Securing your vehicle and its cargo
Trade Van Driver has joined forces with Freightlink, who are a Ferry and Eurotunnel booking agent, for some top tips for securing your vehicle and its cargo.
When you are a van owner, keeping your load safe is protecting your income. Its security cannot be understated. In 2017 alone, tool theft in the UK soared by an additional 30%, according to Simply Business.
However, theft isn’t a van owner’s only concern. Making sure the load is safely stored is paramount to prevent damage.
This list of prevention methods may not protect you entirely, but it will make sure your goods are less likely to be damaged due to unexpected mishaps.
IS YOUR LOAD STRAPPED IN?
Loose loads make for easy pickings and sometimes, what is in the back of your van can be as valuable as the vehicle itself. Investment in quality storage solutions is important. Every van owner’s worst nightmare is to open the back of the van and see a collapsed heap of goods after a long ferry journey or to hear a loud bang as they are driving along the motorway.
So, instead of simply piling your goods in, invest in a lockable racking system. While the initial cost can be high, the long-term benefits are priceless.
TOP TIPS FOR STORAGE SOLUTIONS
1) What do you need? – We could list every racking system on the market. However only you can decide which system will best suit your requirements so do your research.
2) Cost vs practicality – The cheapest option may not be the worst. Equally, an expensive solution may provide better functionality for you. Speak to your colleagues and read expert reviews to find out what is most viable for your goods.
3) If you can’t afford a full racking system, invest in sturdy chains and lockable boxes. Lock it down to the van itself. Get valuable or dangerous goods under lock and key to improve safety.
IMPLICATIONS at sea
Always remember that load safety is different on water than on shore. If you board with unsecured, dangerous cargo then theft is the least of your worries. If your hazardous goods spill, for instance, and you have not conformed to IMDG guidelines you could face a criminal prosecution including a hefty fine to possible jail time.
ARE YOU PARKING SAFELY?
Parking your van in a safe location is one of the first lines of protection against theft. Whether you are leaving your vehicle overnight or just popping into a shop, try and park your van with the doors obstructed and in clear view of CCTV or other people. While parking away from other vehicles may seem more convenient and prevent damage from opening doors, reversing your van into a space with a vehicle behind you and one on either side will immediately detract thieves.
IS YOUR VAN LOCKED SECURELY?
The second you step away from your van, make sure you shut all windows, lock all doors and activate all alarms. If possible, look at installing additional locking systems as an extra deterrent. Opportunist thieves are everywhere. All they need to empty your van is the time it takes for you to nip into a shop to buy a bottle of water. Also, many insurance companies will refuse to honour your policy if the van was left in an unsecure condition. So not only will you be without your tools, you’ll have to replace them out of your own pocket. Never leave valuables on show. Thieves are like magpies – they’re attracted to the sight of shiny things. Remove the goods and remove the incentive. Where possible, never leave goods in a van overnight. If this is unavoidable, LOCK IT DOWN. Additional security never hurt anyone. Nobody ever wants to be faced with van theft. But it’s worth remembering that your own safety comes first. Goods can be replaced – you can’t!