Is Your Tailgate Up for Grabs?

Tailgate 1 II

Did you know that one of the most stolen items from a full-size pickup is the tailgate? According to a recent story in the Detroit News, the National Insurance Crime Bureau says that tailgate thefts are becoming more common for many reasons, not the least of which is how easy many tailgates are to remove; sometimes removal can be done without a tool. In addition, tailgates equipped with backup cameras or tailgate steps make them quite valuable to black-market auto parts dealers. Although the total numbers are not huge, certain areas in the U.S. (where pickup trucks are more common) are seeing a growing trend. 

There are several companies that make products specifically designed to prevent this kind of theft, but criminals are becoming more clever. Thankfully, just about every truck maker offers a manual locking tailgate (standard on some trim packages, it uses the ignition key), but Ram is the only manufacturer to offer a one-touch "lock down" feature on certain models that allows the owner to lock the doors, RamBox (if equipped) and the tailgate with a key fob. Although the new GM half-ton pickups and new Toyota Tundra offer only manual locking tailgates, we expect more truck makers to incorporate electronic, one-touch locking tailgates in the future.

There are several companies that offer small locking devices you can physically attach to your tailgate's lower pivot points (you could even get creative and make one yourself with some hose clamps), as well as more expensive electronic models that can be installed inside your truck's gate and activated via a new key fob. If you want to make upgrades to your older truck, start by looking at products from companies like Master Lock and Pace Edwards.

Tailgate F-150 II



Not really related but has anyone ever met a car salesman that actually knows more about the vehicle you are considering than you do? It is astonishing how little they know.
Stopped at a RAM dealer yesterday because of the deals going on and asked a couple salesmen when the Ecodiesel was going to hit the lots. They looked at me all shocked and replied, "That's only going to available in the Grand Cherokee."
Good grief!
I just shook my head and walked away.

I have only met one salesperson that was knowledgable and he was a mechanic that had some health issues that was now selling trucks.


they might know something we don't know. RAM's diesel may be further off than we thought. Detroit might be very nervous about introducing diesel to a market that has not embraced it yet. Can you say chevy Colorado?

GM has put diesel off by a couple of years.

RAM has no compact truck at all. Ditto Ford.

Is there really a market for diesel half ton trucks if gas prices keep coming down?

On the the main page of RamTrucks they have bulleted highlights for the 2014 Ram 1500 where they ask "Why Buy Any other truck?" EcoDiesel used to be the first thing listed as coming soon. Now it's gone. You have to scroll through several pages or read the fine print to fine any info on it. Why are they hiding it? Hmmmm.

You would think at the very least they would look at various websites and read some of the sales brochures about what they are selling. I have noticed the lack of knowledge as well and I am not as knowledgeable as many of you are but I at least try to keep up with the latest car and truck news on the various websites. Maybe they don't really care about the product they sell if they are not interested enough to read up on it and the competition.

They removed the "New Available EcoDiesel (coming soon)" and put the first reference to the EcoDiesel on the 5th page. On the 4th page if you click "more" at the bottom it will be listed as "available early 2014." Looks like it will be pushed back from 2014 model year well into the 2014 Calender Year.

I kinda wish someone would come and steal mine.
Toyota uses really soft metal for the tail gates and like most of the Tundra tailgates that I see, mine are smashed all to hell.

Most likely Ram is encountering complications with the installation; its not a load and lock application, especially with the tough emission requirements...Any body here old enough to remember the conversion of Chevy's small black into a diesel Oldsmobile from 1978 to 1985?...better left forgotten. With gasoline costs in remission now nearing $2.50 a gallon, the break even point for diesels and hybrids gets more difficult.

I understand what you guys are saying that this is likely going to be delayed, but these two had no clue whatsoever.
Nothing new, it's what I have always found with salesman no matter what they sell. It's all about the sale, never the product.

Gas prices always fluctuate up and down, this will never end but they will continue to climb regardless of how low they are now.
I will admit, the 3.6 vs. the 3.0 diesel is a hard sell. Never driven a 4X4 crew cab with the 3.6 though, I fear it is really a dog.


I've had an entirely different experience, especially with car salesmen. For about a year I worked in the service dept of a new car dealer and the guys in sales were very knowledgeable about product and about various tactics for financing.

There are presently diesel products in the US market apart from HD and heavy equipment. How well are they selling?

With lower gas prices diesel becomes even less competitive.

Lot hit date for Ecodiesel was just revealed by a Chrysler spokesperson:

I bet the FORD TAILGATE WITH THE GIRLY GIRL MAN STEP is one of the hottest tailgates on the thieves lists. It is no wonder because there are so many GIRLY GIRL KOOL-AID GUZZLING FORD FANATICS OUT THERE. LMAO

How about creating some kind of 'keyed' system for the installation and removal of tailgates?

You wouldn't need the amount of combinations used for a lock. Have 50 different keyed combinations.

This would discourage the theft of the tailgates.

It seems a pity that your tailgates are getting stolen. Are they becoming damaged through misuse and overloading?

Or, they could build stronger tailgates.

We don't seem to have that problem here of damaging tailgates.



The only remote locking tailagate


True the Ram has a one botton lock all . its the way to go!!!

As for the Salesman, dumb as a rock, the man in fleet sales wanted me to teach a class to there sales man..... The sales man for the Ram pickups here in Utah drive there custormers away.....Have no idea where the bear does it in the woods...If i owned a dealership id walk around and test my salesman on there knowledge......

@The Resident PUTC Goon
Yes, we don't have a problem of stolen tailgates. The reason is if a person here buys a vehicle to use totting bikes, quads etc around they will generally buy a trayback.

This is a much better option for using a vehicle as a truck. Also we have a number of aftermarket tray manufacturers. It would be hard to find a suitable tailgate to steal.

The solution in the US is simple. Just bolt the damn thing on.

How often are tailgates removed? If you want tailgate 'versatility' of having the ability to remove it often, then have an aftermarket system available. Or just have an aftermarket system right now.

Like insurance, if you don't want something stolen the cheapest option is to protect it, then insure it.

I mean if you look at the problem, it's not that hard to solve.

Developing a keyed system of installation and removal would work. This option would increase costs.

@papa jim,
Talking to people while going through several towns in the mid west, you have some extremely conservative owners and buyers. They talked of the GM Diesel car issue like it was yesterday.

Stealing tailgates no, but car emblems yes in Australia.

Has anyone thought of using a hose clamp to put around the slotted cup that supports the hinge point of the tailgate?

Make sure the worm drive mechanism of the clamp doesn't interfere with the action of the tailgate when rotated.

This would be a cheap fix.

@Robert Ryan
Car emblems are quite popular. I wonder what they do with them?

Maybe have them on display in their bedroom. Sort of like a bower bird.

Big Al--My Isuzu has a key lock on the tailgate, but I think that is because it is a top trim level. My old S-10 doesn't have a lock on the tailgate but it is getting old enough that most would lose interest in stealing anything from it.

As for the GM diesels from 1978-85 that was basically a 350 V-8 that was adapted to diesel. GM took some cost cuts and that is why it had problems. You could get that diesel in any GM car both midsize and full size and it was available on 1/2 GM trucks. The fact it was a diesel was not the problem, it was another example of GM cost cutting. Mercedes had a diesel at the same time that would literally go on forever.

@Jeff S
Lockable tailgates here I have yet to see. But demographics might be different.

If you need to move and store equipment safely we generally have tailor made ute backs for tradesman that has lockable tool chests built in.

But as of late larger tandem wheel trailers designed for tool cartage and storage is being used.

That is the biggest problem with a pickup/ute/truck the security of the load.

@Numpty the Multiposter/Goon
Remember last time you tried this?

I don't give up. You think you made a nice little home here at PUTC, but l will drive you insane ;) Like last time.

Think of the other bloggers.

You can use all the different names as per normal to state how much you dislike my comments.

Your latest attempt at trying to bully me didn't work. Communist? What a joke you really are.

I have not tried to take mine off the Chevy yet, and it has the assist to help close it, and I would imagine it will take a tool of sorts to remove it, but the one on my Dakota and F-150? both of those come off in seconds! and yes the F-150 does have the built in step, so I guess that would be worth more to some dirt bag, but now I think I will at least get a hose clamp on it, just so it would take a few more minutes to remove, same with the Dakota, but the Chevy has not only the assist, but a lock, and I do keep it locked! The F-150? no lock.

@Dave - I posted a link to an Alpar story a few weeks ago about a problem with the Ecodiesel. It was vague but it was supposed to be related to USA emissions compliance. The engines were on hold in Italy. TTAC also mentioned it. Next spring was the tentative release date they mentioned.

Those Ford tailgates in the pictures all have locks. Just need to remember if you have a locking tailgate keep it locked when you are not using it.

How many stories are they going to post on tailgate theft? IIRC, this is the 3rd one.

2015 F-150 will be remote locking. Mike Levine hinted to this in the linked DN story.

2015 F-150 will be the biggest cheap plastic POS truck with even more paper thin cheap rust steel. Mike Levine hinted to this in the linked DN story.


A locking tailgate is the only thing that Fiat POS Ram has going for it. Fake towing numbers that exceed the truck's GCWR, a dozen recalls, turd place in sales and customer satisfaction, a diesel that Ram is taking their sweet time on, a front air dam that makes ground clearance and approach angles a joke, fans which are a bunch of trolls... Gutless Gloryless Lamb.

I bought my 97 F150 new and wondered why it had a locking tailgate. My brother-inlaw bought a 98 chevy and he laughed at my locking tailgate. I now have a 2013 F350 Diesel 4X4 Crewcab and it has a locking tailgate which tells me if it is locked or not, took me a while to figure it out but along with my 97 they both stay locked. Only unlocked when they need to be unlocked. They also have some of the best plastic I've ever seen on them. As for my brother in law, his 98 chevy has long since passed. I still have my 97 and it rides and drives like a new on even after 272,475 miles. Love it!!

@Truck Crazy - MichiganBob doesn't have a locking tailgate because if he forgot his keys, he'd never be able to get his beer cans out of the box.

@ Lou BC So true!!! LMAO!!!!

Most of the time, I don't lock my tailgate and don't even lock my doors, windows down. But I did bolt my tailgate cable eyelet/clip 'under' the receiver/hanger:

It doesn't make it 'theft proof', but it'll take a few minutes with the right tools.

@BAF0 - You're a thorn in EVERYONE'S side. What the hell for? And what's in it for you? Or anyone that trolls obsessively? Get a life or something. This was supposed to be a friendly forum about trucks.

If you're going to troll, at least be original about it.

@ bafo

Hey guy, what's with all the repeated postings? I don't mean to say this to hurt your feelings and make you feel like you're being bullied, but instead of being a nuisance, go wax your car or truck, if you have one, or go find some chores to do where you live.

Back to the Ram Ecodiesel, I remember hearing something that Ram ecodiesels should start hitting the lots by the end of the year, is this not true? And where are the MPG numbers already if that were the case?

@BAF0 - You're a thorn in EVERYONE'S side. What the hell for? And what's in it for you? Or anyone that trolls obsessively? Get a life or something. This was supposed to be a friendly forum about trucks.

Posted by: DenverlllMike | Dec 1, 2013 8:01:14 PM

Denver Mike hit the nail on the head with this statement. Well said man!

Nobody wants my's old, dinged-up and rusty.

What is the deal with BAFO spamming this thread with all of this garbage? I bet he has over half of the posts on this single thread alone.

I use a hard shell, locking, top made by "UnderCover" on my F-150. when it's closed and locked you can not open the tailgate. So with the factory tailgate lock and my after market top. I feel confident with the security of my tailgate

The "solution" is you just lock the dammm thing. Nothing else needs to be done.

I give up! I have a confession to make. I don't even own a truck/ute. I drive a 1992 Ford Escort.

@Jason H. - grabbing someone's tailgate can also lead to sexual harrassement charges...... but likw you said, who wants to grab one that is old,rusty, and OMG - dinged up. LOL

The tailgate rusted out and fell off of my 2010 F-150. It is just a simple case of poor build quality with paper thin sheetmetal and poor rustproofing. Sometime soon there will probably be a new Hemi RAM in my garage.




So are stealing truck tailgates a gate way to other crimes.

@rr7c- the GM diesels of the late 70's were not "converted" gas engines. That's a myth. The GM V8 diesels were based on the chevy small block architecture, but the blocks were of a much higher nickle alloy content and heavily reinforced in the main web/crankcase areas. No, they're not a simple gas engine conversion. Also, a lot of the problems with those diesels had to do with the injector pumps failing which happened a lot due to the "dirty" (ie. water contaminated) diesel fuels available at that time. In addition, you had customer expectations of extended maintenance like the regular gas engines. The diesels needed to maintained more often than their gas counterparts. The aoil needed to be changed at the most at 2-2.5K mile intervals (or even less in some cases) due to fuel contamination.

Once these problem areas were addressed, the injector pump redesign, changing the oil religiously and using cleaner diesel fuel, they run pretty reliably over the long term.

I see tailgates for sale in the local online classified adds. Even when someone finds their missing tailgate in one of those adds there's nothing they can do cause they have no proof its off their truck. Calling the Police is a waste of time cause no proof it is yours even if someone just robbed it a week ago and its the same color and make.

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