We applaud Anne Peters for highlighting the ever-increasing threat of cargo theft to the trucking industry (Highway Robbery, Truck News, October), however as a manufacturer of security products, we feel the need to expand on a few points.
With kingpin locks not created equal and ranging in price from $10 to $475, the only common element is the intention: preventing trailer theft. The performance is a totally different story. The lower cost units offer nothing but the most basic deterrence and are no longer trusted by the industry. Top-end units however remain extremely effective and continue to be the single best device for preventing trailer theft.
Supposed alternatives abound, yet do not offer the same level of protection. Gladhand locks are indeed easy to remove and can be bypassed by inverting the trailer’s air lines. GPS-based devices, rapidly accepted by the industry and now in widespread use, excel at asset tracking and management but have not proven effective in deterring theft from occurring in the first place.
So what makes a good kingpin lock? Compromises cannot be made on the key system, which must be manufactured by an authority-approved, long-established company. Additionally, cone-shaped kingpin locks have proven the only effective format to resist not only gear pullers, as mentioned in the article, but also modified fifth wheels and tractors. (Thieves widen the fifth wheel or insert a welded box with a second kingpin into height-adjustable tractors and effortlessly lift away locked trailers).
Many trucking companies come to realize the flexibility and confidence the best kingpin locks from specialized companies can provide and contact us but only after a theft. Until that point, price considerations continue to steer them towards unreliable, no-name or off-the-shelf units. High quality kingpin locks are a fundamental part of a comprehensive theft prevention strategy that protects both the goods and the reputations of responsible transport providers.
President, Universal Boot Inc.
Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry. All posts by Truck News