It is a sad fact that criminals see trucks as a tempting target for theft. So many loads have high cash values for unscrupulous dealers, especially if they consist of the type of goods that can be easily disposed of with no questions. This piece aims to give some suggestions for ways of making such theft a lot less likely.
Get some good ideas
The Freight Transport Association has a useful list of 10 tips to avoid HGV crime. Truckinginfo’s website also has some interesting points, although from an American viewpoint. Thankfully robbery at gunpoint is less common in the UK!
Key to any security plan is the driver, who will be in charge of the vehicle. Be careful, be alert, and don’t take unnecessary risks – that should sum up the driver’s approach. Obviously, keen attention to locking and checking the vehicle should be instinctive. Be naturally suspicious of strange people taking an interest in stopping the vehicle or engaging you in conversation. Are they masking other activity? Consider using a Vulnerable Load Card (kept in the lorry and shown to anyone approaching, stating that the driver is instructed not to open his door, but is prepared to follow an officer to the police station). Do not talk about the contents of your load. Who can tell who may be listening, and who may decide your cargo is a prize worth taking.
Make sure that your procedures encourage security. Do not allow vehicles to be left unattended, except in secure well-lit yards. Emphasise that vehicles should never be left unless fully locked and immobilised. Ensure dispatching has security measures. For instance, a common trick used by thieves is to redirect a driver to an unexpected destination. Make sure that your driver will double check such instructions before complying.
Various systems and devices can help to deter crime. Fit drawbar locks and maybe concealed valves for the braking system. Truck camera systems, such as those provided by http://www.backwatch.co.uk/, are also helpful.
If the worst happens
Let us hope that you never have it happen to you, but if it does, don’t take any risks, and be a careful witness. Note down vehicle numbers, and make sure you have all documents with you, not left in the lorry.