Buy once, Cry once. Made of high quality stainless steel and featuring a disk-cylinder lock. AMPLock has manufactured one of the best hitch pins money can buy.
Let’s face it, the reality here is that most locks on the market offer little to no real protection against an actual physical assault. While they all come with little keys and they all “lock” shut. That 8 dollar lock from the auto-parts store does nothing more than deter only the laziest of thieves.
What makes AMPLock trailer locks different? Are they worth the extra money? See below for my 6-month review of their hitch pin and trailer coupler lock.
Introduction and Reason for this Review
First, let me start off by saying I am in no way affiliated with AMPLock. They did not pay me, they did not send me equipment for free or give me equipment at a discount in exchange for a review. All items were purchased 100% with my own money.
With a decade working in the commercial security industry & having gone through not one…but two burglaries. Security is something that is always on the mind.
To my surprise, good quality trailer locks are pretty hard to find
The reason for this article is pretty simple. When looking for a new locking pin for my truck and trailer….finding something that would provide even a decent amount of security was proving to be an extremely difficult task.
Majority of the articles and reviews were on the same mass produced, low-quality junk that can be defeated within seconds. (Reese and Masterlock)
It was only after a few hours of research that I stumbled across a brand that I never heard of before. AMPLock.
AMPLock High Security Trailer Locks
Based out of Quebec Canada. AMPLock is manufacturing company that specializes in high-quality trailer locks that offer more than just a false sense of security.
According to their story. The company was started after the founder had a trailer stolen. Unable to find anti-theft equipment to prevent this situation from happening a second time, they decided to build their own.
What sets their anti-theft trailer locks apart from the rest? Smart Designs and High Quality Materials
The first thing i noticed when my order arrived (even before opening the package), was the weight of the box. This stuff is heavy!
Heavy means more steel….and the more steel the better.
Take safes for example. Why do high quality safes cost anywhere from three, four, sometimes ten times as much vs large safes sold at big box stores? One of the answers can be found by just looking at the weight difference.
High-end safe manufactures use much thicker steel in their construction of the walls and doors. The thicker the steel the harder it will be to pry, bend or cut.
Now, no matter how much you spend or how thick the steel. ANY security device can be defeated with enough time. The better quality the lock, the more time you are buying vs an attack. Since most thieves are looking for a quick score, the longer you keep them busy the better the chance they will give up and move onto an easier target.
High Quality, High Security Features
What makes this one of the best trailer hitch pins on the market?
- Quality materials and construction
- Disk-based lock mechanism
- Great customer support
The U-HLP58318 is made of Stainless Steel which is an excellent choice for toughness and resistance to rust. Overall construction is top notch and it even comes with a rubber end-cap to protect the keyway from dirt, water and dust. (more on this cap below)
Going back to weight, this thing is built like a tank. Everything from the solid stainless steel pin to the over-sized locking mechanism.
It’s going to take a more than a hammer or pipe to break this thing off.
Disk-based lock mechanism
This is one of the most impressive things about this lock and what really separates it from just about every other receiver pin on the market. The disk-based locking mechanism.
Typically only found on high-end security locks
Also referred to as a disk tumbler lock or disc detainer lock. This type of lock uses a key to align a series of notched disks instead of pins & springs.
There are a few benefits to this.
Not only is this design typically much harder to pick it is also pretty rare to see. Since the vast majority of locks found in padlocks and door knobs use traditional pin tumblers, many thieves are experts in picking that style of lock.
Great Customer Support
AMP Lock had a great customer service rep that was available via online chat to help me select the right product to fit my Toyota Tacoma receiver hitch.
model# U-HLP58318. (Click here to see price on Amazon)
They are were also very helpful in sending out a new rubber end cap after mine developed a cut in the rubber. Way to go guys!
Final Thoughts, Product Review
When I first came across this lock I remembered thinking…Wow that seems pretty expensive for just a metal pin.
An investment in Security
However, consider the value of the equipment you are towing (boat, trailer, snowmobiles, atvs, etc.) and the fact that you will need a pin anyway. Instead of buying cheap crappy pins that offer no real security every year or two. It makes sense to “buy once, cry once” and just invest in something that will more than likely outlive the truck and whatever you are towing.
Overall I am very happy with my purchase and think this really is one of the best trailer hitch pins available. Night and day difference from my Reese Towpower that it has replaced.
After six months of using it to pull a snowmobile trailer on salt covered roads it shows almost no signs of wear or rust. The only damage was a cut to the protective rubber cap (which AMP lock sent out a replacement free of charge).
My only complaint is the size of the locking assembly. While it is very beefy, it does take up alot of room and can make connecting the trailer safety chains more difficult.
To remedy, I now connect the trailer safety chain from the backside as the large AMP Lock pin can block access from the front.
How to Install, AMP Hitch Locks
For reference here is a great video that shows how to install the AMP hitch trailer lock.
As you can see from the video, installation is pretty easy.
Here a few of the basic steps:
- Simply insert the solid metal pin into the truck’s receiver hitch
- Fit the locking assembly onto the end of the pin
- Clip on the safety split spring cotter pin
- Use the keys to lock it all in place
- Finish by placing the rubber debris cap over the keyhole opening
Do I really need a locking trailer hitch pin?
Everyday trailers are stolen. Boats, snowmobiles, motorcycles, food carts, tools…you name it. Heck, even the hitch itself can be a target for a thief!
Now, it will take more than just a strong locking pin to completely stop a theft from occurring. But, you can greatly reduce the odds of it happening to you with a few good quality security devices.
Crime opportunity theory suggests that offenders make rational choices and thus choose targets that offer a high reward with little effort and risk.– Wikipedia
When choosing a security device we are looking to Increase the Effort & Risk required of the thief.
No lock is “unbreakable”, We are simply buying time.
The more time it takes, the more effort is required. The more effort that is required, the greater the overall risk.
Where can you buy a high security trailer locking pin?
So far I have never seen these locks sold at any local store. In-fact, the only locking pins they seem to carry are the cheap ones that can be easily broken off with a few blows from a hammer attack.
Instead, Buy online and have it shipped direct to you.
Thanks for stopping by, if you have a product you would like to share or had a trailer stolen leave a comment below.