During the holiday season cargo theft activity increases. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), cargo theft costs the Canadian economy $5 billion every year. With trucks being left unattended or parked for extended periods of time, thieves look for unsecure trucks with and without cargo.
Thieves favour mixed load cargo, as well as food and beverage cargo, as they are easier to breakdown and separate or easier to sell off to local stores.
Learn more: Our cargo theft white paper takes a deep dive into Canadian cargo theft trends that could affect you.
More recently, there’s been a shift in thefts, with thieves targeting just trucks and leaving the cargo behind. That’s why it’s important to secure your truck if you’re taking some time off for the holiday season.
Here are 10 tips to help you secure your truck during your time off the road:
- Park it somewhere secure. If you can park it at home or in a garage, even better! Make sure there is adequate lighting and video surveillance. If you need to park your truck offsite, park it somewhere you trust or at an attended lot with controlled access.
- Turn off all accessory parts. Leaving things like the radio or lights on will drain your battery and make your truck stand out needlessly.
- Lock it up and keep all keys. Leaving them in the ignition might be convenient, but it’s an invitation for theft. Don’t forget the spare key too. As handy as it may be to have a spare key in the vehicle, don’t leave one behind and make it easier to steal your truck.
- Check all entrances and exits. Check your windows, side compartment doors, storage compartments, and other openings to make sure they are 100% closed and locked.
- Don’t leave anything valuable. If a thief sees something worth stealing, they may be enticed enough to try and steal it out of your truck.
- Invest in anti-theft devices. An alarm, steering wheel lock, or vehicle-immobilizer system that disables the engine from being started can deter theft. The harder it is to steal something, the less likely it will be stolen.
- Track your truck with GPS. Having an auto-theft recovery tool may be worth the investment if it will give you peace of mind. Many shippers put covert GPS tracking systems in cargo so if your truck were to get stolen with the cargo, that would be another way to track your truck.
- Ask someone to check in. Have a friend, neighbour, or someone you trust check in on your truck, if possible. Make sure they have your contact information as well, in case a theft occurs. The sooner law enforcement is notified, the higher the recovery rate.
- Lock your fuel caps. This way fuel cannot be stolen, especially if you’ve filled up your tank. Truck tanks can hold 300-500 litres on average, which can fill a lot of fuel tanks for regular vehicles!
- Unload your cargo. Before you park your truck for an extended period of time, make sure there’s no cargo to steal.
Since you’re already checking things around the truck, this may also be a good time to give your truck a cleaning and take note of things that need repair, replacing, or replenishing, such as:
- Fuel and other fluids
- First aid kit
- Truck racks
- Side rails
- Rear rails
- Bed rail
- Non-skid liner
- Cargo net or tarps
- Load bars or ratchet straps
- Stretch cling wrap
The holiday season is a very busy time, especially for truck drivers. With the 10 tips we outlined above, we hope you find it easy to secure and prepare your truck for the new year. That way you can enjoy your time off – worry free.
As a leading insurer within the Canadian trucking and logistics industry, we have dedicated Risk Services Specialists who work hard to protect your business by offering support to carriers. Reach out to our team to make sure you’ve got the right insurance coverage for your business needs. Whether your truck or cargo is stolen, we’ll be there to help you when you need it.