Safeguarding Your Old Iron Collection

Tips to help keep your old iron collection safe

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Protective safeguards

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Editor’s note: The following tips to help safeguard your old iron collection are in addition to “ Policy Questions ,” Jules Irish’s article about the age-old question on whether to insure your collection.

Memorabilia collector tips

  • Scatter your collection – it prevents a thief from stealing it all.
  • To avoid moisture damage, store on shelves and not in a basement.
  • Don’t store valuable collectibles in “mini-storage” facilities.
  • Get a professionally installed central-station alarm system – one that rings at the house and notifies a security company or police station.
  • Use a post-office box if buying in the mail – collector mailing lists with addresses can fall into the wrong hands.
  • Purchase good-quality deadbolt locks.
  • Do not buy a safe that weighs less than 500 pounds. “You’ve just gift wrapped your collection,” says Dan Walker, owner of Collectibles Insurance Agency, Westminster, Md.

Dealer or exhibitor tips

  • Show setup and takedown are the most vulnerable times for theft.
  • Be sure no one follows you after a show.
  • Stay alert during show hours.
  • Have more than one person in a booth and never leave it unattended.
  • Have more valuable items on back tables or in special cases.
  • If flying, take items on the plane when possible – do not ship them. “Shipping is becoming more hazardous and less friendly when people have losses. Insurance that covers shipping – but not the type offered by the shipping companies – is more important than ever before,” says Walker.

Tractor collector tips

  • Take photos of each tractor from opposite corners – one showing the front and left; the other showing the rear and right.
  • Do not store collectible tractors in a building that is subject to fire, such as a two-story wooden barn with hay in the rafters or a building with poor electrical wiring.
  • Store collectible tractors in a building with a low fire potential, like a one-story frame, metal or block building with no volatile materials inside.
  • Keep tractors under cover.
  • Don’t store in a remote or isolated building – this may increase the risk of theft.

On the road?

  • Don’t park overnight in a remote parking lot.
  • Choose a well-lighted parking space, preferably near your room.
  • Stay close to your tractors.
  • When possible, travel with tractors in a securely locked, enclosed trailer. FC