|Why wheel clamps for security?|
Wheel clamps are excellent physical security devices for motor vehicles, trailers, caravans, motor homes horse boxes etc. and are increasingly being used by individuals and businesses in the fight against crime. The main advantages of a wheel clamp for security are as follows:
Wheel clamps provide physical immobilisation, effective even if someone has gained access to your vehicle keys.
Wheel clamps reduce the risk of unauthorised towing.
Wheel clamps may be easily transportable (often in the boot of a car).
Wheel clamps can be used to secure a wide range of vehicles/ trailers etc.
Wheel clamps are highly visible and act as an effective deterrent to reduce opportunistic theft.
Wheel Clamps as used by police and local authorities are easily recognisable as a secure and robust device which is a further deterrent.
How secure are wheel clamps?
Given time and appropriate equipment (angle grinders etc) any wheel clamp currently available on the market can be removed, however the time taken and noise of such an attack will frequently prevent the theft. Not all wheel clamps offer the same level of protection and some should be considered as offering deterrent value only. In general, the wheel clamp you purchase should be appropriate to the level of perceived risk.
Wheel clamps should fit tightly around the tyre and when fitted there should be minimal vertical and horizontal movement. The wheel clamp should prevent access to at least one wheel nut (but preferably all nuts) unless locking wheel nuts are fitted.
Which wheel clamp will fit my tyre?
There are numerous different tyre sizes and trims used today and it is critical that you first find the full tyre specification to determine which clamp may fit your tyre. Tyre sizes are usually written on the tyre itself with the three significant dimensions displayed as "xxx/yy/Rzz" where "xxx" is the tyre width, "yy" the profile and "zz" the rim diameter. The width is quoted in millimetres, the profile as a ratio and the rim size in inches. (Eg a tyre marked 185/70 R14 has a 185mm tread width, a 14inch or 355mm rim, and a 614mm total wheel diameter calculated as 185mm x 0.70 x 2 + 355mm).
It is recommended that you calculate (or measure) the overall tyre diameter to find a suitable wheel clamp for your specific tyre. Please note that there is no guarantee a particular wheel clamp will fit until you have tried it, however by going through the process of checking the tyre size, the risk of purchasing an incorrect clamp is significantly reduced.
It is also important to consider whether your wheel has any bulbous wheel trim (hubcaps) or significantly protruding wheel nuts, as this may affect the size of wheel clamp required.
Which Model Wheel Clamp to choose?
There are several factors to consider when choosing a wheel clamp for security. The first two (level of security and tyre size) have been discussed in some detail above. Another important factor is the weight of the wheel clamp. Heavier wheel clamps are generally (but not always) more secure, however additional security should be assessed against convenience and functionality.
You may also need to consider how frequently you will be fitting the wheel clamp and your specific circumstances. Most wheel clamps are easily fitted although there may be some initial work required to assemble the clamp. After some practice, you should be able to properly fit your clamp within a minute or so. Some wheel clamps are designed with a chain that fits around the wheel arch; these clamps are quick to fit and are fitted by maneuvering the chain into position and securing with a padlock. Another popular design is those clamps with three arms whereby the two lower arms fit around the base of the tyre and the third is swung into a vertical position.
You may also consider whether you prefer a lock integrated into the clamp or a removable lock.
Wheel Clamps and Insurance
Wheel clamps are frequently required for insurance of valuable assets including caravans, boats, jet skis, camper trailers etc. Insurance requirements vary, however insurance underwriters often require wheel clamps to have passed the Sold Secure independent test. The Sold Secure rating is an indication that you are purchasing a quality product tested to a high standard in the U.K. It is recommended that you check specific requirements with your insurance broker prior to purchasing your wheel clamp.
Click to view range of wheel clamps.