It’s the holidays, a time of “good tidings of great joy,” all until some jerk decides to break into the back of your trailer and ransack the goods. For the last three years, just during the Thanksgiving holiday alone, thieves have stolen an estimated $6 million in cargo. The top items that thieves target are food and beverages, metals (mostly copper) followed by apparel and accessories. So we did some research, and although most seem common sense worthy, we have some tips to help prevent cargo theft this holiday season.
1. Don’t Leave a Load Unattended for too Long
Like we said, pretty standard tip, but it makes a difference. Whenever you’re planning a long trip, check your timeframes and plan accordingly for each stop you’re going to have to make. If you just picked up a load, try driving for an extended period of time. Thieves might have been scouting out a pick-up site and watched what was loaded into your truck. We suggest driving for a little while to deter the thieves from following you. And if you do stop, don’t leave your truck for too long. Thieves are looking for an easy steal.
2. Park in Well-lit, Secure Areas
If you have to make a pit stop, find a location that is well-lit and has security cameras. The top three locations thieves target are parking lots, warehouses, and truck stops. So be extra cautious and pick a spot to rest that is known for its security. This is where planning a route comes in handy. And as we mentioned in the last point, don’t leave your cargo for too long.
3. Don’t Brag About the Cargo You’re Hauling
Fakes, pretenders, and deceivers are everywhere. Theft rings are wanting to hear what you’re hauling, and if it’s something they’re interested in, well congrats—you’re their next target. So keep things to yourself!
4. Deter and Lock Thieves out
Deterrence is the greatest defense against thieves. Anything that slows them down will disinterest them from stealing from you. Items like air brake valve locks, steering mechanism locks, GPS tracking devices, etc. can go a long way in protecting your cargo. Oh yeah, don’t forget to lock your trailer! Buy yourself a heavy-duty lock and put it on your trailer before you go anywhere else.
5. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
One of the best things you can do to protect your cargo is to be smart and aware of your surroundings. Lock your truck, every. single. time. you get out of it. If your gut is telling you something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably because it’s true. Trust yourself and your judgement. If a situation doesn’t feel right, get out of there. If you feel like you’re being followed, call 911.
Here at TruckLogics we want you to be as safe as possible this holiday season. Our last advice we want to leave you with is to not try to protect your cargo in the event of a theft. Your life is way more important than a load; protect it. So truckers, be smart, watch your surroundings, lock your truck, and drive safe.