Tailgate Locks, What Are They Good For?!
This is a follow up to my previous post about Tailgate Theft and How to Prevent It with a Tailgate Lock.
In the previous post we discussed the rising rate of tailgate thefts (see the National Insurance Crime Bureau report) and specifically, one option for preventing it – a tailgate lock. For many this was the first time you’d seen such a device and even more invested in purchasing one of your own. For others, this topic raised some questions. Questions such as:
- Why do I need a Tailgate Lock when I can accomplish the same thing with a hose clamp for $1.00?
- Do I need to purchase two of these tailgate locks to prevent someone from being able to lift the other side of the tailgate up and pulling the tailgate off?
- Most tailgates are equipped with a keyed lock in the handle, why don’t people just use that lock?!
Well hold on to your seats because for every question you have – I have an opinion!
Tailgate Lock VERSUS Hose ClampOne of the most common comments made in response to the recommendation of the tailgate lock, was that the same goal could be achieved by using a hose clamp. Effectively, yes, using a hose clamp is a CHEAP (roughly one dollar) and effective solution to preventing tailgate theft, but it does have it’s drawbacks.
- In order for the hose clamp to be secure, it needs to be either ground down or have the screw head drilled into so that someone cannot remove it by simply loosening it.
- Once the hose clamp has been made secure, ease of removal when needed, is pretty much non-existent. This is a fine option if you never plan to remove your tailgate for any reason.
- While the hose clamp does provide some security, it still ultimately will not live up to the same level of protection that a tailgate lock can provide if someone attempts to defeat it.
Do I Need A Tailgate Lock or Hose Clamp On Both Sides?
Short answer – most likely, no. However, it will just depend on your vehicle. Most truck tailgates are only slotted for removal on one side, so one tailgate lock or hose clamp will do the trick.
Why Not Just Lock The Tailgate With The Equipped Lock?
It’s true that most trucks are now equipped with a keyed lock at the handle on the tailgate. The ideal solution to prevent tailgate theft would be to simply keep this locked. The problem is, life gets busy, we get distracted and that’s when tailgates get stolen. This is why I prefer the tailgate lock as my anti-theft solution. It’s a simple and effective solution that I don’t have to constantly be worried about forgetting to secure!
Ultimately, whether you choose to purchase a Tailgate Lock, or choose to go with a hose clamp or even some other option, the end goal is that you DO SOMETHING. Secure your property and avoid being a victim.
Other Best Practices For Preventing Tailgate Theft
- Park with the rear of your vehicle backed up close to a building or residence to prevent the tailgate from being able to be let down.
- Engrave your VIN (vehicle identification number) into your tailgate. It should be visible but not to the point that it becomes an eye sore or is aesthetically unpleasing.