Farms, by necessity, need a range of expensive machinery like tractors, quad bikes, etc. in order to carry out their tasks. A stolen vehicle can be a traumatic experience, costly and extremely inconvenient to say the least.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) just 2 in 5 stolen vehicles return to their owner. Even if the vehicles return, they’re not likely to be a good condition. The West Yorkshire Police Vehicle Crime Unit officially advises owners to track their vehicles to avoid theft.
Simplytrak’s asset and vehicle tracking system provides the exact location of your vehicle at any given time. In addition, Simplytrak offers remote immobilisation features. They have the ability to stop your vehicle from running remotely – and start it again if required.Simplytrak’s Operations Manager Steve Brindle who guided the police with the tracker information, says “Speed is important as our client received the vehicle back without damages, ready to go. The investment in vehicle tracking has surely paid off for him. We would recommend anyone owning machinery to track their vehicles. It’s not expensive and it’s worth it.”
In line with commercial van thefts were 3513 reported tool thefts. Cambridge, Staffordshire, South Yorkshire were the hardest hit places. This figure is up 8% from 2017 – 2018. The theft of these tools is the backbone to people’s business, without the tools they do not make the money.
Our Business Development Manager Greg Halliday shares his key ways to protect your van contents:
For any camera, tracking or specific UV pen requirements please contact us at Simplytrak.
Car crime soared in the opening month of the year as a total of 375,001 vehicle incidents were recorded in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2019. January joins March, April, May and October as the top five worst months for vehicle crime but the opening month tops the list as the most prolific period.
A total of 11 percent of all vehicle crimes recorded in 2019 took place in January, according to UK police data analysed by Click4Reg.
Simple things such as removing any High Value Good from the vehicle – satnavs, money, phones, handbags or wallets will lower the chances of break ins. Here are three tips on how to further minimise the risk:
Installing a dash camera is a great deterrent these days as many use motion detection, or sleep mode recording.
With the advances in GPS technology we’re able to locate assets in more remote places such as container units, warehouses and in some cases underground car parks. Taking the advantage away from the thieves. Installing a recognised branded tracking unit can save you thousands on insurance and increase the chances of having the vehicle returned.
Adding the extra option to have the vehicle remotely immobilized is a very wise choice, the user is able to text the tracker to shut off the power on the next engine off cycle, meaning the vehicle will no longer start up, until the user sends another code to re-engage on recovery of the asset. This will limit the distance the vehicle can travel after theft. Allowing the owner to set up recovery option with the local police.
Vehicles with keyless entry / ignition will benefit from owning an RFID pouch. RFID pouches use electromagnetic fields to stop incoming and outgoing frequencies that thieves would usually use to open and get away with your vehicle.
RFID pouches are available from Amazon UK from as little as £5.”
Stats source: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1224928/car-crime-january-vehicle-thefts-uk-thieves-criminals-regions-map
Simplytrak, the East Yorkshire-based fleet management software company behind the device, are familiar with this method of vehicle recovery and specialise in helping their customers in similar situations. Ian Wood, Simplytrak’s new Managing Director, explains:
“Motion detection is one of the many options that come with our trackers and is becoming increasingly important for businesses who want to protect their vehicles.
“As well as detecting when the ignition is switched on and off, our trackers continue to track the location of a vehicle when the engine is off. This means we can still alert the owners when a vehicle is moving even if, like in this example, the vehicles are loaded onto a wagon and taken off site.”
On this occasion, the thieves thought they had done enough to disable the trackers by disconnecting them from the quad bike batteries, however, what they weren’t planning on was the emergency power supply that kept the trackers in full operational mode for long enough for the Misson Organic Dairying Ltd to spring into action.
The quad bikes were leased from Richard Platt Farming, who supplies various vehicles to agriculture businesses. Mr Platt said:
“The agriculture industry uses a range of vehicles such as quad bikes, which are often seen as an easy target for thieves.
“That’s why I recommend that all the vehicles I supply have the Simplytrak system installed, complete with motion detection – offering customers peace of mind that they’re getting a secure vehicle to reduce the risk of business disruption.”
Joel Rathbone from Misson Organic Dairying Ltd added:
“We’re extremely grateful to Richard Platt and the team at Simplytrak for helping us use the system to its full potential to recover these vehicles. This is a busy time of year for us and all our vehicles are important to the running of the farm. We’d be lost without them.”
Following the theft, motion detection alerts have been set up in case the thieves come back and try again. During set times, if the vehicles move when the farm know they shouldn’t be moving, an SMS/email alert will be sent to Mr Rathbone at the farm so they can act quickly to keep tracks on them.
According to the Rural Crime Report 2018 from NFU Mutual, the cost of agricultural vehicle theft and quad/ATV theft last year was £5.9m and £2.3m respectively, meaning much needs to be done to tackle this increasing threat.
Effective vehicle tracking is just one of the ways in which farmers should be looking to protect their assets in 2019.
The driver, who was delivering parcels on behalf of online retail giant Amazon, was dragged from the vehicle before the thieves drove away. Luckily, he didn’t suffer any injury as a result.
Immediately after receiving notification of the theft, Practical’s director Naz Akram called the Simplytrak customer helpline.
He said: “Fortunately, the van was fitted with a tracker which has the functionality to immobilise the vehicle once the engine is turned off. So, I called Simplytrak to inform them of the incident.
“The Simplytrak team were excellent and they started tracking the van, so we knew where it was and then remotely immobilised the vehicle, so we were able to recover it.”
Immobilisation works by remotely sending a signal to the tracking device, which is wired up to the vehicle’s electrical supply, enabling users to cut the power to the engine to prevent the ignition from being turned on.
Upon recovery of the vehicle, Mr Akram noticed that the interior light and roof lining had been ripped out. These are areas where some other models of vehicle trackers are often located.
Simplytrak’s business development manager, Ian Wood, explains why their trackers are harder to locate: “Vehicle thieves are getting wiser and they know that tracking devices are becoming more popular, particularly in larger fleets.
“This is why our trackers are carefully concealed in a way that makes them difficult to locate so we never lose track of our customers’ assets, which is so important when immobilising and safely recovering vehicles.”
This incident came just days after the Sheffield branch of the Practical franchise experienced a similar theft. But the Simplytrak immobilisation feature came to the rescue then as well.
Practical’s Mr Akram added: “There’s a strong partnership between Practical and Simplytrak and quite a lot of the franchisees use them for tracking.
“Occasions like this really show the value of the system but what’s impressed us the most is the customer service we’ve received from the team at Simplytrak. They helped us to immobilise and recover this van swiftly, even on a weekend.”
Practical Car & Van Rental New Milton contacted Simplytrak after the event to consult if there was a way to prevent a similar event occurring. The Simplytrak team added geofences around restricted areas and ports which then alerted Practical New Milton if their fleet was at risk of leaving the country without prior consent.
Jon Wakefield, Managing Director at Practical Car & Van Rental New Milton commented,
“Once again we were able to use the immobilisation feature to our advantage until we made contact with the customer. The Simplytrak team were extremely helpful working with us to assist with future prevention. They created restricted areas in the system that now alert us before our vans potentially leave the country.”
Ian Wood, Business Development Manager at Simplytrak added,
“Our dedicated team regularly work with customers to assist them in utilising different areas of the system to improve their businesses. We’re happy that we were able to come up with a solution for the team at New Milton and that the Simplytrak system also ensured the safe return of their vehicle”.
At Simplytrak we are delighted to be able to offer our unlimited geofencing feature as part of vehicle tracking package at no extra charge. Get in touch for a quote and you might be surprised how small the cost is for peace of mind for your business. For more information on our fleet management system please contact Ian Wood our Business Development Manager at E: email@example.com or on T: 01430879197.