Dealing with Copper Wire Theft

CopperCuff, CableGuarde products available

Published in the February 2009 Issue Published online: Feb 28, 2009 New Products
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theft deterrentA hot topic in the irrigation industry is that of copper wire theft. Last month the magazine included an article on what T-L Irrigation has done to combat the problem. This time there is information from Lindsay Corporation and Valley Irrigation and what these companies are doing about the concern.

Lindsay Introduces New Theft Deterrent Product

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

"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 realize they would not be able to strip the system without a great amount of time and effort.


If thieves strip 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 takes under one hour to install on a quarter-mile pivot instead of one day to repair spans that have seen criminal activity.

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

For more information on the CopperCuff, contact a local Zimmatic dealer, visit or call 800-829-5300.



Valley's Line of Products to Deter Copper Theft

Valley Irrigation is introducing a line of products under the new CableGuard umbrella. The products are designed to help prevent the theft of copper wiring from irrigation equipment.

According to Rich Panowicz, manager, Valley aftermarket sales and product management for Valmont Irrigation, the line of CableGuard products is designed to fit any producers' budget and operation. Six products will be introduced between November 2008 and February 2009.

"We don't believe in one-size-fits-all, so we'd like producers to think of the product offerings as a menu and work with their Valley dealers to determine what's best for them," Panowicz said.

"One producer may be perfectly happy with the heavy duty span cable clamps. Another producer may want the heavy duty mesh, cable armor and monitoring equipment."


The full line of Valley's CableGuard products will include:


Attaching the cable at the flanges on the span creates a solid attachment that will not be easily pulled off the machine and makes additional work for thieves.


The overall effort (time and labor) required to get through the banding and remove the span cable can deter thieves.

Shims are installed under each stainless steel band, which can be spaced every 48 inches or less. The closer the bands are spaced, the greater they deter would-be thieves.


The conduit provides additional protection of the span cable by making it more difficult and time consuming for a vandal to cut the cable.


(Similar to the heavy duty flexible steel conduit but with stainless steel mesh protecting the conduit)

The stainless steel mesh reinforces the conduit and makes it more difficult for thieves to cut the cable.


Clamps are difficult to cut through and removal with a wrench would be difficult because of the lock nuts. When properly installed, the width of the guard makes it extremely difficult to cut the span cable with bolt cutters.


Capable of sending alerts to 10 different telephone numbers via pre-recorded voice message, SMS (text message) or both.