Alarm System Makes Sure Your Moving Truck Doesn’t Get Raided

When you move you generally load up everything you own into one truck. If your entire life is ever going to get ripped off, this is probably when it’s going to happen. To guard against the threat [Tim Flint] built his own alarm for a moving truck. If someone opens the door on the truck it’ll alert him via text message. Hopefully he’s got an annoying notification sound that will wake him up in time to catch them red-handed.

The setup is simple and shouldn’t distract you too much from your packing and loading. [Tim] connected a proximity sensor to an Arduino board which has its own WiFi module. The entire thing is housed in the black project box seen above and the proximity sensor is pointed at the moving truck door. When the door is opened the Arduino pushes an alert to Twilio which is configured to send him text messages.

The alarm system doesn’t protect from someone stealing the entire truck… that kind of system is an entirely different project.

20 thoughts on “Alarm System Makes Sure Your Moving Truck Doesn’t Get Raided

  1. To protect someone from stealing the entire truck, when you stop for the night, open the hood and take a spark plug wire with you. Or ideally the one to the center of the distributor if there is one.

    1. I’ve always pulled the relay to the fuel pump. My guess is not all vehicles have a relay but it will stop most that would be dumb enough to steal a giant moving truck.

      The wire to the distributor or to a spark plug is a great idea. Your not going to be able to bridge that with just anything.

  2. @dave m
    Your right a cellular network would be better. But we parked this outside our house the night before we moved. I didn’t have a gsm module for the Arduino. But, the same concepts would work with gsm.

  3. Shouldn’t this be on cell phone network? Your old place’s wifi router will be in a box on the truck, and the new place wont have internet yet…. and the network would not be un-boxed yet. Any what happens if some one steals the trailer at a rest stop…. not a Starbucks?

    1. …what?

      You’re going to let someone take the truck just to find out you can receive a text message in time? Two issues with that:
      1) Things in moving trucks should be packed so as not to “wobble”.
      2)Whatever you put the sensor on may not “wobble” till the perp is a mile down the road with all this guy’s worldly possessions.

      If he’s asleep in the middle of the night he’ll be receiving his text message as the truck is probably already down the road. Why not disable the truck in the first place and save the heartache?

      1. I’m not sure the Steal->Wobble->Text delay would be any longer than the Pilfer->Text delay, assuming a loose enough spring or even a loop of shoelace to suspend the box.

        That said, I’m not sure any silent alarm would be terribly useful if the truck were stolen. Putting a cheap phone with GPS and a one of those family tracker apps in one of your moving boxes might be more effective there.

  4. It took me a while to parse “alarm for a moving truck” the way the author intended. I was having images of people’s stuff being stolen in daring raids that involve leaning out of your vehicle at 70mph and passing TVs across lanes of traffic…

  5. I used to drive trucks on a regular basis. We always just backed them up against a wall or another truck. Worked pretty well for us. I’ve never been anywhere that I couldn’t make that work in some manner or another.

    Add a gsm modem and this could be useful, though.

  6. littered Uhauls with GPS trackers. “doues your property have any identifying makrs?”
    “sure GPS, do you want the IDs for the expensive stuff or the lojack module i hid in the dresser?”

  7. I think a very loud local alarm should be included in the mix to encourage the thieves it’s in their best interest to vacate the area asap. You’re leaving why care if it pisses off the neighbors? :)

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