ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Prevent Commerical Truck and Trailer Theft

Updated on November 22, 2009

Protect Your Business

Any business that has motor vehicle operations should carefully consider a security program to protect trucks, trailers, employees, and cargoes. According to a crime report published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were approximately 1.2 million motor vehicle thefts in the United States in 2005, with losses estimated at $7.6 billion. Almost 18 percent of stolen vehicles were commercial trucks or buses which were taken for resale or, with increasing frequency, “chopped” for parts.

The loss of the vehicle itself is only a faction of the cost. When power equipment is stolen, companies face business interruptions, parts shortages, angry customers, revenue loss, and higher insurance premiums. Cargo theft takes an even greater toll, accounting for as much as $25 billion in direct merchandise losses each year in the United States. Violent hijackings create workers’ compensation and general liability exposures if employees are traumatized, injured, or worse during the crime.

Many such losses can be prevented if management and operators implement some basic security measures to make vehicles less vulnerable or desirable to thieves, and easier to recover if they are stolen. The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends that every well-designed vehicle security plan have four layers of protection that cover the vehicles, trailers, and drivers: common sense, warning and anti-theft devices, immobilizing devices, and tracking devices.


Layer 1: Common Sense Measures

Basic security measure can usually prevent crimes of opportunity or stop unsophisticated thieves. The simplest theft deterrent is to shut off the engine, remove the ignition key, close the windows, and lock the doors anytime the vehicle is left unattended, even if it is “just for a moment”. Other common sense tips:

  • Do not hide spare keys in or under the vehicle.
  • Never put an identification tag on a vehicle key ring that directly identifies the vehicle. A lost key ring can lead a thief right to the vehicle.
  • Park safely. Park in an attended lot whenever possible. If this is not practical, choose a well-lighted and fenced lot, or a busy area that is clearly visible from the street.
  • Do not leave windows “cracked” for ventilation. Thieves have tools that can unlock vehicles through a minimal open space.
  • Forbid unauthorized passengers, especially hitchhikers.
  • Install locking cargo doors on trailers and keep them locked.
  • Make high-value cargo less accessible to theft by placing it in the front of the trailer with normal cargo in back.
  • Use king-pins locks on parked trailers.

Instruct operators how to drive safely:

  • Keep doors locked and windows closed, especially when stopped in traffic or at traffic lights.
  • When stopped in traffic, always leave enough room to make an emergency escape.
  • Carefully plan vehicle routing and restrict travel to major roads whenever possible. Avoid lightly-traveled streets, especially after dark.
  • Instruct drivers not to deviate from the route and avoid unnecessary stops. Choose eating and rest areas with security in mind.
  • Keep motor equipment in good repair to avoid breakdowns. Drivers should not let fuel tanks get below one-quarter full.
  • Be wary of persons indicating there is something wrong with a vehicle, asking for directions (especially in parking areas), or attempting to flag them down. Ensure drivers carry radios or cell phones so they can remain in the vehicle and summon help.

Protect your truck and cargo
Protect your truck and cargo

Layer 2: Warning and Anti-Theft Devices

Vehicle security alarm systems and anti-theft devices include detectors, audible alarms, steering wheel locks, and theft deterrent decals. These deter or discourage thieves, and alert others of forced entry into the truck. Some systems are quite sophisticated and will even send an automatic alert to a central station or pager if a vehicle is moved without authorization. Such systems, however, only buy time and will not prevent a determined thief from stealing the vehicle. Consequently, alarm and anti-theft systems should always be used in combination with other prevention measures.

Layer 3: Immobilizing Devices

Vehicle immobilizer systems prevent thieves from taking the truck under its own power by disabling vital automotive functions and preventing the engine from being restarted until a hidden switch is activated. Other types, such as fuel cut-off devices, allow the vehicle to operate a short time and then stall out. Disabled vehicles, however, can still be towed away, making the fourth layer of security necessary.

Layer 4: Tracking Devices

The final layer of security is a tracking device that enables owners or the police to track the location of the vehicle and recover it faster with less damage or loss of cargo. Most systems now use Global Positioning System (GPS), which sends vehicle information (such as speed, direction of travel, or location) to a remote user. Police can simply follow the signal emitted by the tracking system or view vehicle position on an electronic map. When coupled with an automatic alert system to a central station, tracking devices have been known to lead police to stolen high-value cargo trailers before they could towed even a few miles away. GPS is also used by fleet operators to assist in routing, dispatch, and monitoring driver behavior, but can double as theft prevention and a retrieval device.

Summary

Professional vehicle-theft rings are cunning and skilled, but implementing Layer 1 security basics may persuade them to move to easier targets. Layer 2 and 3 precautions will discourage crimes of opportunity or less sophisticated thieves, and buy time if a pro is involved. Layer 4 tracking devices can assist in implementing Layer 1 security measures, such as safer routing and driver monitoring, and may help in the faster recovery of stolen vehicles or cargo. Businesses cannot afford the cost and disruption of vehicle and cargo theft. The four-layered vehicle security program is an investment well worth investigating.

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)