Wednesday, April 24, 2019

John Deere unveils security feature to thwart thieves

April 1, 2019 by  
Filed under Machinery

John Deere is now offering a new PIN code locking system to help deter the theft of valuable GreenStar displays and StarFire receivers.

The code has been designed to make it impossible to use the components if they are stolen. A number of the GPS systems have been stolen from tractors and farms in recent weeks – and the deterrent aims to render the equipment useless.

Because of their popular ‘plug and play’ design, John Deere displays and GPS receivers have been more susceptible to theft compared to some other systems on the market. Until now, they could only be locked and protected mechanically.

Worth thousands of pounds, the equipment has been seen as easy pickings by criminals, especially when left on tractors or sprayers overnight in isolated fields. But thieves have been known to break into machinery sheds and stores too.

To increase the level of protection, John Deere has introduced a built-in PIN code lock  – similar to that used on smartphones – for both components. The PIN code for the display and the receiver are entered via the John Deere display.

Master code

If the user forgets the code, they can continue working for a limited period, up to a maximum of 72 hours. After this a master unlock code is required, which can be easily generated in the StellarSupport online portal.

The new PIN code locking system is now available for John Deere 4240 and 4640 Universal Displays and the StarFire 6000 receiver. It is bundled with the recent 19-1 software update, which permits the upgrade of these specific displays and receivers.

This latest security feature complements the range of precautions already introduced by John Deere to deter thieves. Tractors are fitted as standard with the CESAR Datatag security system, as well as an immobiliser, whereby the key has a transponder unique to each individual tractor.

This means that while any other John Deere tractor key will still fit the door and ignition, the tractor won’t start without the proper key. John Deere was the first company to introduce the unique key system as standard on a full range of tractors in the UK and Ireland, in 2011.

Curfew mode

Other security related items are also available from dealers, such as lockable fuel tank caps and separate door lock keys, as well as immobiliser systems from the John Deere owned Vapormatic all-makes parts business.

In addition, all 7R, 8R & 9R Series tractors have JDLink telematics fitted as standard, with a one-year licence free of charge. This includes the ability to geofence machines, so text or email alerts are sent if the machine moves outside a predefined area.

JDLink can also warn the owner if the machine was turned on during a pre-defined period, for example, during the night. Standard on larger tractors, this curfew mode is available as a factory-fitted option on 6R Series models and can be field fitted on most other vehicles.

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