10 ways to reduce your haulage and fleet security risk
There's a great deal of money tied up in running a fleet of vans and lorries, not to mention the loads they carry, which make them highly sought after targets for criminals.
The drivers of these vehicles spend most of their working lives on the road so it's important as a company that you do all you can to ensure the safety of drivers and the security of your fleet while in transit.
It is estimated that almost 40% of lorry drivers fail to park in secured areas when they rest-up. This is due in part to not enough secure parking areas being available across the country but with more than 55% of all loads stolen across Europe happening in the UK, it means drivers and their cargo are regularly being put at risk.
So, what can you do to minimise these risks? Here are 10 things to consider:
1. Don't advertise - Be careful what you print on the side of your vehicles, vans in particular. Too much information about what your company does can give the impression of something valuable being carried on board - a tempting target!
2. Plan the route - Preparing for the journey is a simple precaution, pre-book overnight parking at a secure spot where possible, avoid the same routes and stops and don't be predictable. A number of fleet operators around the country are now opening up their sites to accommodate vehicles en-route to more distant locations. Make fuel cards available for drivers to carry so they don't need to carry cash.
3. Count on your vehicle - Make sure the vehicle is safe to drive and roadworthy. An important consideration in getting your driver and the load they are carrying to their required destination without tragic consequences. Ensure the vehicle is always fit for the road with all the checks and tests carried out and up to date.
4. How good is the driver? - It's all very well having a vehicle that's safe for the road but what about the person behind the wheel? Filter out the dangerous drivers with regular tests, checks and training to ensure they are up to the mark. You may also consider introducing a regular alcohol and drug testing procedure as a further safety precaution.
5. Communication is key - Drivers should not be using mobile phones when on the road, we have all seen the tragic events that can occur in these situations. Better not to trouble the driver at all but if a communications link is necessary, make sure it's hands-free.
6. Check the load is safe - The vehicle may be loaded by a third party, someone back at base or someone else's depot for the return trip. See to it that everyone knows what the rules and regulations are to avoid any nasty surprises out on the road. The driver should always check the load before departure to make sure it's safe. In these days of illegal migrants seeking any means possible to enter the country, it is also advisable to double check the container before travelling back into the country through the various ports to ensure there is no one hitching an unauthorised lift.
7. Home base security - Make sure your premises are secured and all vehicles are immobilised or locked away in such places that eliminates the risk of theft. Put all the usual precautions in place, such as security lighting, CCTV cameras, alarms and where necessary enlist the help of a security firm. Have a sign in, sign out policy so you know who has been on site and stop people wandering around who have no right to be there.
8. Choose wisely - If you are buying a fleet of vans, cars or lorries, do your homework and buy those vehicles that receive glowing security reviews in the trade press and come highly recommended by those who know. Some vehicles are more susceptible to theft than others.
9. Travelling abroad - Double check you have all the required documentation you need for your trip in case you need it. Always know what is required in each country before you set out so you don't get caught out! If you are stopped by the police, always behave in a courteous manner.
10. Fit a tracker - It's becoming common practice now to fit trackers, or extra trackers, to vehicles so they can be more easily recovered if stolen. They can even act independently to prevent a theft from happening with an ‘intelligent, thinking, programme' that can detect tampering and movement.
For more information about how we can help you minimise the risk to your fleet, contact our team on 01952 728171.