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May 2008 Willies Workbench Trailer Security

Posted in How To: Tech Qa on May 1, 2008
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Shown are both the Trimax barrel lock and the U Max 100 securing the trailer from a thief-well, yes, I would have to take the keys out.

What do Walker Evans, the Currie family, and Mark Miller have in common? Yes, they all are involved with off-highway vehicles in varying degrees. Evans and the Curries are names everyone who owns an off-highway vehicle has heard about as racers and equipment suppliers. But have you ever heard of Mark Miller? Probably not, unless you're a buddy of his-or you're the guy who stole his trailer! Yep, what these names have in common is that someone stole their enclosed trailers. In Walker's case, his trailer was parked next to his shop behind a chain-link fence with a locked gate. The thieves figured the gate was too tough to break so they cut down the fence. Mark Miller's trailer was parked in a "U-Store'm" yard with a 24-hour access card entry system. Somehow, the thieves obtained an entry card, drove in and then drove out with the trailer in tow. Yes, there were even security cameras filming them driving out with the trailer. The truck? A white F-150-just like about 100,000 other ones in the Los Angeles area.

My three trailers are parked where they are readily accessible and present easy targets for a thief. Sure, I lock the ball coupler with a padlock but it would take someone with a bolt cutter about 30 seconds to cut this lock. There had to be a better way to protect a trailer. My search led me to a company called Trimax (866/796-8500, www.trimaxlocks.com), which claims to make the "world's toughest lock." They make a wide array of locks from those with secure trailer couplers, locking hitch pins, braided cables, padlocks, armored locks, and more. If you need to lock something, this company has it.

The first thing on my order list was a U Max 100 that consists of a hardened-steel yoke that fits over the top of the ball receiver and locks onto a housing that supports a ball that enters the ball socket, where a round center key locks it in place. Nothing less than an acetylene torch or a plasma cutter is going to remove it once locked in place.

Second on my order list was a Lever Lock Multi Use Coupler Trigger. OK, a long name that is not very descriptive. It amounts to an especially trick barrel lock with a very hard shank. It fits tightly into a coupler's locking mechanism-so tightly there is no room for bolt-cutter jaws to enter. Looking at its construction, my guess is that the 800-pound gorilla couldn't beat it off with a sledge hammer.

A few years ago, someone wanted my receiver hitch bad enough to relieve me of it in a parking lot. Trimax makes this locking pin called Twister that also uses a round key that will prevent it from happening again. A round key? Yep, all three of these locking devices came with a cylindrical key. No more twisting a flat style key off in a stubborn lock. One of the best parts is that I was able to order all the locks to the same key.

I'm feeling a lot more confident knowing that my trailers are secure from someone thinking that they need them more than I do.

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