2017-09-11 

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One Lock for All? Don’t Count On It On the Farm

It is easy to assume that one padlock is much like another. Ok, so you obviously get different opening mechanisms, such as key or code, and there are various size and weight grades to choose from depending on how secure you want your lock to be.

But once you have exhausted those choices, surely one type of padlock is good for pretty much all jobs?

Chain & padlock

You might think so, and certainly many customers will tend to keep things simple by buying one type of lock in bulk for multiple uses. But this can lead to problems further down the line.

The use of padlocks on a farm offers a great illustration of why. If you run a farm business, you will know how many different uses can be found for a padlock. Outhouses, animal sheds, equipment stores, farm vehicles, they all need locking up securely to guard against potential theft, or your livestock escaping.

But many of these uses have unique requirements which, if you really want to keep things locked up safe and secure, require different types of padlock. Here’s why.

Outside and in

Farm businesses have large numbers of external buildings, for storing equipment and feed, sheltering animals, workshops and so on. It is common to use a padlock and chain to lock such buildings up at night.

But would you use the same type of lock you use to lock an equipment cupboard inside? You shouldn’t, and for one simple reason - weatherproofing. Standard padlocks used outside offer no protection against rain and condensation getting inside the locking mechanism. Over time, this will corrode the lock, either causing it to seize up or weakening it should anyone tamper with it.

For all external use, choose either a laminated padlock which protects against water ingress, or even better choose a fully waterproof model made out of a material which will not erode, such as titanium.

Vehicle lock down

Farm vehicles and machinery represent some of the highest value assets any agricultural business owns, which also makes them prime targets should a thief decide to take a chance on your property. Locking down a piece of machinery, i.e locking its control mechanisms so it cannot be switched on, is a key step to take to protect against theft, but can also be an important safety procedure to stop potentially dangerous machinery being activated accidentally.

From a safety point of view, choosing the right type of padlock for the job is equally important. Heavy farm equipment often combines two things which don’t mix well from a safety perspective - electricity and petroleum / diesel. Anything which creates a risk of a spark, say a conductive metal padlock attached to the ignition switch, is a safety concern.

Special safety lockout padlocks are designed to eliminate this risk. They are usually manufactured with a non-conductive material in the body, and a fully insulated shackle, thus striking the right balance between safety and security.

Locks Direct is the UK’s leading online supplier of padlocks and security accessories. They stock a wide range of locks from leading manufacturers, shipped direct to domestic, commercial and industrial clients.

Locks Direct

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