Polaris ATV Security Focus
With the news published this month that all new adult Polaris ORV machines will come outfitted with an ATVTrac Tracking equipment as standard from Oct 1, we decided to talk to the specialists at ATVTrac to discuss and try to learn better, the murky and sometimes complicated world of theft and security and the best opportunities available to owners. Our featured specialist is ATVTrac’s Sales Manager, Rupert Archer Smith.
Basecamp Editor: Rupert, gratitude for talking to us, could you explain to us a little more about the landscape of crime in the UK and how this affects our owners and industry in general?
Rupert: It’s a complex subject, and certainly in our industry the hazards can vary dramatically. Determinants such as geography, time of the year, the type of equipment you possess on your land all play a part in susceptivity and the associated risks. The one point we have learnt over the last decade at ATVTrac is that complacency is the greatest threat.
Basecamp Ed: Okay, so is stealing an ever growing issue or do we see peaks and dips?
Rupert: Again, it’s a complicated discussion but right now it’s reasonable to say it’s at a high. Of course some periods are less impacted than others, but just now it’s at a general height – the peak we have seen rural crime for eight years. The NFU lately suggested that in 2019 over £54 million had been squandered to rural crime and specifically in connection to ATVs and similar machinery there had been a 21% rise in theft, so certainly alarming statistics.
Basecamp Ed: And is that in a concentrated area or dispersed?
Rupert: The reality is it’s growing in every region. Take Scotland for instance, you’d be forgiven for imagining the vastness and isolated neighbourhoods are less impacted, but in 2019, the NFU proclaimed a 44% increase in theft. Much of this comes from organised crime from foreign gangs.
Basecamp Editor: So, protection is more important than ever then by the sound of it?
Rupert: Yes, without question. It’s not just about chains, locks or also our technology, you have to approach security in a multi-layered approach, think about how and where you put your machine and even how you use it. The most essential element is to be aware.
Basecamp Ed: So give us some advice on this.
Rupert: It’s very reliant on how you use your machine and of course how known that usage is. But we always recommend being as discreet as practicable. For example, if you transport your Polaris ATV in an open trailer, don’t leave it out for extended periods on display, put it away as soon as practicable. And when you are transporting, lock it to your vehicle or trailer and make sure your trailer / vehicle is locked. Use a cover – it sounds basic, but a covered vehicle requires effort to see what it is, the opportunist thief often doesn’t have the time to uncover to see what’s underneath. Oh. and it sounds silly, but don’t leave your keys in it – you’ll be surprised how many are stolen with the keys!
Basecamp Ed: Yes, that makes sense for sure, but when it comes to security itself what are the options?
Rupert: Well, there really is no substitute for locks and chains. But of course, firstly make sure wherever you store the vehicle is secure from the outside if you can. Then, we’d always recommend ground anchors or large immovable items to physically lock / chain your ATV or side-by-side too. Unfortunately battery technology means portable angle grinders are a common tool for thieves, so buy big and buy the best you can afford. The Secured by Design rating is worth looking at for sure on locks, chains and anchors. Check to see if any product has the affiliation and its rating.
Basecamp Ed: So, that’s what’s known as hard security, where does ATVTrac come in?
Rupert: As we touched on earlier, it’s all about layering your security. We believe strongly in our product, but we always suggest you use a tracker as part of an overall group of security products.
What our system does is give you visibility when you don’t physically have sight of the ATV or side-by-side. It monitors the whereabouts and status of your vehicle 24/7 and thanks to the inbuilt technology, can detect unauthorised movements and report both to its owner via text and email and at the same time to our Secure Operating Centre. Because it features different tech, GPS, GSM and Radio Frequency we can be incredibly precise on its actual location, perfect when a stolen vehicle is hidden away.
Basecamp Ed: Okay, so explain to us what happens when a machine is stolen?
Rupert: Sure, so our system is covert, so the unit is fitted and hidden on the ATV or side-by-side. Installed usually powered and with an ignition feed, as soon as the machine is turned off, the unit is armed. From this point on, if the unit detects change it will trigger its communications, notifying our Secure Operating Centre (SOC) and sending the owner a text, email and a phone call. If the SOC get recognition from their call to the owner that the Polaris ATV has been stolen they then work with the owner and the police to track the vehicle down. Once police are included, usually a GPS location is enough to secure the vehicle, but if it’s hidden, our team can remotely initiate the built-in RF signal and track down to an area of just one metre. This is usually how we achieve search warrants and quick returns in difficult situations.
Basecamp Ed: So, all being well at this time it’s a happy ending?
Rupert: Yes, that’s the plan, but on occasions we can find police resources are strained, which is why we have a connection with Securitas. It means we can deploy a Securitas agent 24/7 to any location to assist with a recovery – a much faster way to secure a unit in these conditions.
Basecamp Ed: That’s very reassuring to learn. And away from security ATVTrac can also offer extra reassurance or peace of mind?
Rupert: Yes, that’s right. The system also helps to safeguard lone operators with its ability to convey an alert if it detects the vehicle has rolled over. It’s something that gives extra peace of mind when you have workers operating solely. Of course, it’s also possible to simply log-in and check where the Polaris ATV is too, and useful to see ignition state also, so you can see if it’s parked up or on the move. For consumers who have a fleet of ATVs or side-by-sides on larger estates, it’s particularly useful in marshalling the nearest worker to a job.
Basecamp Ed: Rupert, that’s all very useful information thank you.
As we’ve stated all new adult Polaris ATV and side-by-side products will appear with ATVTrac as standard from Oct 1 2020, so probably this interview has given our readers a little more acumen into terms of both security in general and tracking protection. For those who now own a Polaris ORV and are curious about in retro fitment of ATVTrac, please have a look at www.atvtrac.co.uk for more information.
Beckside Machinery are an official Polaris UK Dealer.