I wrote an article that appeared in the Standard-Examiner on Jan. 28 entitled, “What if someone else wants my ATV more than I do?” In that article, I related accounts of people losing ATVs and equipment to theft. That article ended with this statement, “Take stock of the things you can to do to keep your machines safe.”
John Hinds, a reader from Ogden, sent an email reporting his experience of losing a trailer to a thief. He left his trailer in a church parking lot near his home. As a precaution, he fixed a heavy chain through the wheels around the trailer. He told me that he always locks his trailer with a chain. This time, he found the pad lock cut and the trailer was gone. He filed a report with the police and he hasn’t heard anything in over a year. He also sent a picture of the lock that had been destroyed.
That set me to researching things that can be done to discourage theft. I state it that way because I don’t believe that there is ironclad protection against it. Maybe it is because I have learned that if someone really wants something, they will figure out a way to get it. I just want my stuff to be less appealing than someone else’s.
I had some help in gathering information from Reed Embley and Don Moore with the ATV club. Reed sent me a video with hints on using a special cable when securing machines to your trailer and Don gave me information on the type of cable to use.
Two brands of cable are available on the market that is more difficult to cut — one is Trimax and the other is Kryptonite. I found the cable in 8-, 12-, 15- and 30-foot lengths and I chose the 15-foot length in the Trimax brand.
When setting up the cable to secure a machine, it is important to attach it in the right place. The cargo rack or a bumper is not good because of possible damage to the machine. A better choice is to loop the cable through a part of the chassis and attach it around a sturdy post on the trailer and in a place more difficult to access the lock if possible. Trimax also offers a “Sceamin’ Demon” alarm-equipped cable and lock that will set off an ear-piercing alarm when tampered with.
When it comes to protecting your ATV, an anti-theft wheel lock clamp boot is a good choice. It is like the boot police use to impound cars. If a thief gets the cable off, he is not going anywhere with the wheel lock attached.
Another deterrent is to install a locking hitch pin. That is the pin that keeps the hitch in place on a truck. Trailheads are often in very remote places. When a party heads out to enjoy a trail, a lot of expensive equipment is left to theft or mischief. A locking hitch pin helps protect your rig.
When your trailer is not in use, it is wise to install a ball hitch lock. It attaches to the ball hitch at the front of the trailer to deter theft.
Where you park your trailer is also important. In a place by your house or behind a fence where access is more difficult is better.
A rather inexpensive item to have is a GPS tracker. Having one hidden discreetly on your trailer or ATV is not a deterrent, but it will make it easy for police to find it if it is taken. There are some made with a battery life as long as five years.
There is a pin that is placed in the coupler to prevent the latch from being lifted to release the trailers grip on the ball. Putting a locking pin in place of the regular one will give you an added measure of peace when you are on a trip.
Enclosed trailers are more of a deterrent than open ones, but each one has its advantages. I can haul more on my open trailer, but it does leave my machines more exposed.
These are some ideas that might make a thief look elsewhere for a quick grab. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down and when you go out for an ATV adventure, you want to come home with the important stuff.