Knock-on effects of farm machinery theft revealed

With rural crime rates climbing and heavy  farm machinery being targeted by crooks, many farmers may focus on the direct impact that theft can have, but there are other problems presented by stolen tractors and telehandlers  that should make on-site security an even bigger priority.

Knock-on effects of farm machinery theft revealed as criminals use telehandlers to commit further crimes

Farming UK reports that police in Totnes had to respond to a raid on an ATM carried out late one night last month at a petrol station. The gang of criminals reportedly used a stolen telehandler, manufactured by Merlo and snatched from a nearby farm, to wrench the cash machine from its housing, causing extensive structural damage to nearby buildings in the process.

A police spokesperson said that it was important for farmers and contractors to be aware of the risks posed by stolen machinery, especially as it now seems that stolen equipment is being used for such nefarious purposes.

While many of the machines taken from farms across the UK are resold overseas, their power is being put to use by some gangs and cash machines once again are at the top of the hit list.

The spokesperson went on to say that soon after the raid on the petrol station, another telehandler was targeted by crooks, although in this case, their attempts were thwarted.

Those who are responsible for farm machinery are advised that it should be securely protected, not just to avoid the negative financial impact that theft might have in its own right, but also to prevent criminals being given easy access to dangerous tools that can aid them in their activities, putting other individuals and organisations at risk.

Merlo itself is a company with a long history of producing telehandlers specifically for the agricultural marketplace. In fact, it claims to be the first manufacturer to come up with this concept. Today, its Turbofarmer machines are preferred by many customers, even if it does not quite have the same presence on the UK market as rivals like JCB.

The largest of the Turbofarmer models offers a maximum lift capacity of five tonnes and can haul heavy loads at heights of up to 10 metres. As the name suggests, this range is tied together by its turbo-powered diesel engines, which develop up to 156hp.

High-end hydraulics provide automatic weight sensing to ensure stability at any lift height, which also cuts fuel consumption and improves performance. The cabs of these telehandlers give operators exceptional levels of visibility, whether for low speed manoeuvres or when travelling at road speeds of up to 40 kmph.

Another of Merlo’s impressive telehandler features is the ability to move the boom laterally, which is not a technology that any other manufacturer has perfected so far, in part as a result of the patents that this firm holds over the concept.

Any farmer or contractor that snaps up a new or used Merlo telehandler will want to protect their investment, and the stories of their use in ATM raids should make this even more imperative.

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