Security matters: keeping your van and contents safe

If you’re an owner driver, your most important asset (apart from your good self of course) is your vehicle, so protecting your work van and whatever you carry inside it is a very important consideration. An experienced owner driver might think they’ve got that area covered, but there’s always something new to be learnt.

Here are a few oldies, some goodies, and a couple you might not have thought of… 

Extras count

Nobody wants to fork out big bucks for added ‘extras’ if they don’t pay their way, but when you’re talking security, a few aftermarket modifications can go a long way. Consider any or all of the following:

  • Upgraded deadlocks
  • Slamlocks
  • Lockable toolboxes
  • Immobiliser (sometimes included in an alarm system but not always)
  • GPS vehicle tracking device
  • As good an alarm system as you can afford

Upgrade existing

If you’re constrained by budget, you can also upgrade or simply work with what you’ve got. For example, you can purchase decent steering locks without breaking the bank, and another level of security can be achieved with a handbrake lock. The general rule of thumb is to create as much of a deterrent as possible to potential thieves, so even fitting cheap fuel cap locks and locking wheel nuts can help.

Think laterally…

Another trick of the trade to apply plastic tint to all the windows of the vehicle, so if somebody does attempt to smash them the window will stay in tact rather than shatter and allow easy access. Even putting on a sticker stating that there are no valuables left in the van can be enough to deter an opportunistic thief.    

… And act sensibly

The thing about being an owner driver is that the buck (and blame) stops with you. How you conduct yourself on the job has a knock-on effect to every part of your business – and that includes vehicle security. Take a moment to reflect on your daily habits and make sure that you’re doing all you can.

  • Don’t leave any valuables in the vehicle. Don’t tempt fate, because you can guarantee your negligence will be some crook’s windfall. (This includes tools, technology and customers’ loads.)
  • Keep your records clean. By that I mean inventory (I know, groan), but believe me, once you get into the habit of logging everything that comes in and out of the van, life becomes a breeze. OK, maybe not, but things like insurance claims become much easier, as will your day-to-day operations.  
  • Park sensibly. Seriously, don’t get excited to find a free spot down a dark back alley, because the more high profile the location, the less likely it is you’ll be a target for thieves. Look for CCTV cameras, some of which can now even be streamed directly to your smartphone or laptop.

If you’re an owner driver and you haven’t yet got your membership to the Courier Exchange, it’s time to get on board! You’ll have fingertip access to real time available loads in your area and you’ll also become part of one of the UK’s most trusted transport industry platforms.  

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