Trailer Theft Prevention

Frank DeWitt

Subscriber
Another thread reminded me of the need to protect our trailers.
https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=166658

For closed trailers I like a built in GPS. For a open trailer like mine, all I can think of is to keep it in good shape, check everything, carry a spare, and a wrench for the spare and a jack.

I guess the last thing is the trailer never gets left unattended by the side of the road. Either a armed passenger stays with it, or I don't leave it, call for a tow truck instead.

What causes a trailer to brake down? Tire, bearings? other?

Thoughts? Plans?
 

Frank DeWitt

Subscriber
Re: Trailer Theft prevention

You forgot good insurance with towing. Mine covers roadside service like jump starts or tire changes. If I can not get going, it will get towed to the nearest place that can fix it.

Cost not much, would have to look it up but it is like 20 bucks a year or maybe double that.
Good point so I checked AAA they have coverage for RVs and motorcycles for a extra $35 per year but it doesn't cover utility trailers. What company do you use / recommend?

---------- Post added at 02:53:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:38:42 PM ----------

Dear Mr. DeWitt,

Thank you for contacting AAA.

We apologize, our AAA services do not cover utility trailers. Our RV services covers motorhomes, motorcycles and travel trailers that include living quarters.
 

uglyblue66

Subscriber
Re: Trailer Theft prevention

I knew about the trailer thing a few years back as i used to travel around with some friends that had motor homes. Their engines would be on small 4x8 utility trailers. Their Good Sam would tow the motor home but not the trailer. So there is a 2 inch receiver on the 2 trailers I used when I followed them around. Had their motor home broke I figured I could connect to their small trailer and travel slowly to a exit and park it somewhere secure or what not.
I am looking at welding my name on the axles of my trailers or something like that. Numbers the size that meets code can be ground off easy.

Also, I would paint my name or a number or something in large letters on the trailer roof so it could be spotted by aircraft. Like your last name or the number 23,just something weird and different that theives arent looking for.
 

Frank DeWitt

Subscriber
Re: Trailer Theft prevention

I think if it was a closed box I think I would have signs on it with something like Bio hazard cleanup service 555-ETC or Road Kill pick up service 555-ETC.
 

Pat Barrett

Subscriber
Re: Trailer Theft prevention

As said, above, a good spare, lug wrench and jack can mean the diff between leaving it or momentarily making a repair. Good idea to have the wheel bearings examined and re-packed every two years. Also, travel in pairs so one can stay while someone else can go for help or assistance.
 

Wayne 440

New member
Re: Trailer Theft prevention

An inconvenient, but effective way to discourage trailer thieves is to remove the wheels on one side, taking them with you when you leave it.
 

Ret AF

New member
Re: Trailer Theft prevention

Don't forget to take a small jack like a bottle jack, some short pieces of 2 by six lumber, wheel chocks for changing a flat and a breaker bar and proper size socket for those stubborn lug nuts!
 

Frank DeWitt

Subscriber
Re: Trailer Theft prevention

Don't forget to take a small jack like a bottle jack, some short pieces of 2 by six lumber, wheel chocks for changing a flat and a breaker bar and proper size socket for those stubborn lug nuts!
I always carry a breaker bar but I know me, so I bought the correct socket and fastened it to the trailer. Grin. I pull the wheels and pack the bearings and then hand tighten the lug nuts so I know I can get them off.
 

BobRR

New member
Re: Trailer Theft prevention

One thing you could do if trailer is parked they make a lock that looks like a ball that fit's in the hitch. Bob
 

Pat Barrett

Subscriber
Re: Trailer Theft prevention

I've seen people cut the threaded shank off a ball and put it in the hitch and put a lock in the latch. Not fool proof but someone would have to do a good bit of work to use it.
 

dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
Re: Trailer Theft prevention

Bob
If you are talking about the yellow ones with the U-bolt that goes over the top of the hitch, they come off easily with a bolt cutter or grinder with a cut-off wheel.

Pat
Bolt cutters will take the lock off and the ball will drop right out.

I've lost a few trailers over the years, and several other peoples trailers have been stolen from my place, none have been recovered. I park the forklift in front of trailer, and sometimes chain trailer to the forklift, other people are advised to park cars in front of their trailer. This is not a high crime area, just a little ways out of town, just not many eyes watching the yard except the neighbors cows, but if it looks easy and they can back right up to the hitch........
 

Steve Kunz

Subscriber
Re: Trailer Theft prevention

On pintle hitch trailers I run the safety chains through the hole on the hitch and put a big pad lock on them. I don't think that there is any good way to lock a trailer, like dal said with bolt cutters or an cordless angle grinder any lock can be cut.
I think welding some identifying marks underneath on the frame is the best bet to identify it, in case it is stolen. Painting something on the roof of an enclosed trailer is a good idea. But cops won't waste time looking from the air, unless they can give you a ticket when they find it!
 

Peter Holmander

Subscriber
Re: Trailer Theft prevention

I worked as a service mechanic years back at an equipment rental store. All of their trailers and equipment were set up with interchangeable hitches so if someone came in to rent a trailer, they could quickly set them up with either a ball or pintle hitch. After I worked there I really like the system so I changed over all my stuff that same way. Here is a link to the style hitch they used. http://www.easternmarine.com/5-position-adjustable-lunette-eye-assembly-b18135 Instead of the 4 inch bolts for mounting the trailer eye or ball, I use hitch pins with lynch pins on the end. http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/outdoor-grounds-maintenance/snow-removal/snow-plow-accessories/1303111-universal-hitch-pins?infoParam.campaignId=T9F&gclid=CJiCjLzT2NICFYqifgoditwHQQ

To secure your trailer from theft now, just pull two pins and there is no way for the thief to hook up to his truck. The chances of him having the equipment he needs is pretty slim. I've even done it at motels. Backed my truck and trailer into a parking spot, unhooked the truck, pulled forward a foot, and removed the hitch to store in my motel room for the night. If you were to take a look at both my trailers parked in my yard right now, neither has a hitch on it. Those are locked up in my barn. Easy to install whatever hitch I need on the trailer for the job I'm doing. Takes all of 5 minutes.
 

MoRo

Subscriber
Dalmation mentioned a preferred method used around here on construction sites. You'll find a skidsteer trailer parked with the skidsteer parked in front it, squarely, with bucket under the hitch. You can't swing the trailer tongue to the side to hook up. Telehandlers, payloaders, any of that stuff is used as temporary security.

Think you gotta remember is that thieves are sort of lazy,coupled with their need to hook up and get outta there in a hurry. Anything you can do to delay their departure is a deterrent to some degree. Even out in the middle of the back forty, there's always a chance someone might just happen to be coming by on their way to somewhere else.
 

dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
MoRo
Around here they also hoist the portable welding rigs and compressors 20 or so feet in the air with the cranes, friggen tweeker thieves will steal anything:crazy:
 

Jon Rozevink

Engine Buyer
I like the idea of removing tires on one side, if I ever break down on the side of the road and have to leave the trailer I will probably try to do that.

As far as the risk at a motel goes,, don't stay at places that rent by the hour :) Just kidding, but I personally feel a lot better staying at a nicer place where most of the vehicles in the lot couldn't pull my trailer (not that I disconnect very often at a motel). I also feel the risk for loosing tools and such is much less if I'm parked next to newer cars and suv's rather than pickups and work vans...

I got tired of waiting hours for AAA tow trucks and decided to give it up. With a smart phone and cash in hand everything works out a lot faster :D The problem is that AAA doesn't pay the tow companies very much.
 

Scotty 2

Active member
Hello all
I'd like to see someone try and steal our little old boat.
The house is on the side of a hill so one wheel rides on the path and the other is on the suspended structure.
A removeable bridge is needed to get the trailer on and off. It's easy, I back the trailer up the hill and onto the bridge, take trailer off the car and push around the side and then take the bridge off and store it under the house. The yellow thing is slipped in so the trailer cannot came off the rampy thingo. the bit of pipe you can see under the yellow road block is simply a brace to the post.
Nice and safe and secure. I think.

Cheers Scott
Ps: that's Roy the guard pooch

 

MoRo

Subscriber
MoRo
Around here they also hoist the portable welding rigs and compressors 20 or so feet in the air with the cranes, friggen tweeker thieves will steal anything:crazy:
Yup! See that done, here, as well. Back when scrap prices were really good, several construction sites had copper wiring stripped right out new, uncompleted buildings, rolls of wire stolen from the storage areas, even electricians had their stock histed.
 

Frank DeWitt

Subscriber
For a small trailer with a straight tongue you can remove the tongue and replace it with a 2 in hitch receiver. Then make a tongue from sq tubing. When the trailer is parked, pull the pin, and remove the tongue and take it with you.
 
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