How to prevent theft as a truck driver?
Recently I was reading an article from an industry publication on the effects of crime in the trucking industry. The article was reviewing a presentation to the Private Motor Truck Council (PMTC) during their annual conference by Todd Moore of the Canadian Armed Robbery Associates. The presentation outlined the the problem of cargo theft in the industry and how far reaching the problem is and where it stems from. You can read the article by John G. Smith of Newcom by clicking here. https://www.todaystrucking.com/mob-rules-italian-mafia-leading-source-of-cargo-theft/2
The linked article talks about the problem from an industry standpoint, but what can you do as a driver to prevent crime? The one thing that the article points out is that crime is everywhere and you never know who is watching you or interested in your load.
One of the best parts of being in trucking is the people you meet and the places you see. I have met people from all across North America because I drove a truck. Some of those I have bumped into again on occasion and others I have never seen again. I have met good people and people that I wouldn’t trust with a ten foot pole. This also brings a bigger problem of not knowing who you can trust and who is befriending you just to gain information for the future. In the back alley of New Jersey I already know those characters are not people trying to be my friend, but what about the person next to you at the truck stop counter?
Until 9/11 came upon us drivers were offering many details over the C.B. Radio about their destination and cargo without even a thought as to who was listening or asking on the other end. When the devastation of that day happened I was on the road with a load of chemicals and we immediately had communications come out stating that no information was to be offered to anyone as authorities believed that vehicles such as chemical trucks and fuel tankers could be used as targets of terrorism.
So what should you do as a driver to prevent crime? What is realistic? The article on crime suggests that much of the attention for crime prevention falls on the carrier in the way of tracking equipment, offering tips to Police, and securing yards with trailers, that however will only take us so far. You as a driver are the ones out there on location and can either help by reporting a situation or help prevent it by not offering information about your load. It’s not uncommon to be asked by another driver over the radio about where you’re going on a trip or what you have on the load. For the most part the person asking is just making conversation and passing the time. Where the danger really lies is in who else is listening on that same channel or following your vehicle.
Tips for preventing crime on transport trucks
- Inspect your vehicle regularly looking for unapproved entry
- Don’t share any information on load content or destination
- Report any suspicious activity at truck stops or destinations
- Monitor those around you, especially if a vehicle is following you throughout your whole route.
- Always secure and lock your vehicle. Never leave it running unattended.
- If possible park where you can see your vehicle at all times.
Follow these basic tips and it will go along way to helping cut down on cargo crime. If you think that cargo crime is only a problem in the Untied States think again. Toronto Ontario is one of the top crime hubs in North America. Be safe out there.
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About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com