Skyrocketing metal prices have encouraged criminals to steal copper — from power lines to water pipes. Farms have also been inducted into this disturbing trend as thieves are attracted to center pivots for the valuable wire. Lindsay Corporation, maker of Zimmatic irrigation systems, now offers a solution — CopperCuff.

Spike in cable orders

“Last year, we noticed a spike in span cable orders and started hearing about the thefts from dealers in the Great Lakes region,” said Barry Ruffalo, president of North American Irrigation for Lindsay. “This past winter, we heard reports of the thefts nationwide and saw it as a grower issue that needed to be addressed. We asked our product design team to come up with ways to protect the machine wiring and after numerous tests — the CopperCuff was developed.”

CopperCuff is designed to fit all major brands of irrigation systems and locks the pivot's cables in place, making it difficult for would-be thieves to steal the copper wire. The 11-gauge, galvanized steel band encircles the pipe and securely clamps down the copper cable. With multiple cuffs on each span, criminals would quickly realize they would not be able to strip the system without a great amount of time and effort.

CopperCuff will be inexpensive compared to the average costs of repairing a theft-damaged pivot. After thieves have stripped 2 to 5 miles of wire off an irrigation system, growers can expect to pay around $5,000 to replace the wiring — about 10 times the cost of CopperCuff. The new theft deterrent device is also easy to install — taking under one hour to complete a quarter-mile pivot instead of one day to repair spans that have seen criminal activity.

Available this month

CopperCuff — Lindsay's entry product into the cable theft deterrent market — will be available in the United States and around the world this month.

The company is working on additional anti-theft solutions for future release.

For more information on the CopperCuff, contact your local Zimmatic dealer, visit www.coppercuff.com or call 1-800-829-5300.