Trailer Security

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pat1027
Posts: 229
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2004 3:45 pm
Location: Michigan

Trailer Security

Post by pat1027 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:59 pm

A few years ago I moved from a utility trailer and fitted tarp to an enclosed trailer to haul my cars. I also moved from a trailer that might not have been given a passing glance to a nice shiny one more likely to catch the eye of a thief. I have a tongue lock and park so to make it more than a back in a snatch it job. A determined thief however could still make off with it.

After reading this thread I decided to add a tracker. https://www.chaski.org/homemachinist/vi ... #p399984 Jim B included a link to a GPS tracker in this thread. There are a bunch of them on the market. I picked this one because of the small size and external power connection. It's on Amazon for $50 with the first years subscription included. https://automile.com/tracker-standard

Glenn Brooks
Posts: 1921
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:39 pm
Location: Woodinville, Washington

Re: Trailer Security

Post by Glenn Brooks » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:48 pm

Seems like a very good idea to add a GPS tracker. Be interested in your experiences with it, after a few months...

Having retired from law enforcement, I’ve always found keeping a low profile is a good compliment to building a high level of physical security. For example, parking your trailer in inconspicuous, or hard to see/access places when your on the road, or even at home. And Make it look like an invisible or unattractive target... then harden it up so it’s very difficult to physically steal or break into. Everything helps.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

rrnut-2
Posts: 538
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:40 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Trailer Security

Post by rrnut-2 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:06 pm

The tracker that I have sends me a message once a day telling me that it is in my driveway, unless I am on the road with it. But, If I need to, theft, I can call the tracker company and they will switch to continuous mode. Shortens the battery life, but if it gets my equipment back, it will be worth it. Under normal use, the battery is good for 5 years.

And yes, my trailer looks like any other white trailer on the road.

Jim B

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Lovesthedrive
Posts: 243
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:52 pm
Location: Downeast Maine

Re: Trailer Security

Post by Lovesthedrive » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:51 pm

A local here in Maine has a trailer with a detachable coupler. It wasnt the styel where the coupler bolts to a plate. Instead the tongue had a diagonal dovetail that the tongue slipped into and a vertical grade 8 (5/8") bolt locked it all together. I just searched fofr an image and couldnt find it.

Tho a poormans simple alternative is a ball that locks into the trailer receiver. Thieves want simple and easy. They dont want to fuss with having to be spotted. If it takes them more than a minute to take something, they usually wont bother.
1952 John Deere model 60

Wanted: Half size steam tractor. Will trade land in Maine

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cbrew
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 12:17 pm
Location: Vancouver Wa

Re: Trailer Security

Post by cbrew » Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:35 pm

Lovesthedrive wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:51 pm
A local here in Maine has a trailer with a detachable coupler. It wasnt the styel where the coupler bolts to a plate. Instead the tongue had a diagonal dovetail that the tongue slipped into and a vertical grade 8 (5/8") bolt locked it all together. I just searched fofr an image and couldnt find it.

Tho a poormans simple alternative is a ball that locks into the trailer receiver. Thieves want simple and easy. They dont want to fuss with having to be spotted. If it takes them more than a minute to take something, they usually wont bother.
man,, you under estimate a tweaker and what they can do in a matter of a few minutes.
all they need to do a lower the landing gear up all the way, throw a chain around the tongue, raise the landing gear and drive away.

the best way to secure a trailer is to put it up blocks and lock the wheels inside
If it is not live steam. its not worth it.

rrnut-2
Posts: 538
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:40 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Trailer Security

Post by rrnut-2 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:05 pm

What woke me up was the day my next door neighbor who has a ramp truck and I went up on the interstate to pick up a friends enclosed two place snowmobile trailer that lost a wheel and hub. A local policeman showed up, blue lights on, asked if we needed help and never asked for any identification or what we were doing. As soon as we were loaded, he took off. We could have been stealing the trailer for all he knew. The point is, it took us less than 10 minutes to load the trailer onto the ramp truck. And that was missing one wheel.

Jim B

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Fender
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Location: Chattanooga TN

Re: Trailer Security

Post by Fender » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:30 pm

rrnut-2 wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:05 pm
... A local policeman showed up, blue lights on, asked if we needed help and never asked for any identification or what we were doing. As soon as we were loaded, he took off. We could have been stealing the trailer for all he knew.
Jim B
This happened to a member of our club who burned up a wheel bearing on his trailer while driving on the interstate. He left it for a short time (with a wheel missing!), and it was gone when he returned. I think you have to leave someone with the trailer, or stay with it and call for a tow truck, if you have this happen while travelling.
Dan Watson

STRR
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Location: Westminster, CO

Re: Trailer Security

Post by STRR » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:26 pm

I use a Master brand tongue lock. One that can't be beaten to death with a hammer. I also use a hitch pin lock that locks the tongue operating lever open. I have two chains I thread through the wheels and one or both springs on that side then locked. One on each side. I am totally aware that all of this does NOT 100% secure the trailer. BUT, it will take time to overcome all the individual items and will make thieves think about looking for an easier target.

Harold_V
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Re: Trailer Security

Post by Harold_V » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:44 am

It is generally accepted that thieves are criminals of opportunity. Make it easy for them and they'll take advantage, doesn't really matter what the situation is. Make it more difficult, unless they are after something specific, they'll go on to the next mark--the easy one.

I have a philosophy about burglars and thieves. If they target you and have something specific on their minds, pretty good chance you'll get hit--it's just a matter of when. By contrast, if you keep a taught ship and don't provide too many opportunities, you stand a chance of never being hit.

Part of security (the biggest part, really) is a tight mouth. If they don't know it's there, pretty good chance they won't steal what ever it is unless it's a random burglary or theft. I have been burglarized a couple times, thanks to something I've said. Never have been very good at keeping my mouth shut.

No, they didn't find the gold. Couldn't. It wasn't kept there.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: Trailer Security

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:55 am

Harold_V wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:44 am
Part of security (the biggest part, really) is a tight mouth.
In navies all over the world, the aphorism is "Loose lips sink ships." Although security through obscurity is not the best way to keep thieves from absconding with your property, it's a good start.

I used to park my race car trailer outside next to the garage. It was never taken, despite not having a tongue lock and not being chained to something immovable. It was latched to a metal hitching post, but only to keep it from trying to roll on the sloped surface on which it was parked. The latch wasn't locked.

I suspect the reason why it was never stolen had something to do with it being electrically energized in a non-obvious way. Touching it was a hair-raising event. :D I only forgot once to turn off the juice before rolling it out and hitching it to my truck. I was shocked by my carelessness. :shock:
—————————————————————————————————
I'm an old guy. What's your excuse? ☻

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NP317
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Location: Northern Oregon

Re: Trailer Security

Post by NP317 » Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:35 am

We keep our home grounds clear of items. That's unusual in the agricultural region we live in.
Everything is stored inside locked buildings, except for one home-made tilt flatbed trailer. It must not be attractive...

BDD: Your electrifying solution made me LOL! I've built such shock units from CRT anode power supplies. (9+ kV, micro current.)
A commercial electric fence energizer would do the job nicely. I can get those at the local Farm Supply stores.
Solutions.
RussN

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Trailer Security

Post by Greg_Lewis » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:53 pm

I once read a book written by a professional burglar. He was not a druggie, but a guy who supported himself by stealing things. He wrote that it is surprising how many folks don't lock things up. As many of you have said above, make it difficult. While I won't discuss my security measures on a public forum, suffice to say that all security measures are in place every time I leave. And when I quit the shop for the day, security is set even if I plan to be home the next day. One never knows if something will come up at the last minute, and I don't want to forget to take care of security if I have to leave in a hurry.

BTW, this pro burglar also wrote that he loved all-night yard lights because it made it easier for him to see what he was doing. Motion sensor lights are much better for security.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of the dull toolbit.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

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