Pickup truck tailgates are expensive, and unlocked, they are very easy to remove. Though some trucks come equipped with tailgates that lock electronically along with the door locks, many still do not.
The most popular targets seem to be Ford F-250 and F-350 tailgates, along with the Chevy Silverado 1500. Since 2010, tailgate theft has increased almost five times, which many industry experts attribute to the new features now included. Recent-model tailgates can fetch several thousand dollars, especially the ones with the fancy back-up cameras, integrated steps, and exotic materials. The most popular targets seem to come off of Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks, along with the Chevy 1500.
Tailgates can cost even more to replace. For example, at the time of this writing, a replacement 2017 Ford Super Duty Platinum stepgate would set you back about $3500 from eBay. Complicating matters further, you would either have to find one in the same color as your truck or pay to have it painted to match. Clearly, the best course of action is prevention.
What are some ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim of tailgate theft?
1. Park in your locked garage. This is the safest way. If thieves can’t see or easily access your truck, they won’t bother.
2. Lock your truck if you have a tailgate lock. The tailgate has to be swung open in order to remove it. A locked tailgate won’t allow that.
3. If you must park in your driveway, back in close to the garage door. Again, thieves must be able to open the gate to remove it. Restricting access makes your truck a much less attractive target.
4. Install a tailgate lock. These are relatively cheap pieces of metal that prevent the tailgate from being removed so easily. Keyed or remote tailgate locks are also available ranging from $60 to $90 on up.
5. Spend a couple bucks on some hose clamps. Simple hose clamps on the tailgate hinges deter theft because a thief will not want to spend the additional time necessary to remove the clamp before removing your tailgate. Instructions can be found at this link:
If you are in the market for a new truck, you may want to consider the added peace-of-mind an electronic tailgate lock could bring. If you already have a truck that doesn’t have tailgate locks, fear not. The tips above can help ensure thieves move on to an easier target. Though we can’t prevent all crime of this kind, it is possible to minimize the chance that this will happen to you.
There are signs that this kind of theft is veering more towards commercial trucks because of the safety backup cameras and other installed equipment. However, it only takes a thief 20 seconds to ruin your day for a quick buck. Incorporating these tips into your daily habits could help save you a lot of time and frustration.
If you find these tips useful, don’t forget to share with your friends to increase awareness.
What other vehicle security tips do you have for truck owners? Did we miss something? Please let us know in the comments blow.