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Counteracting Risk With Tractor Security Devices

– By Bradley Wingrave

21st December 2020

Your World, Smarter.

The growing risk of tractor theft has made tractor security devices a strategic tool for farmers. Rural crime in the UK is at its highest rate in eight years, totalling £54 million in losses. Amongst the most targeted items are high-value tractors, many of which are being exported overseas. This is nothing new. In 2015, the BBC reported that millions of pounds worth of tractors are stolen every year, with many stolen to order to ship abroad. It is anticipated that this trend will continue as the economic shockwaves of COVID-19 continue to be felt. This makes tractor security and the deployment of farm tractor security devices essential to avoid heavy losses and disruptions.

The Challenge of Tractor Security

Tractor companies have included an array of security features in their latest tractor designs – but these are not always the deterrent many would hope. Tractor GPS systems have become highly prized by rural criminals, as they are easy to sell and attract expensive prices. Across their operations, many farmers are using the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart technologies for precision farming efforts – but also for security of farm assets. From this, cyber security has, in turn, become an issue.

Quick Facts and Figures on Agricultural Vehicle Theft

  • NFU Mutual paid out £9.3 million in agricultural vehicle theft claims in 2019 – a rise of 25%
  • Every tractor is at threat, from top of the line models to older tractors which are often exported to third-world countries
  • Tractor cloning is commonly used to avoid detection
  • Tractors have been known to be dismantled to fit into smaller-sized containers for transport abroad
What is a smart tractor?

What to Look For in Smart Farm Tractor Security Devices

A customisable framework of smart technologies

Tractor security devices shouldn’t be viewed in isolation. To achieve maximum security levels, the ideal systems combine a range of different technologies, working together to safeguard farm assets (and which can also be used for precision farming efforts). Pressure pads, motion detectors and sensors, CCTV, and infrared solutions, as well as perimeter security and access control features are some of the smart technologies which can be used in tandem for farm security. From farm gate to farm monitoring and location tracking for recoverability, having a granular view across farming operations is shifting norms around farm security.

Cloud-based reporting and real-time alerts

Real-time alerts around unauthorised access to your premises, unusual opening of doors and windows, and tracking capabilities empower response from the moment thieves step foot on farms. With a personalised dashboard, authorised personnel have access to a whole-farm overview – accessible any time and from anywhere. Notifications and alerts are sent directly to these devices.

Secure data networks

As mentioned above, the advent of smart technologies comes with corresponding worries around cyber security. The concern around cyber security is alleviated by the security of the data network. A zero trust data network mitigates the risk around data transmission. At Smarter Technologies Group, our Orion Data Network utilises a combination of low-power radio and GPS technologies to great effect.

Battery life

One of the most critical features of smart technologies is battery life. If battery life is short or interrupted, the benefits of smart technologies are rendered meaningless. The GPS tags from Smarter Technologies are covert and long-lasting, with battery life of up to four years.

What is smart agriculture?

From Security to Smart Agriculture

Many different security-specific farm tractor security devices exist on the market. However, to remain competitive and relevant in an evolving industry, farmers are encouraged to use smart tractors for both security and to drive smart agriculture. These are some of the ways the smart agricultural security solutions from Smarter Technologies Group can be used for precision agriculture.

Real-Time Data on Full-Farm Operations

Smart technologies provide data readings on just about everything on the farm – from asset location and condition plants, soil, terrain, atmospheric conditions, and resource usage. What can be monitored can be managed and the accuracy and detail of these insights leave little to chance.

Let’s Start With Security

Smart technologies, including smart tractors, create a data-based ecosystem around your farm’s security. This system of CCTV, pressure pads, sensors, and tags work together to achieve farm security benefits including:

  • Access control
  • Perimeter protection and electric fence monitoring
  • Protection of your family, workers, livestock, and assets
  • Alerts around unauthorised access or unusual activity in outbuildings, storage areas, workshops, barns, and other infrastructure
  • Precise evidence-gathering in the event of theft and loss for a greater chance of prosecuting criminals
  • Real-time tracking and enhanced chance of recoverability
  • Personnel, supplier, and guest monitoring
  • Lone worker protection

Data-Inspired Decision-Making

By collecting, analysing, and reacting to this data, farmers are put in a position of strategic decision-making like never before. These readings clearly indicate what works and what doesn’t, where resources are being used, where they can be saved, and any anomalies in existing systems. By making adjustments based on this data, farmers have the potential to boost productivity and efficiencies, increase profits, and mitigate losses.

Accurate Stock-Taking

One advantage of using smart asset management is the ability to know an inventory of all important metrics at any time. This makes daily stock takes a reality and the system can be pre-programmed to alert you when levels are low – without the need for manual processes. In turn, this assists with minimising disruptions.

Increased Yields

A granular view of operations means you can intervene to ensure that crops and livestock thrive. This drives precision disease control and management.

Enhanced Potential for Machine Learning

Smart farm technologies reduce the need for manual processes. As a result, the reliance on a workforce is simultaneously reduced. As farm labour shortages are becoming increasingly challenging for farmers, this is an important tool in streamlining staff and personnel. It also assists staff in performing their jobs at high levels of productivity.

Full Supply Chain Applicability

By utilising smart agricultural technologies throughout the supply chain, farmers are empowered to monitor goods to their final destination. This means farmers can pivot around logistic delays, undesirable storage or trucking conditions, and quantities. This allows farmers to deliver an exceptional level of service.

Additionally, the traceability of food matters now more than ever. It is also reasonable to expect it to continue to be a point of priority. This system of data collection and record-keeping gives farmers access to highly detailed, accurate records. This inspires greater accountability around food safety and compliance, which means we eat better.

Maintenance Scheduling

In addition to securing farm assets, smart farm technologies can help farmers to take better care of them too. Data readings inform farmers on the ideal regularity with which to perform maintenance on their key equipment to avoid downtime, costly reactive maintenance, and negatively affected efficiencies. This also plays a role in workplace safety and these real-time data insights help to achieve safety and compliance.

Smart Livestock Monitoring

Rural crime often involves stock theft and smart technologies can help in this regard too. Smart GPS collars provide real-time location information for monitoring, tracking, and recoverability. In addition to wearables, the ingestible bolus from Smarter Technologies Group alerts farmers to undesirable temperature fluctuations to react and contain disease, streamline calving, and reduce mortalities.

Find out everything you need to know. Read our Complete Guide to Smart Farming and Agriculture.

At a Glance: Smarter Technologies’ Smart Tractor Security Device

– Smarter Technologies

Tractor Tracking, Monitoring, and Recovery

The tractor security device from Smarter Technologies Group is wireless, SIM-free, and long-lasting. It operates in even remote locations, with long-range capability to report on the location and status of your tractor in real time.

Other Benefits of Smart Tractors

Smart tractors are being used in myriad ways. Location tracking allows farmers to optimise route planning, which positively affects fuel consumption and compaction. As 90% of cultivation tasks are to repair damage done by tractors, smart tractor technologies have the potential to have a real impact on time, losses, productivity, and profits.

How does a tractor security device work?

Get Leading Tractor Security with Smarter Tractor Security Devices from Smarter Technologies

Smarter Technologies is helping farmers safeguard tractors, farm assets, and personnel through a comprehensive range of smart technologies for agriculture. These technologies are simple and cost-effective, unlocking the potential of data for security and precision farming practices. With tractor security being so topical – and such a notable risk area – contact Smarter Technologies today to find out about the benefits of our smart tractor security devices and comprehensive smart solutions for agriculture.

Tractor Security Devices FAQs

Smart tractors use technology for monitoring, tracking, and security. The technology of smart tractors has evolved in recent years to include cloud-based driverless and driver-optional tractors.

Smart farming uses technology like sensors, pressure pads, the Internet of Things, and precision data to increase yields and reduce inputs. Smart technologies allow farmers to monitor their operations on a granular scale to drive sustainability and productivity.

There are a range of tractor security devices available on the market. The smart tractor technology from Smarter Technologies combines a system of tags, sensors, and pressure pads to convey real-time data messages to a remote cloud-based dashboard. This is pre-programmed to alert farmers to unauthorised or unusual movements for optimal productivity, security, and enhanced recoverability.

About the Author: 

Bradley Wingrave has a wealth of business experience spanning more than two decades and his success in a number of entrepreneurial ventures makes him a forerunning expert on businesses, offices, facilities and legal compliance.

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