If you've ever seen towing locks, you may have noticed that they don't look like the locks you usually see. People could use padlocks to secure their hitches and trailer doors like a bicycle lock, but these types of locks are generally viewed as too easy to break. A thief could simply take the butt of an axe handle or some other blunt object and smash the lock, leaving your trailer ready for a quick inspection and seizure.
Like generic padlocks, towing locks require keys for unlocking. The driver is provided with a set of keys, and only those keys will open the lock. The shape of the locks and how they secure the vehicle are typically different, but they all usually take the place of any standard pin or simply fall straight in between matching slots on your hitch receiver. Some towing lock sets use steel pins and simple padlocks that slide together like a nut and bolt to secure tightly against the hitch or coupler. Others snap together and offer push button lock mechanisms.
Not every receiver or coupler is made the same; similarly, there are different types of towing locks. What are some of the different types of towing locks? We'll take a look on the next page.