Imagine taking a break during a long haul shipment after hours spent on the road, returning to find your truck has been broken into. The doors of the trailer have been forced open, and worst of all, the precious cargo you’re hauling is gone.
It’s a nightmare situation for a trucker, and unfortunately, a harsh reality. Cargo theft is on the rise as more valuable products are being shipped on a daily basis.
And, thieves are getting highly creative as technology advances. Some thieves will even follow a truck for hours, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
How can you stay safe while out on the road? The key is to be prepared and know what mistakes to avoid. Here are 7 of our best tips to get you started.
1. Know your cargo. Certain goods are more valuable than others, such as alcohol, cigarettes, pharmaceuticals and electronics. It’s a good idea to have some knowledge about what you’re shipping and heighten awareness while on the road.
2. Choose a rest stop with care. Is the rest area parking well lit? Is there locked fencing and cameras? These are all factors you need to take into consideration when choosing a rest stop when it’s getting dark. They are prime spots for thieves to make a move.
3. Be nimble & fast. Leaving your truck parked for 24 hours in a lot, or even idling for a few minutes puts you at risk for cargo theft. If you need to leave your truck, make sure every lock and security alarm is in place, ready to go. Try to park where you can see it, and don’t loiter- move quickly.
4. Top off on fuel. When you fill up your tank before hitting the road, that gives you plenty of hours without stopping to dissuade any thieves that try to follow you.
5. Say YES to technology. Installing a GPS system and geo-fencing technology allows you to know where your truck is at all times.
6. Avoid weekend deliveries. It’s vital to point out that weekends are the time when cargo theft spikes. Be wary of leaving your cargo sitting over the weekend by scheduling deliveries during the week.
7. Back it up. If you have to stop your rig somewhere, back it up against a wall so the trailer doors are blocked in.