Keeping your cargo safe is crucial. But you’re probably well aware that no particular door lock fits all situations. Hasps and door hardware vary in size and the way they function; likewise, padlocks, the most common type of truck door lock, also vary.
It’s always useful to review your security procedures and evaluate whether your locking system is as secure as you need it to be. It pays to have a look now and then at new lock technology that might bolster your defenses.
The most common type of trailer door lock is a cam action sidebar that slides into a hasp, with a padlock on the hasp. So what’s the best type of padlock?
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 obtain access to it. Thieves also sometimes watch when locks are opened and memorize the combination.
When choosing a padlock, look for these features:
Strong Internal Components
A padlock has to stand up to the elements, to dirt and debris, and the stress of a vehicle moving.
The lock body and the shackle (the curved part that passes through the hasp and locks down to keep the lock in place) should be made of alloy steel. Boron carbide locks are highly recommended for withstanding cutting and prying.
When the lock is locked, most of the shackle should be covered by the lock body. Look for padlocks with a “puck lock” profile or “shackle shroud,” both of which use the thickness of the lock body to cover the shackle.
Thieves can easily drill out the cores of even strong padlocks with protected shackles. Choose a lock with an anti-drill plate with rotating hardened steel or anti-drill pins. These deflect drill bits so there’s an added measure of security.
Locking pawls (the part of the lock that holds the shackle in place or that releases it) should be ball bearings. Other types of pawls can be easily defeated.
While it’s rare that criminals pick padlocks, you want to be sure your padlock cannot be easily picked.
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.