Off–Road Vehicle & Trailer Theft Prevention

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The reality is that some individuals will go to great lengths to steal your off‐road vehicle (ORV) or trailer. Following a couple of safety tips will keep your outdoor recreation equipment safe and sound, and ready for your next adventure.

Off-road Vehicle Theft Prevention

Most thieves are typically lazy and a quick act of theft gives them a shortcut to your hard earned ORV. The best option is to keep your investment locked up in a garage or other permanent enclosure and keep the key elsewhere. If you have to leave your ORV alone outdoors, here are some things to consider:

The number one way an ATV gets stolen is that thieves simply roll it away. Make the thieves work for the quad by removing the valve stems from two tires, which allows them to go flat. Chances are they will not carry spare valve stems in their pockets nor will they have the tools to install them. Getting air back into the tires may be a bit of work, but will certainly be less heartache than realizing your ATV is missing!

If your ORV machine has drilled brake rotors, you can buy small pad locks and slip the locking shaft through one of the holes in the rotor to prevent the machine from being rolled away. Since virtually every ORV made these days has an electric starter, removing the fuse to the key switch, fuel pump or starter may slow crooks down enough for them to give up the fight and move on. If you are handy enough, you could confuse them further by unplugging the fuel pump.

Chaining a machine to a tree or camper is always an option, but make sure you get a quality chain and lock that cannot be drilled out ‐ or at the very least, will require hours of work to be busted open. Be sure the chain or cable goes through the frame. Simply putting the cable through a wheel is not good enough. Consider investing in an alarm lock that alerts you to unwanted tampering.

Never store an ORV on an open trailer ‐ these should be used for transporting equipment only. If you use an enclosed trailer to store your ORV in then make sure the trailer is locked and secured to something

Trailer Theft Prevention

The following are some ways to ward off potential trailer thieves:

  • Purchase a wheel lock like the ones police officers use on illegally parked cars. A wheel lock is a visible deterrent and does not allow the trailer to be moved.
  • Block the doors. Park your trailer so that the rear doors butt up against a wall or some other permanent structure. Combining that with a wheel lock will make it much tougher for a thief.
  • Paint the top and sides of your trailer with large identifying information. This way if it is stolen it can be easily identified.
  • Lock it down. Hitch, tongue and coupler locks are available to secure your trailer. Use a heavy chain and anchor cemented in place to secure your to a driveway. Trailer doors should always be secured with heavy duty locks.
  • Invest in security devices like alarms and tracking devices to alert you when an attempt is being made to steal your trailer.