It’s not often that we at LRO are genuinely excited by a new security product – most of them are re-workings of existing items. So when something completely new comes along – something designed to stifle the tide of Defenders being stolen, we’re interested. The Rat Trap is one of those products.
It was born from frustration when Bob Harris from All Terrain Services had one of his Defenders stolen. And with it went the Ifor Williams trailer that was attached to it and the kit on it.
Although his insurance company paid out their perceived value of the Defender, it didn’t cover everything and no way compensated for the stress of losing the vehicle and contents.
Bob turned to Andrew Poulson from Spinney Engineering and said it must be possible to make a product capable of securing Defenders so they can’t be stolen. Andrew and wife Gilly took up the challenge and designed the Rat Trap.
It’s a mechanical device designed to lock the output shaft on the rear of a transfer box, so the Land Rover cannot be moved, even if the thief gets past other security measures and gets the engine started.
Bolted to the transfer box – it has been developed for the LT230 transfer box, but a version for the Series transfer box is in the pipeline – the only modification you need to make to the vehicle is drilling a hole in the seatbox to allow access to the lock.
Being permanently fixed to the vehicle, you don’t have to stow a heavy piece of metal anywhere, it’s British designed and built and made from real metal. And being underneath the vehicle, there’s very little room to tamper with it.
To engage and disengage it, all you need to do is turn a key and activate/de-activate the lock in the footwell. Until deactivated the vehicle won’t move.
Andrew reports it’s been a boon over the last few days while defrosting his Land Rover – he can leave it running safe in the knowledge that no-one could drive off with the Defender (though obviously, you shouldn’t leave your vehicle running unattended!).
Prices are yet to be finalised, but expect it to be around £590 – and it comes with a 10-year guarantee, which can be transferred to future owners. We recommend spending around 10 per cent of a vehicle’s value on protecting it from theft – so that brings it into the territory of most Defenders, 300Tdi-onwards.
Defender thefts are a major problem and, the industrial engineering on the Rat Trap may seem overkill, but as Andrew points out: ‘This is a Victorian solution to a modern epidemic.’
And if it helps halt the number of Land Rovers being stolen, that’s got to be a good thing.
A website will be up and running shortly, but at the moment keep up to date at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spinney-Engineering/282701295173516