The safety of your horse trailer or horsebox is paramount in protecting your monetary investment as well as the well-being of your equine companions. Unfortunately, horse transportation is one of the most commonly stolen types of vehicle in rural areas throughout the UK. They are generally worth a lot of money and are often kept in isolated locations such as farms, livery yards or equestrian centres. In this guide, we’ll explore a range of security measures to ensure your horsebox or trailer remains a fortress against theft, and how to increase the chances of recovery. Insurance policies require you to take reasonable precautions to prevent the theft of your horse trailer or horsebox, so it is worth checking with your insurer what is required for theft cover to be provided.
1. Store it Somewhere Safe
Choose a secure storage location for your horse trailer, preferably within a locked facility or behind locked gates. A location with people living on-site or houses nearby is a good idea. Otherwise, a well-lit area with good visibility such as a garage, barn or other secure building is an immediate deterrent for thieves.
2. Get CCTV
Installing CCTV cameras around the storage area provides an extra layer of security. Visible cameras act as a deterrent, while recorded footage can aid authorities in identifying and apprehending potential thieves. Whilst these cameras depend on local wifi, they are now cheap to buy and easy to install. They have remote monitoring apps to alert you if the sensors are triggered. Some cameras detect motion and immediately light the area, following the person they are tracking.
3. Invest in an Alarm System
A reliable alarm system is an excellent deterrent. Choose one with motion sensors and sound alerts, and consider models that connect to mobile apps for remote monitoring. This greatly increases the likelihood of retrieving your property.
5. Use a Hitch Lock for Horse Trailers
This simple yet effective device makes it challenging for thieves to hook up your trailer to their vehicle and drive away. Hitch locks or tongue locks will fit over the trailer’s hitch and make it unusable. Most insurance policies will require you to have at least a hitch lock and/or wheel locks when not using the trailer to provide theft insurance cover
6. Invest in a Wheel Lock
Wheel locks prevent the trailer from rolling or the horsebox from being driven, making them a less attractive target. Purchase the most robust lock you can afford as they are more resistant to tampering. Secure your lock on a rear tyre rather than the front one; this prevents thieves from towing your vehicle away if they have lifted the trailer tow bar and front wheel up.
7. Buy a Security Chain or a fixed security post
As an extra layer of security, securing your trailer to a fixed object with a heavy-duty security chain adds an additional layer of protection. Ensure the chain is of high quality and resistant to cutting, and thread the chain through the trailer structure or a wheel and then attach it to a ground anchor for extra security.
Alternatively, a fixed security post adds a physical barrier, preventing unauthorised towing of your horse trailer. Ensure it is securely anchored to the ground for maximum effectiveness. Parking a vehicle in front of it and blocking the trailer in will also prevent a thief from being able to steal the trailer.
8. Put Up Warning Signs
Visible warning signs indicating that security measures are in place can deter potential thieves. Signs indicating the presence of alarms, CCTV, or security patrols can make them think twice. Since 2022, police have been cracking down on trailer theft by implementing tamper-proof stickers that can be affixed to your box or trailer. These stickers say “POLICE – Stop if seen moving between 10pm and 5am”. This is ideal for those that only transport horses during the day, and helps police recognise when something suspicious may be happening.
9. Keep Photos & Documentation
Maintain a detailed photographic record of your horse trailer, including any distinctive features. This documentation is invaluable in the event of theft and aids law enforcement in the identification of your ownership should it be recovered. Similarly, take photos of any valuable equipment that may be stored inside as it will be beneficial for an insurance report.
Make sure to keep an organised record of serial numbers, chassis and model numbers and any custom markings on the trailer or box.
10. Install a Tracking Device:
Consider installing a GPS tracking device on your horse trailer or horsebox. This technology allows real-time tracking and increases the chances of recovering your trailer if stolen. This type of technology can deter people from trying to steal it in the first place or slow them down if they try to locate and remove the tracking device
11. Remove Tack
Never leave tack, harness, carriages or other valuable equipment inside the trailer. Store it separately in a secure tack room, reducing the appeal of the trailer to thieves. You could add a sign to the trailer or horsebox explaining that no valuables are left inside overnight.
12. Make Your Trailer Distinctive
Customise your trailer with distinctive markings, colours, or features – this can be done by adding stickers and decals which are cheap and easy to apply. This not only makes it easily recognisable but also less attractive to thieves looking for inconspicuous targets.
13. Security Marking & The CESAR system
Consider security marking your trailer or horsebox with an SBD-recognised forensic asset marking kit. This can be a natural deterrent and increase the chances of recognising you as the legal owner. The CESAR System is a national marking system for the Construction Equipment Association and Agricultural Engineers Association to reduce crime against farmers and other rural businesses.
14. Get Trailer or Horsebox Insurance
In the unfortunate event of theft or damage, comprehensive horse trailer or horsebox insurance is your safety net. Ensure your policy covers theft and that you comply with all the security requirements. Be aware that most trailer or horsebox policies will not insure valuable equipment stored inside and this needs to be insured separately.
Implementing a combination of these security measures fortifies your horse trailer against theft. From physical barriers to technological solutions, each step contributes to the overall safety of your investment. Remember to be proactive should a theft occur and contact the authorities and your insurance company as soon as possible.
If you would like any further information about safeguarding your horsebox or trailer, or how security measures can affect your insurance prices you can contact us on 01206 337388 Or email us at email@example.com.