  • Take stock and tag all of your items

Be it as small as a tool’s batteries to the wheels of your tractor, it’s important to take stock. And while you’re at it, tag each item with a permanent number that can be recorded for a particular product.

This way, your farm workers are aware of what each unit should entail, and if not, they should know to alert you about the issue immediately. You should also give your workers a list to work with so that they are also aware of what should be monitored. Every morning, when they unpack your units for the day, they should check to see that everything is on track, as well as in the evening when they close up. For example, make a list of the assets and farming implements used to connect to tillage equipment and rock removal equipment before you begin pasture maintenance. Keep your own, personal list in a separate place for safekeeping and in the event that workers misplace theirs.

  • Use cameras and put technology to work for you

CCTV surveillance cameras are not enough to keep your equipment safe. Pair your cameras with several other security systems such as keyless-ignition devices, GPS trackers and, of course, artificial intelligence (AI) units such as drones. Drones can act as your 24-hour security solution because they give you real-time reports and take photographs or videos of your premises whenever you request them. You can also use drones for production reasons, monitoring your workers on-site and the farmlands themselves.

Be sure to store your security in hidden places. Thieves are clever, and they’re aware of standard security systems such as cameras. They will likely look for cameras (or become familiar with your layout) before they proceed, so make sure you have various systems in place to alert you of unusual movements.

  • Don’t forget about farm lights and security gates

Thieves prefer to do their business in the dark, which is why they will monitor and roam the area in advance before they make their move. Make sure that you light critical areas and place hidden security systems there for maximum safety. Install some motion sensor lighting and other lighting options with timers. If you’ve just bought new farm equipment or are looking for farm equipment available for sale, make sure that your shed is fully equipped with security, lighting, gating if need be, and durable door locks. Another major concern is gating. Gates which float in the air, with the bottom open, can easily be removed off of their hinges. Try to install gates which are cemented in the ground, and make sure your workers know to close and secure gates with chains and locks every evening. You need to be strict with this.

  • Support neighbourhood watch and community programmes

If your farm is close to others in the area, try to form a community where you keep each other safe. Having neighbourhood farmers watching over and protecting your farm when you’re not around and vice versa will create a safety net if something bad happens. You can always make a powerful difference in large groups, so standing together to keep your farm and neighbourhood safe will contribute to a positive movement. If there are strange movements or concerns in the neighbourhood, at least you will be able to notify each other through the neighbourhood watch programme and keep everyone informed.

Final thoughts

It’s critical to keep your equipment and farmlands safe from theft. You never know when something might happen, so be sure to train your staff and ensure everything is locked and looked after on a daily basis. Equipment and machinery for agriculture are extremely expensive, so look after your investments.