Where theft led to a vehicle security powerhouse.
Most companies are not born because of a theft, but that is the genesis of Tuffy Security Products of Cortez, Colorado.
In 1989, a teenaged Shawn Gregory had taken his Jeep® Wrangler to a trailhead to ride his mountain bike with some friends. When he returned, he found his Jeep had been broken into, and all of his gear stolen. Understandably upset, he returned home, and vowed to do something to keep this type of theft from happening again.
Gregory understood that the standard plastic console that came with his Wrangler was not a great deterrent to theft, so he created a wooden box console with a lock installed and secured it to his Jeep’s floor. Friends with Jeeps liked his idea, and asked him to duplicate his creation for them as well.
Thus, Tuffy Security Products was born.
Owners of Jeep CJ/Wrangler models were the fledgling company’s initial target market, because the numbers were large, and the soft tops and doors for many of these vehicles made them easy targets for thieves. Gregory quickly shifted production of the security boxes to steel, since it was stronger, easier to manufacture, and more readily accepted by customers. The company grew by evaluating the marketplace and the products in it, then developing improved products which were more secure and user friendly. Much of this came from listening to the needs of customers, and seeing opportunities for new products improving on existing ones.
Over the years, Tuffy’s product line expanded past the Jeep® line, providing security products for other SUVs, pickup trucks and automobiles. The company’s customer base expanded from off-roading enthusiasts to a much wider, general consumer marketplace. Many of the off-roading Jeep owners had other vehicles they used in their work lives – construction trades, sales, security and other occupations – and recognized the Tuffy products they had in their Jeeps could be used in their workday vehicles.
Law enforcement personnel were among that group, and in 2008, Tuffy Security Products launched its Professional Products line, targeting users which required an even higher degree of security. A great portion of that group were law officers from a wide range of local, state and federal agencies. For years, many were modifying existing products to fit their official police vehicles. Since the vehicles used in law enforcement is narrow group of makes and models, developing products to meet the needs of officers was less difficult than for the broader recreational market.
We know that law enforcement vehicles are not immune to break-ins and theft of sensitive gear, making it necessary for police departments to be proactive in protecting and securing it. Police vehicles may have, in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars of tactical gear, computers and other costly equipment inside – and often in plain view from the outside. Even if a shotgun is in a secured mount, a potential thief may be calculating how to defeat the mount’s shackle and try to steal it. Tuffy Security Products offers several products to keep shotguns and other tactical long guns out of sight and secured, as well as body armor, helmets, and other gear.
While the benefits of these tactical equipment security systems are evident, they do get caught at times in the battle of departmental budgets, and the policies and of the many municipal, county, state and federal departments. So oftentimes, individual officers are told to “get something to secure your gear,” and equip their vehicles from their own pockets. And, often there may be no standard for what is to be selected.
The strength of word of mouth testimonials from fellow officers, or the use of a Tuffy lock-box or console box in a personal Jeep®, SUV or pickup, guides new law enforcement customers to Tuffy Security Products for their professional vehicle security needs.
Backing the rugged environmental test bed are the overall close tolerance design and manufacturing standards of Tuffy Security Products. Use of tough steel boxes with TIG-welded tab-loc construction, Tuffy’s own patented Pry-Guard locking system, and electro-bonded epoxy powder-coating, the company’s products have become highly regarded in law enforcement communities.
The company leaves the choices of how to custom tailor its products up to the individual. Tuffy storage boxes and drawers leave the factory with carpeting, but a wide variety of Tuffy accessories are available – such as foam inserts, interior dividers, non-slip case top surfaces, push-button combination locks to name a few – to meet specific individual needs.
All Tuffy Security Products carry a limited lifetime warranty – Professional and Recreational products alike – against defects in workmanship, providing further peace of mind for the user.
Recently, Tuffy Security Products became a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries and a sister company of Bestop, the well-known maker of Jeep® and truck accessories. This has not changed the core focus of the company: designing and building the most secure and durable vehicle storage solutions in the marketplace.
From a single theft came the motivation, and the desire, of one man to make certain his misfortune did not happen to others. Using ingenuity to come up with a viable solution, and tailoring it to fit a multitude of markets has made Tuffy Security Products a company that can be trusted to provide quality solutions to consumers’ security needs.