Every day across the United States millions of trailers are used to move a plethora of goods, equipment, vehicles, and much more. They are often a lifeblood connection for small businesses and construction companies who need to move assets from point A to point A. At the same time, there are millions of trailers used in the transport of recreational vehicles like boats, jet skis, ATV, motorcycles, and camping equipment.
Most trailers can handle a serious volume and have a high axle weight capacity. So, even when they are transporting goods that are inexpensive as a single item, there is often a lot of them in the load.
The value of the load, the basic high value of the trailer itself, and other factors also mean that trailers across the country are high-value items. This makes them a tempting target for would-be trailer thieves. Indeed, every year the cargo theft statistics continue to rise!
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to deter would-be trailer thieves, or at least make it easier to retrieve your trailer, in the event that it is stolen.
How Can I Prevent My Trailer From Being Stolen?
Mark Your Trailer
Ideally, you want to put identifying markings on the trailer that you are helping it to stand out from the crowd of what are often similar-looking trailers. Interesting pain accents, durable stickers, and reflectors are certainly easy additions. Getting a metal plate with your name or business welded onto the frame in one or more visible areas is a permanent proof of ownership.
It’s also a good idea to mark the trailer is a less visible place, that only you would know about. That way if a thief does steal it, and they try to cover up the obvious signs, there will still be proof of ownership. This could be as simple using a stencil and spray paint on the undercarriage or bolting a nameplate under the front tow bar.
Marking your trailer in these ways is helpful in several ways. First and foremost, a would-be thief is less likely to steal a trailer that they know will stick out while they are going down the road. Secondly, it helps law enforcement to more easily identify your trailer. And of course, if your trailer is found, it’s a sure-fire way to cut through the process of proving that it is indeed yours.
Block Your Trailer
Now if your trailer is on any sort of incline, you naturally need to chock the tires, or it will roll away. Still, even if it’s on dead level pavement, you should still chock the tires. Try to find something that’s heavy and hard to move.
When you park your trailer, try to put it somewhere out of sight. The goal is to “Block” it from view. This does two things.
First off, trailer thieves rarely grab a trailer on the first drive past. They want to give it the eye test a couple of times. A would-be trailer thief with any experience wants to double check for things like if the tires are flat, is the tongue a strange size that won’t easily fit the ball of their hitch, and a dozen other things that any criminal with any sense will worry about.
If your trailer is hard to see from the road, chances are they might not even notice it. It also means it’s hard for them to just back right up and pull away with it. The harder you make it seem to get your trailer, the less likely thieves are to even consider going after it in the first place.
Lock Your Trailer
This might seem a little basic. Yet you’d be amazed just how many trailers are stolen every year, because the owner simply didn’t use a lock, or they used a weak lock. The reality is, the lock you use for your locker at the gym has no business trying to secure the tongue of your trailer. A thief with any salt in them can take these run of the mill locks and bash them open in one or two swings of a three-pound sledgehammer.
The bare minimum kind of lock you want is one that is rated for trailers. If you go to a hardware store and look for a trailer lock you will likely notice they are different from other locks you may have used in the past. True trailer locks are specifically designed to not be broken or pried open by the heavy-duty hand tools that trailer thieves love to use.
Of course, you don’t have to just stop at locking the tongue. A heavy-duty chain looped around the trailer’s axel and around a tree or some other hard point also improves physical security, as well as theft deterrence.
A locking wheel boot is also an inexpensive measure that you can find in hardware stores an auto parts store. Just seeing it on a trailer is often enough to deter would-be thieves.
Document Your Trailer
If you are going to be carrying or storing anything of any real value in your trailer, then you need to carry some type of insurance for it. This will also require you to document the trailer with the insurance company. While you are at it, take some detailed photos of the trailer, so that if it is stolen, the images can be given to law enforcement to help them quickly identify it.
Add A GPS Tracking Device
GPS tracking devices have made some major advancements in recent years. They can even be set up with something called a “Geofence” this is parameter range that’s set up in advance. If the trailer’s GPS tracking device goes outside of the specified area, alerts are sent out to your phone, or other electronic monitoring devices.
A Trailer Alarm with GPS Tracking solution can be armed and disarmed remotely via your smartphone, computer or another wireless device. Newgate’s system can monitor a variety of things including door switches, and an integrated accelerometer, with real-time GPS tracking capability.
This type of device can be set up to alert you to any change in status, which serves as a first line alert against trailer theft or tampering. Once the system is armed, the alert can be set up to contact you with an email or SMS text message any time there is a status change. The Trailer Alarm system can also be set up to apply electrical brakes on the trailer that has them. It can also cause the running lights to flash or a siren to sound.
What Are The Benefits Of A Trailer Alarm System With GPS Tracking?
- Theft recovery
- Real-time alarm alerts
- Remote system arming and disarming
- Single interface for the GPS tracking system and alarms
- Siren and flashing trailer running lights
- Insurance premium discounts
The Trailer Alarm system can be mounted in a small box that measures 7-inch square. The brake safety toggle switch can then be mounted internally on any trailer that has electric brakes. An optional 1000CA deep cycle marine battery can be inconspicuously installed, which will keep the system powered for up to 90 days. This provides the power to activate the brakes, as well as the alert system and real-time GPS tracking.
Newgate Security offers Trailer Alarm system and monitoring without a long-term contract. Our affordable monthly service will provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing where your trailer is at all times.