Historically, factory-fitted security devices on LCVs lagged behind those on cars. But, today, many of vehicles are equipped with some of the very latest technology to foil would-be thieves. Here ALD Automotive’s LCV national sales manager John McMinn sets out a list of tips for van fleet operators to keep their vehicles safe.
1. Look to operate vehicles that have key fobs with door locking devices built into them that can be programmed to meet individual needs. This means, for example, that the driver’s door only need be unlocked with the passenger and rear doors remaining locked. How the key fob is programmed depends on vehicle utilisation and the company’s view of the risk of a theft.
2. Fleet managers should aim to operate vehicles that have solid rear doors. Increasingly manufacturers are phasing out windows in rear doors so prying eyes cannot see into the storage area. Alternatively, in many cases, solid rear doors are available as a no cost option.
3. When adding vehicles to their fleets, companies should opt for LCVs with a factory-fitted solid bulkhead. This is not only a safety feature, but it is an important security feature as it stops would-be thieves from breaking into the front of the van and gaining access to the rear and vice-versa.
4. Fit a vehicle tracking device in the event of a van being stolen. A handful of manufacturers are starting to fit trackers as standard with others offering the technology as an option.
5. Display stickers on the vans that say: ‘No equipment is stored in this vehicle at night or at weekends’. This is particularly important if vans are taken home by drivers and not parked in secure compounds overnight and at weekends.
6. Operate vans that are fitted with deadlocks.
7. If vans are taken home overnight and at weekends, drivers should park them either under a streetlight if on the road or reverse close to a wall on private property to make the rear doors inaccessible to thieves.
8. If parking vehicles at home store keys in a secure place, particularly away from the front door. There have been many incidents reported of thieves stealing vans after breaking into homes and stealing the keys.
9. If carrying valuable loads in a pick-up, ensure they are fitted with a solid and lockable cover, which converts the pick-up into a van.