In today’s fast-paced world, the demand for goods transportation has been increasing. Freight trucks are an essential mode of transportation to transport goods from one place to another. The safety of the goods being transported is of utmost importance. The truck’s trailer door is the first line of defense against theft or damage to the goods. In a perfect world, every truck trailer door would be equipped with smart-opener tech like remote operation and monitoring. The reality is that trailer doors are universally manual. The commercial door hardware for freight truck doors, therefore, is super-heavy-duty, and usually includes heavy locks and steel slat reinforcement.
However, all trailer door locks are not created equal – and since you likely rely on padlocks to protect the contents of your trucks, you need to know the different features they come with, and why they matter.
It is essential to recognize that not all trailer door locks are suitable for all types of truck trailer doors or cargoes. Trailer door hardware, such as hasps and door handles, can vary in size and the way they function. Likewise, padlocks, the most common type of truck door lock, also come in a variety of different designs.
Another factor to consider is the location of the cargo during transportation. If the truck will be parked in an area with a high risk of theft, such as a rest area or truck stop, it may be necessary to use a more robust locking mechanism.
The size and shape of the padlock also matter, as it must fit the door hasp or locking mechanism on the trailer door. A padlock that is too small or too large will not provide adequate protection against theft, and it could be easily removed by a determined thief.
Understanding the differences of locks for truck trailer doors is crucial for the safe transport of goods. It’s a good idea to periodically review your security procedures and evaluate whether your locking system is as secure as you need it to be. It also pays to have a look now and then at new truck trailer door lock technology that might bolster your defenses.
Types of Locks for Freight Truck Doors
Combination padlocks aren’t generally considered as secure as a top-quality keyed lock. Also, someone can overhear a combination, or if it’s written down, may somehow get hold of it. Thieves also sometimes watch when locks are opened and memorize the combination.
When choosing a padlock for your tractor trailer doors, look for these features:
Strong Internal Components
A truck door padlock has to stand up to the elements, to dirt and debris, and the bumps and bounces of a vehicle that’s continually moving. Heavy-duty trailer door hardware and proper maintenance can ensure the integrity of the trailer door’s security even in harsh conditions.
The lock body and the shackle (the curved part that passes through the hasp and clicks down to keep the lock in place) should be made of alloy steel. Boron carbide locks are also highly recommended for truck trailer doors for their ability to withstand cutting and prying.
When the lock is locked, most of the shackle should be hidden inside the body of the lock. Look for freight truck door padlocks with a “puck lock” profile or “shackle shroud,” both of which use the thickness of the lock body to cover the shackle.
A puck lock – so named for its resemblance in shape to a hockey puck – leaves no shackle exposed outside the lock body. It will typically also have special hasps the completely shield the padlock. A shackle shroud is a sturdy covering that extends from the body of the lock to cover up the shackle. Both puck lock and shackle shroud on the door can provide can help ensure the safety of the truck trailer content.
Even if your trailer door’s padlock has one of these features designed to protect the shackle from bolt cutters or similar means of assault, thieves may still be able to easily drill out the core of even a strong padlock. Choose a lock with an anti-drill plate with rotating hardened steel or anti-drill pins. These deflect drill bits, providing an added layer of security.
Locking pawls (the part of the lock that holds the shackle in place or that releases it) should always be ball bearings. Other types of pawls can be easily defeated. Ball bearings are small metal balls that are incorporated into the locking pawls of certain types of locks. These bearings make it much more difficult for someone to bypass the lock by forcing it open or picking it. When the shackle is closed and locked, the ball bearings are forced into small indentations in the shackle. This makes it nearly impossible to remove the lock without the key. A small but important addition to your trailer door’s security.
Actually picking a padlock, whether with a lock pick or a bobby pin, happens far more often in movies and TV shows than in real life. But while it’s rare that criminals pick padlocks, you do want to be sure your trailer doors padlock is one that cannot be easily opened in this way.
The type of lock you choose should depend on your budget, and what type of cargo is being hauled. You may also want to consider the types of truck stops the drivers will be frequenting. Different loads may require different levels of security.
Keep Your Freight Safe with Reinforced Truck Door Locks
Investing in proper locking mechanisms for your truck trailer doors is investing in your safety and the security of the expensive inventory you haul. Freight trucks haul any number of things, even dangerous chemicals that are dangerous if not properly secured. But with the right commercial truck door hardware and the proper maintenance, you can make your trailer doors virtually impenetrable.