If you are an ATV enthusiast, then you have probably heard of ATV theft or have been a victim of it myself. Some people might be surprised when I tell them that ATVs are quite easy to steal, especially if it’s an older model. I personally have had 2 of my ATVs stolen, and while thankfully the police were able to get them back, that was something that really shook me and made me much more wary of where I leave my ATV. after that day, I decided to take some measures so that nobody could steal my quads again. I bought wheel locks, I locked the quad’s frame to an immovable object whenever possible, and I even thought about buying an ATV trailer just for storage purposes.
And I think all that worked. nobody has tried to steal my quads since then, probably because of the safety precautions that I took. and when it comes to the precautions, there are several things that you can do to secure your precious quad. if you are very concerned about your ATV getting stolen or you have a very expensive model, you might want to consider stuff like installing a GPS, buying wheel locks, or getting a trailer if you do not have a place to store your ATV like me.
ATVs Are A Prime Target For Thieves
because of their relative ease of use, general lack of safety systems, and because they are usually left alone with nobody watching them, ATVs are very vulnerable to being stolen. Many ATV riders tend to leave the keys on the quad without thinking it twice and that makes the thieves job easier. reports of ATV theft is commonplace on the media, and while I couldn’t find any statistics regarding ATV theft, I’m pretty sure that the numbers are going up and up.
It seems that most of the affected are farmers. if you didn’t know, most ATV owners aren’t actually offroading enthusiasts or MX fans, but rather they just use their machines for farm work. many thieves are have been checking out the quad that they want to steal for months because the quads are usually in plain sight on a farm. anyways, if you are a farm worker that is concerned about ATV theft, there are several things that you can do about it. below I provide those solutions.
ATVs Thefts Are Very Costly to farmers
Like I said a second ago, ATV robbery has always been a marked problem in the ATV enthusiast community, and sadly the statistics indicate that this is something that is happening more and more often. some of the information that I found online indicate that ATV robberies are very costly “Quad bikes and all-terrain vehicles were the items most commonly targeted on farms by criminals last year, accounting for £2.3m of claims to the insurer NFU Mutual.” it has also been said that once an ATV is stolen it’s hard to get it back. while I don’t think that is completely true, it still is pretty disheartening considering how expensive ATVs can be.
Tips To Avoid Getting Your ATV Stolen
- Get yourself a wheel lock for your ATV: This is my favorite option for securing my ATV because it’s effective, practical, and you don’t need to spend much money to get it. it’s also ideal for me because I have to leave my quads outdoors. anyways, have you seen one of these yellow steel locks the cops put on car wheels when people violate parking laws? this is the same thing. you cling this wheel lock to one of your ATV tires and this will restrict movement of the machine. this way, the only way for somebody to move the quad is to remove the wheel from the quad itself, which is not something that the average robber is going to know how to do. this is the wheel lock model that I’m using with my two quads and so far I haven’t got any problems with it. it’s easy to attach but hard to remove. the wheel lock is also considerably noisy which will let you know if somebody is tampering with it.
- Tie down your Quad to something immovable: This tip is for those who can’t store the quad indoors. If you can’t get a wheel lock for your quad, an alternative would be to attach the quad to a steel post or a vehicle or something immovable in general. A thick steel chain is your best bet for this. try to avoid thin chains or bicycle chains because they can be cut way too easily. you are also going to have to get yourself a decent padlock to go with it. even though chaining down your quad might be enough to secure your quad from thugs, it’s always best to do something else to go with it, like for example get a GPS locator installed.
- Avoid leaving the keys in the ignition: If your quad has a key switch ignition like in cars, then obviously you are going to want to avoid leaving it in the ignition. This is something pretty obvious but many folks are used to leaving the key on the quad itself so that they do not lose it. and if you really need to leave the keys with the quad, then storing it somewhere safe where nobody can see it (like for example under the quad’s chassis) is ideal.
- Install a GPS tracker/Lojack: A GPS is another great way to deal with ATV thieves. Getting yourself a GPS tracker device is recommended for those who are at high risk of being a victim of robbery, like for example farmers. usually, you stick these devices under the quad’s chassis in some place where it can’t be seen, and then, you sync the device with an app in your phone allows you to check the ATVs location from any place. the only con of GPS trackers is that you need to pay a subscription. you are going to have to pay about 5 dollars a month to be able to use the GPS. The best GPS tracker for ATVs is the Trak-4 GPS Tracker. The GPS itself comes with a SIM card built in, and from what the reviews say the quality of this GPS is excellent for the price. I would highly recommend this for anybody who is at risk of getting their ATVs stolen.
- Disconnect the battery: Disconnecting the battery from the mainframe is another great way to ensure your quad stays safe when left alone. most modern quads with electricity, so if the battery is disabled, the ATV stealer won’t be able to move it too far. some ATVs might not be 100% dependent on electricity to start, but they still might need it to power some engine components. if this is the case with your quad, then disconnecting the battery will still slow down the thief.
- Install an alarm on your quad: This goes hand in hand with a GPS. an alarm system is super useful when you are going to leave your ATV near you. there are several types of alarm systems available for ATVs, from dirt-cheap Chinese alarms to cutting edge alarm systems that even notify you when the alarm has gone off. Just like GPS, the alarms are usually installed under the quad’s frame. I have alarms installed in both of my quads, they sound really loud and make a very noticeable noise.
- Get a handlebar alarm lock: This is a genius way to protect your quad bike from stealing. the lock consists of a clamp that will attach itself to your quad handlebar so that whoever’s riding will not be able to brake. this is the grip lock that I’m talking about. it’s from a company called CPC and not only can you use it to physically impede people from working the brakes and clutch, but the lock also has an alarm installed which will go off in case the thief tries to take the clamp off. all in all, this handlebar lock is highly recommended!
- Leave the gas tank empty if possible: If you are not going to be riding for some time, then your best bet is leaving the gas tank empty before storing. you can either just ride the quad until you are out of fuel, which is recommended if you aren’t going to use the gas for something else, but if you need the gas for your car for example, then you should drain the gas from the tank instead. this way, anybody trying to steal the quad will have to roll it away, which considering the quad’s weight is not easy to do at all.
- Get a dog: This is the best reason to get that dog you always wanted. not only are going to get a companion that will be loyal to you forever, but he will also watch your quad when you aren’t nearby. all jokes aside, getting a guard dog like a Rottweiler, German Shepherd, or a Bulldog is a great way to kill two birds with one stone: he will protect your home and your precious quad. while not all dogs will work for this (Golden Retrievers aren’t very good for watching and guarding) 99% of dogs will bark at strangers, which might be enough for you to realize there’s somebody snooping around near your ATV.
- Install CCTV cameras near your quad: Assuming that you leave your quad outside on a farm or a patio, another good security measure is to install some cameras nearby your quad so in case somebody tries to mess with it, you have some video of what happened. if something happens with your quad, you can always show the video evidence to the cops to help them get it back.
- Take the tires off or deflate them: This might be a little bit extreme but it might also be the only way to stop some pesky ATV thieves: take the wheels off your quad or at least deflate the tires so that the robber has a hard time leaving with it. taking the tires off is only going to be an option for those people who aren’t going to be using the machine for a lengthy amount of time or if taking the wheels on and off isn’t something cumbersome.
- Make sure you store your ATV in a safe place: the reason most ATV robberies take place is that people don’t really know where to leave their quads. and while I completely understand that some people don’t have a place to store it indoors, that doesn’t mean that you can’t store it in a safe place where the quad can’t be readily seen. avoid leaving your quad in plain sight period. try to leave it near other vehicles or buildings. and if you absolutely must leave the quad in plain sight for everybody to see, at least get a cloth cover for it. these covers also have the added benefit of being waterproof, ideal if you don’t want to get your quad wet when it’s raining.
- Get ATV insurance: did you know that you can get theft insurance for your quad? insurance companies have been providing this service for years already. anyways, this works just like in cars. call companies like Geico, and Allstate or go to their website, and try to get a quote. insurance is a great way to get peace of mind and ideal for those people who don’t want to mess with cameras, alarms or wheel locks. theft insurance is also super cheap, at least when compared to a car insurance payment.
- Have a brightly colored quad/ paint it orange: If you haven’t bought your ATV yet but are worried about ATV theft, then get yourself a quad with a bright color. I generally always go with more extravagant colors because they look cool and flashy, but they also have the added benefit of being easy to spot from afar. less common colors will also make it easier to look for the quad if it’s stolen because few ATVs are going to have that color.
- Make your quad louder: this is kind of a last resort option, which I don’t recommend that much because quads are quite loud already, so making it even louder not only might be annoying, but it might also hurt your hearing and it will also qualify as noise pollution. but anyways, a louder quad means that it’s going to be easier to actually hear your quad going away if somebody manages to turn it on.
- Write down your quad’s identifying information and take pictures of it: This is a super important tip: make sure from the first day that you get your quad to write down all important ID numbers, including VIN number, license plate if it has one, model number, specs, etc… this might prove invaluable in case there’s a police investigation going on and the cops are looking for something to identify the quad. try to write the info down and also take pictures of it, and also make copies of the title of the quad and the registration too. you can even take this a little bit further and start taking pictures of the quad and it’s identifying parts, scratches, dings, etc… the more pictures, the better.
- The fewer people know you have an ATV, the better: there are some statistics that say that the perpetrators of most robberies generally live very close to the crime scene. this implies that most ATV robberies are planned days and even weeks in advance. and while I’m not saying that your neighbors are going to be stealing your quad soon, it’s a good idea to avoid parading your quad and showing it to everybody that you come across, especially when it comes to strangers.