In some cases, on-track accidents are unavoidable or the variables are extremely hard to control. But in the case of off-track incidents like theft and fires, there are measures racers can take to mitigate the potentially devastating outcomes.
Trailer security is the main focus of Lyle Clark at TrailerAlarms.com. The company sells alarms, GPS tracking systems, advanced locks and other trailer equipment. TrailerAlarms.com’s PTS-2G, which is an alarm and GPS system that sends text or email notifications when the alarm is triggered, won two 2020 PRI Global Media Awards at the 2019 PRI Show.
“We sell peace of mind,” Clark says. “We’re now in our 16th year protecting small and large race teams’ equipment, government agencies’ specialized trailers and more. When you’re traveling up and down the road with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment, a $3 lock isn’t going to keep it all safe. Our products aren’t inexpensive, but they’re not cheaply made either. Plus, your insurance provider might offer a discount for having our equipment on your trailer.”
One of a racer’s worst nightmares while traveling down the highway is seeing smoke billowing out from the trailer behind them. It’s been an issue for as many years as race cars have been hauled in enclosed trailers, but social media has made these roadside trailer fires seem much more common in recent years.
It was a devastating trailer fire that led Tommy Johnson Sr. to develop a totally wireless smoke detector and alarm system to pair with the trailer GPS systems he sells through his company, Advanced Wireless Technology. Unlike other trailer alarm systems, it’s activated by smoke, not fire. The alarm triggers the tractor and trailer clearance lights and sounds a loud, piercing alarm.
“If the driver somehow doesn’t hear or see that it will then – when used with our new GPS – send the truck driver a text message telling him of the problem back in the trailer,” Johnson says. “It will also send management back at the race shop an e-mail telling them of the problem, give them the exact address so they can call the local fire department. and send them out to the trailer in case the truck driver has not already extinguished the trailer fire.”
While it’s nearly impossible to entirely prevent theft or fire damage, these products can make a big difference if they’re put to the test.
This story originally appeared in a DI Focus feature in DI #163, the Photo Annual, in December of 2020.