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Why are Large Trucks Targeted for Their Catalytic Converters?

May 12th, 2023

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As of late, pickup trucks have become one of the most targeted vehicle types by catalytic converter thieves. Mainly midsize or large pickup trucks like the Toyota Tacoma or the Ford F-150.

Are Truck Catalytic Converters Bigger?

If you're a truck owner or have friends who own a truck, you've likely known someone or heard stories of someone's truck having its catalytic converter clipped from the undercarriage. An unfortunate event that happens all too often in public spaces and residential home driveways and parking lots.

The fact that pickup trucks have larger catalytic converters to handle the amount of exhaust expelled from the V6 or V8 engines is what makes these #1 targets for catalytic converter thieves. They are larger, which means there are more expensive metals inside. Metals like palladium, platinum, and rhodium which can sell for up to a thousand dollars per ounce. Criminals know that a bigger catalytic converter means a larger paycheck. Because the risk of getting caught is low, thieves gravitate toward this vehicle type.

What's a Truck's Catalytic Converter Worth?

You know what's not low? A truck's ground clearance. Another reason why pickup trucks are frequently targeted for their converters. Crooks don't have to use a jack to prop the vehicle up to get what they need. A pickup truck catalytic converter can cost between $300 and $3,500, and in minutes a catalytic converter thief can take this from you, burning a hole right through your pocket. What is a catalytic converter thief? Someone who crawls beneath the undercarriage of a vehicle with a portable electric saw and cuts the catalytic converter piece straight from your exhaust pipes.

All it takes is minutes to cut a catalytic converter off a truck. With a criminal team driving a car, they can pull up to a parked truck, slip out the back seat, and beneath the truck's undercarriage while under cover of both car and truck. One person cuts the catalytic converter off and takes it into the back seat, and the getaway car is gone without anyone witnessing the crime.

Another reason trucks are targeted is that this is a common vehicle used mainly by business contractors and other self-employed individuals. When trucks are parked alone and unguarded on the weekend, crooks will take the risk and flock to an unprotected vehicle that they can violate in the early morning darkness.

Protecting Your Pickup Truck from Catalytic Converter Theft

Year after year, catalytic converter thefts rise in America. Because trucks are targeted just as much as hybrid vehicles, truck owners should consider adding protection to their undercarriage. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported an astounding 1,215% increase in stolen cat converters from 2019 to 2022. As the prices of precious metals continue to rise in 2023, catalytic converters continue to get stolen, and there doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel just yet.

Many truck owners and businesses with a fleet of vans and trucks are turning to metallic shield guards to prevent access to the catalytic converter entirely. The bottom plate is designed to fit the truck's undercarriage and is meant to block every angle that is hackable by a saw. It is a sufficient deterrent for criminals from attempting to cut at your truck's exhaust pipes. These undercarriage plates are an affordable way to protect your truck while left alone in its parking space.