With consumer confidence rising and online shopping playing an increasingly larger role in our world the holidays the trucking industry is already busy! Sadly, as we recently read, cargo theft also continues to be a major trend during the holiday season.
No one wants to see the holidays spoiled by cargo thieves, so we asked Jeff Messer, CFI Safety and Security Analyst, to share his top tips for cargo security that professional drivers can easily add to their routines. Read on and share your own cargo safety tips in the comments!
Keeping Cargo Secure: Top Tips for Truck Drivers
- Pre-plan your stops prior to departure from the shipper.
- Get it all done in advance: fuel, shower, eat, and rest prior to loading.
- Even if you did a thorough pre-trip inspection earlier in the day, always do a walk-around when you stop. Give your truck and trailer a visual inspection of tires, brakes, air line, etc. Also—always check all trailer doors when you stop and prior to departing.
- Always drive a minimum of 250 miles after accepting a load before stopping.
- If you observe a suspicious vehicle following you for an extended period, call 911. If the patrol officer is unable to locate you, drive to a safe, well-lit location. While waiting for the officer, record license plate number as well as vehicle and occupant descriptions to provide to the responding officer.
- Never discuss your destination, type of cargo, or any personal information on the CB radio or at a truck stop whether you are loaded or just left the consignee. Thieves may be gathering intelligence for your next trip.
- If you must stop, use reputable truck stops or a secured parking area.
- When you park at a truck stop, be aware of anyone who seems to be loitering – that person could be a criminal waiting for you to leave your vehicle unattended.
- If you must eat and/or shower with a loaded trailer, ensure that the rear doors are parked against a fixed object—fence, light pole, etc.
- Check your padlock on the rear door, place a lock on both doors, and check the integrity of the seal before you leave your vehicle and after you return. If the seal was tampered with or the doors were breached, call 911 and Risk management to report the incident.
- Don’t skip the basics. Every time you leave your truck, secure/lock it, roll up windows, take all keys, and lock side compartments on the tractor.
- Park as close as you can to the front of the truck stop to discourage would-be thieves.
- When driving through high-risk areas, don’t forget the simple precautions of locking your doors and keeping windows rolled up.
- Secure your trailer with an ISO 17712 compliant barrier seal and a best-in-class hardened padlock.
- Never leave a loaded trailer unattended unless in an approved, secure location.
As a professional driver, do you have precautions you've learned to take to increase safety and security on the road? Share them with us here!