Bolt Lock Receiver Lock Review

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We review the Bolt Lock Receiver (Hitch) Lock with a unique design using the vehicle’s ignition key


  • Not available for all vehicle applications
  • Pricey when compared to traditional pins

A receiver (or hitch) pin is the locking pin system that keeps your trailer or rack mount locked securely to the towing receiver of your vehicle. These simple devices are comprised of two pieces – a steel pin in the shape of a hockey stick, and a slip on cap which houses a keyed lock to secure the pin in place.

The Strattec Security Corporation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has come up with a revolutionary receiver lock design which offers the user the ease of utilizing the vehicle’s ignition key to operate the pin’s lock mechanism. This means you will have one less key to worry about, and as long as you have the key to operate the vehicle, you will also be prepared to deal with any trailer mount issues in short order.

Bolt Lock Receiver Lock ReviewThe Bolt Lock, like a traditional locking pin, has been designed to secure the  steel bar which slides into your truck’s receiver mount where it is secured with a pin just like any other towing accessory.

One look at the Bolt Lock and it becomes immediately apparent that it is something different. The Bolt Lock’s pin is available to fit either 5/8″ or 1/2″ receiver locks, and is constructed of solid stainless steel so it will resist rust and maintain its tensile strength for years to come. The lock mechanism is a six-plate tumbler design which makes it almost impossible to pick or bump, and the internals are further protected by a stainless steel lock shutter to keep out moisture and debris. The lock mechanism is also protected by a rugged, plastic jacket which includes an integrated end cap to cover the key slot.

Currently Strattec has designed this product for a variety of different vehicle and key applications including a wide range of vehicles from the likes of General Motors, Ford, Dodge, Toyota and Nissan. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t yet make a Bolt Lock for my application (Honda Ridgeline), so I ordered a test unit for a close associate of mine who drives a Ford F-150 and tends to use his trailer a lot.

Installation was a breeze, as it only takes a few seconds to mate the lock to your vehicle’s key. By simply inserting your key into the automotive grade lock cylinder and turning it to the locked position, a series of special code bars will permanently program the spring-loaded tumblers to match the cuts and grooves of your key. It really is pretty clever.

My associate informed me that the Bolt Lock receiver lock is the best hitch pin he has ever used, and he has used lots of them over the years. He especially liked the fact that the Bolt Lock receiver lock features an innovative auto-return spring feature so that the pin will automatically lock when the key is removed. This feature provides the user with a little extra confidence in the product as once the key is out of the cylinder they will know that the pin is locked.

Bolt Lock Receiver Lock Review

The test unit I received for this evaluation has been receiving almost daily use for the last eight months as the owner of the Ford F-150 I enlisted to torture test it has been renovating his house which has required him to haul building materials to the job site as well as waste materials to the dump. He has also been tacking a handful of auto restoration projects which tend to require shuttling back and forth to the body and paint shops.

Bolt Lock Receiver Lock ReviewThe receiver lock has held up well over this extended period and shows little signs of use despite the fact that it has been installed and removed on a regular basis as different trailers were utilized depending on the task for the day.

Judging from the positive feedback I have received and the Bolt Lock’s obvious build quality, it looks like Strattec has stumbled upon a winning design. In fact, the company is so confident in their one key design philosophy that they have launched a wide range of  accessory locks -including a padlock, cable lock, spare tire lock, and a motorcycle lock – and have other products taking shape on the design board.

The Bolt Lock receiver lock retails at US$38.99 (MSRP) for most applications.

For more information on this innovative product please visit the company’s website

Russell Purcell
Russell Purcell is an award-winning automotive journalist and photographer based in Vancouver, B.C. His passion for automobiles was sparked at the tender age of six, when a family friend gave the wide-eyed first grader a ride to school in a track prepared Porsche 911 RSR. He continues to fan the flames by building an impressive library of automotive related books as well as a vast collection of interesting automobilia and motoring artefacts. Russell is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, and is active on Twitter as RoadTestRuss.