10 tips to keep your quad safe this winter

With quad thefts always a threat in rural Ireland – particularly during the dark winter evenings – An Garda Síochána has outlined 10 tips to help farmers to keep their quads safe.

Issued by Gardaí based in the Laois-Offaly area, the guide outlines what precautions farmers and quad bike owners can take to prevent sticky-fingered individuals from stealing their vehicles.

The points range from common sense advice to gadgets and deterrents that can be used.

The 10 points are as follows:
  1. Take precautions;
  2. Keep out of sight;
  3. Keep gates closed;
  4. Use clamps and locks;
  5. Fit immobilisation and tracking systems;
  6. Lighting;
  7. GSM battery systems;
  8. Take notes;
  9. Mark your property;
  10. Remove the keys.

The first point made by the Gardaí is more of an overall approach to actively safeguard against theft. Gardaí say: “Take precautions to deter thieves – remember the best security is a layered approach with the aim of making your property a less attractive target.

“Try to keep the vehicles out of sight from nearby roads, as thieves will often survey properties looking for vehicles.”

The third point is an extra barrier for potential thieves: “Keep gates to yards closed, as open gates can be an open invitation to thieves.

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“Lock sheds or garage doors at night using a heavy-duty padlock, hasp and staple or chain,” An Garda Síochána says.

Turning to the quad itself, the Gardaí say: “When leaving vehicles overnight, a bespoke Quad/ATV drive-on security device which clamps around the wheel and is secured to a concrete floor is a great solution.

“Use locks and ground anchors with a high attack rating as another option.”

Moving on to more high-tech solutions, the Garda statement highlighted the immobilisation and tracking systems as another option:

“The use of tracking systems can notify the owner the quad/ATV is being interfered with or moved, allowing for a prompt response to either prevent the theft or detain offenders.

Many systems are battery operated and activate once the quad/ATV is stolen and track via GPS and other systems

Highlighting lighting as an additional factor, the Garda statement advised: “Fit outside security lights controlled by an automatic time-switch or infra-red beams that react to heat or movement.

“If the outbuilding or barn is remote with no mains power, consider using a battery-operated GSM mobile alert system and camera which can alert you to anything suspicious.”

Encouraging the owner to take notes, the Garda advice is:

Keep a record of serial numbers, chassis and model numbers and take note of any custom marks on the vehicle.

“Take colour photographs from several angles and additionally take videos with a smartphone if possible.

Image source: Garda Síochána gardai event mart info day
Gardaí at a property marking event in the south of the country. Image source: Garda Síochána – Cork, Kerry and Limerick – Southern Region

“Security marking your vehicle is another highly effective, visible deterrent to thieves and an established method of reducing theft.”

Finally, the Garda statement concluded: “Never leave your keys in the ignition, even if you only briefly leave your ATV/quad bike unattended, and don’t be an easy target for opportunity theft.”