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How to Secure a Trailer from Theft? – 7 Most Convenient Ways

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to secure a trailer from theft

In the past, we had to carry goods by horse. But today is different, steel trailers have become a powerful tool for the transportation of goods because of cost-effectiveness and variability.

However, the trailer has a downside since it doesn’t merge permanently with any vehicle. So, when we don’t keep an eye on it, it is likely that thieves will take it away. Understandably, steel is available for sale at a rather high value.

Don’t worry! With some basic knowledge and more practice, you will be able to solve this problem. In today’s post, I’ll guide you through how to secure a trailer from theft so you can arm yourself before the real problem hits. In short, there are three main sections:

  • Theft tactics
  • Measurements
  • Tips and tricks


Some Common Theft Tactics


Stealing without preparation

This type of theft is common among inexperienced thieves. They are usually slackers, spending money profligately leading to running out of money and needing money by any means.

Their targets are often trailers that are placed in the desert, with no eye on places, such as parking lots, stops, and vacant lots during quiet times like weekends or evenings. These types of trailers are small with poor security.

Their way is usually to hook your trailers to their vehicle and move away. Still the same method, with a little more sophisticated thieves, they will look for the presence of cameras as well as the items loaded in the trailers.

Stealing with preparation

Along with the development of science and technology, the tricks of criminals are becoming more and more cunning and sophisticated. In contrast to the above type, these criminals often target more valuable trailers with goods on them. In particular, they often work in groups and plan ahead.

They can plan to scam the owner, such as by starting a conversation to steal personal information, pretending to be a customer to place tracking devices, and so on. These actions usually take place when the store is about to close or is busy because it is when there is little attention or strict management.

Stealing using technology

This type of crime is typically knowledgeable because they plan and execute it remotely. As above, the more sophisticated the trick, the more valuable the target will be.

They either place remote monitoring devices or directly on your trailers and cargo itself, use the media to make scams look more valid with forms of fraud, steal personal information, or interfere with GPS systems. These criminals will use different types of fake information to deceive the owner or the transporter.

Some Ways on How to Secure a Trailer from Theft


1. Hitch locks or air cuff locks

A quality lock with a sturdy shackle will be the solution. We recommend investing in a combination lock because ordinary locks nowadays are easily picked up by professional thieves. What you need to do is lock the coupler and the box (if any). However, you should only use this method with small trailers.

2. Tongue Lock

This is a helpful tool when you remove the hook and plan to move the trailer to another location for observing. When this is attached to the coupler of the trailer, it prevents other vehicles from attaching. It will be even more secure with a padlock as above. Remember to lock the coupler of your vehicle as well.

3. Wheel chock lock

In my opinion, this is a highly secure item for both large vehicles and trailers. This clamps to your wheel and locks with a combination padlock. However, it may be harder to find and cost a little more. If you don’t use trailers for a long time or can’t keep an eye on them, this seems to be the best way to secure a trailer that is a well-worth investment.

4. Spare tire lock

If you own a car or boat, this item will be no stranger to you. This is a lifesaving solution to lock a trailer when you need to use the trailer right away but cannot buy the above keys in time. Similar to the first method, this is only a temporary tool for simple vehicles.

5. Fluorescent spray paint

This is a way to scare off and discourage thieves from coming near your trailer because it can be easily caught and is difficult to cover up. There are many ways you can make it unique, such as painting on a picture, your favorite text, your name, logo, or even just a coat of paint in your favorite color. However, this method only has psychological effects, not effective against stubborn thieves.

6. GPS (global positioning system) tracking devices

For large trailers that often transport valuable goods, this is a necessary method in bad situations. It’s also helpful if you’re a forgetful person as it can locate your trailer in a couple of clicks. However, this method of trailer security may not help you catch the thief, but the following way will.

7. Alarms

It’s like a signal light on your car. The sensors attached will signal when any movements are made on the trailer by honking. In addition, some alarms can signal when someone tries to move or unlock your trailers. When shopping for alarms, look for ones with LED lights to remind thieves that your trailers are protected.

Usually, when an impact is detected, the horn will emit sound with flash LED lights, scaring the thief and attracting the attention of everyone around. If you are lucky, someone will report to the police to catch the thief.

Tips and Tricks to be a Master

  • Remove the trailers and place them in an area with high visibility and lighting. If possible, park your trailer in a place that is empty or without any shortcuts.
  • Memorize some basic information about the trailer, such as the serial number, price, and manufacturer. This seems unnecessary, but it is helpful when a problem hits.
  • For detachable trailers, remove the ball mount if you do not use it for a long time. It not only helps protect the coupler from environmental impact but also makes it difficult for petty thieves.
  • Strengthen the alarm system and the positioning system not only to protect but also to prevent theft of personal information.
  • Keep your tools in a safe place and carry them with you whenever you take your trailer outside. Even if you park your trailer for a short time, it is important to lock it up.
  • Report to the police as soon as you notice an incident or suspect behavior rather than dealing with it yourself if your trailers contain stuff.
  • Prepare adequate insurance for your trailers so that you can negotiate to receive certain compensation when the worst case happens.
  • When buying secondhand trailers, make sure to document the contract to avoid having to buy back a stolen trailer.


There are many convenient ways on how to secure a trailer from theft, ranging from low security to high security. My advice is to rely on the size and value to choose the best way to lock a trailer. Using a combination of tools will increase the security of the trailer, which can reduce the attention of thieves and keep your trailer safe.

I’ve shared with you helpful tips and tricks in the hopes of teaching you a thing or two about methods to secure your trailer. Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Send me an email if you want to explore any other subjects as well.

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