Protect YOUR Investment! – Part 2
We are always open-minded when looking at new ways to help people keep their valuables from being lost, and being that it has been a few years since our first installment, Part 2 of “Securing Your Valuables” seemed to be a good idea.
Probably one of the most frequent discussions I have is about a suggestion I often make about placing a number or some type of large identification on the roof of the trailer. This is not just for law enforcement to help locate it, but anyone at all. Remember, the thieves will not even know it’s there, and as they are driving down the road with your trailer, a large number or symbol on the top of it sure will make it stick out like a sore thumb! It can be seen from overpasses by just about anyone as well as lower flying aircraft such as news, police or casual flyers. And let’s face it, with all of the “big brother is watching” stuff going on in today’s world, there are cameras everywhere that might have the capability and possibility of seeing your rig going down the road. For a fresh theft where you have lost a trailer, the car inside and all of your tools and equipment, you might also consider renting a pilot and aircraft at your local airport, it’s actually pretty inexpensive. It might take 30 minutes to an hour to comb the immediate area roads and highways, so why wouldn’t you do it to help recover your trailer and its contents?
There has also been much discussion about removable tongues on the trailer. This is a great idea, BUT, make sure that you still lock your safety chains together. As I mentioned in the first article, thieves will drag your trailer down the road by the safety chains just to get to a point where they can get inside and offload your stuff or hide the trailer indoors.
What about putting chains through the wheels? Aside from being a pain to install every time you park your rig, honestly, if you don’t use a heavy duty chain, and you don’t wrap the chain around the axle, essentially you have done nothing. With the lug nuts exposed, the thief can pull your tire and replace it, or even quicker they can cut the cheap chain in a matter of seconds with $30 bolt cutters from any hardware store.
Wheel boots are great devices, and they warn the bad guy from a distance that you mean business.
Say a thief isn’t after your trailer, just what is inside of it. As we discussed in part one, a good quality alarm is your best first line of defense, but there are a few other tricks and trinkets you can use to keep them out. A good and relatively quick way to keep the rear door(s) from being easily opened is to lock or secure them from the inside. One of the best ways to do this is using E-Track. Attach it to your door, and also to the ceiling or high point in the trailer. Then use a pull or ratchet style strap to connect the 2 tracks. If a side door is a bigger threat, then use something similar for it. Be sure not to over tighten the straps though and damage your trailer or doors. If you are convinced that your trailer is safe and won’t be stolen, and you already have all of the best locks, installed an alarm, but you want that last little bit of security then check out some “trip wire” devices. These can be connected inside the trailer or to the doors and are available with goodies like pepper spray, or even 12 gauge shotgun banks. These are very effective, but must be used with CAUTION. From personal experience, I can tell you that the blank going off inside a trailer is very loud. And DO NOT use them near flammable materials. Pepper spray inside a trailer is also not fun if you set it off yourself by accident. Be sure to check your local laws about the use of pepper spray and/or shotgun blanks.
Alarms that flash the lights, sound sirens, and lock the brakes are still some of the best defenses. With today’s technology adding GPS or pager/cellular notification is great, but may also increase the upfront cost and some might add a monthly fee. Some insurance companies however do offer discounts for the alarms as they are theft prevention devices, and GPS is sometimes even considered a theft recovery device.
The choice is yours, the equipment, information and techniques are available to protect your valuables. Don’t end up like the people who call me that “HAD” $200,000 worth of cars and equipment in their trailer and think that $1000 is too much to spend to protect it.
Keep yer stuff safe!
Lyle Clark is the owner of Trailer-Alarms.com, a theft prevention web store to help people protect the investments they have worked so hard to acquire. Lyle and his company are licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety – Texas Private Security Bureau.
Trailer-Alarms.com was started in January of 2005 when Lyle saw a need for trailer security after a buddy of his had his trailer broken into twice. Lyle is also a firm believer in what he sells, and will NOT sell anything that he would not place on his own trailer.
This article is the property of Lyle Clark and Trailer-Alarms.com.