One of the biggest challenges that even practiced truck drivers come across is theft of cargo. When on the road, they are under continuous threat from burglars and armed robbers. Most cargo thefts occur during pit stops and breaks, where a passerby might make use of the opportunity for some quick bucks. The truck drivers have to be extremely careful and vigilant to safeguard their trucks as well as the cargo they are carrying.
Although there is no handbook that can precisely lay down the guidelines to avoid cargo theft, there are some tricks and tips that truck drivers can utilize to keep their cargo safe.
Type of Cargo:
According to research, certain types of cargo are targeted more by thieves, either because of their size or because of their market value. Electronic items like laptops and mobiles fetch a good amount in the black market and are also easy to carry. Other goods that are more frequently stolen are pharmaceutical drugs, food, clothing and accessories. Truck drivers need to be extra cautious during breaks and rests, and up their security when transporting such type of cargo.
Seasoned truck drivers who have been on the job for long know the areas to avoid during their travel. Often many organizations also publish reports and surveys about places and roads, called as hot spots that are more likely to be targeted by robbers and hijackers. Researching and studying many reports can assist truck drivers in planning for the tour and breaks before they start.
Most trucking companies have their own security protocols that every truck driver is trained in and is required to follow constantly. The trucking companies also have a red zone and hot spots where they do not permit their drivers to take a break. The red zone is normally the first 200 miles or 4 hours of travel. This may differ according to the standards of the company. Hot spots are the areas that are liable to theft and hijacking. By adhering to these rules, and avoiding to stop in threatening areas, truck drivers can keep their cargo safe.
Pit stops and breaks
Possibilities of cargo thefts increases when the truck is not moving. But when the travelling hours are long, truck drivers need to stop and take a rest. This is the opportunity that the robbers wait for. It is advisable that drivers do not leave their trailer unattended for a longer period of time. However, if the situation arises, parking the truck in a well-lit area with its back up against a wall will make it difficult for thieves to get inside the trailer. If the driver is taking a rest inside the truck, keeping all the doors locked will ensure that no harm comes to them and the cargo.
Make the best of Technology
Modern day trucks are equipped with GPS tracking, and in more immediate times, with ELD devices that are useful in tracking the movement of the truck, in case it is hijacked. There are also access control devices like access cards, key fobs or keypads, definitely designed to cater to the trucking industry. These devices ensure that once the cargo is locked in the trailer, it cannot be accessed by anyone without the card, key, or the password. Having such technology protecting the cargo allows the truck driver to do his job peacefully, without worrying about thieves.
As said earlier, there is no specific guide to combat cargo theft. However, by being attentive to the surroundings, reporting any suspicious activity, and not leaving the truck unguarded, drivers can greatly avoid the chances of a theft.
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