According to a recent report by vehicle data company HPI, Fort Transit’s are a high target for van thieves. This is indicative of a large issue for company van owners
Ford Transits are a more popular target for van thieves according to vehicle data company HPI. However many company van owners are facing this issue.
Van theft is a big deal for a small business. When a large corporation loses a van through theft, it’s inconvenient. But the loss of a van to a smaller business can affect the whole operation. As can the theft of vital tools, cargo or valuables. Whether it’s the contents or the van itself, the cost to a business will be far more than the cost of whatever the thieves have stolen.
Van owners should start by checking out what Thatcham says. Thatcham is an independent research centre used by the insurance and motor repair industries.
Thatcham tests how easy or difficult it is to break into vehicles – including LCVs – and drive them away. It gives a star rating in two categories: theft from, and theft of. Five stars is the top mark. Thatcham calls it the New Vehicle Security Ratings.
These star ratings are a useful measure of a van’s potential to withstand an attack from a thief.
That’s a starting point, but there’s much that one can do to improve their van’s anti-theft performance.
If a van owner carries valuable items, they can upgrade the locks – for instance, with high-security armoured barrels; or electronic locks on the inside of loading doors; or deadlocks, which can be operated only by a key. There are also systems that will lock all doors roughly 10 seconds after they’ve left the van.
Some vans have a programmable keyfob – often available as an option – that lets the owner control which doors lock and in which order. This is very useful, because they can ensure the cab’s locked while they’re ferreting in the load hold for a parcel or a tool – or vice versa.
If their van has windows on its rear doors, they can protect them with punch-steel grilles. Alternatively, fitting laminate – clear or tinted – will hold the glass together if thieves try to smash their way in.
A locking fuel cap is a sensible buy if their van doesn’t already have one. Locking wheel nuts are another. They should ensure they use a good-quality padlock and chain – at the very least – for any roof-mounted kit, like ladders. Tubes with locking ends are ideal for valuable items, such as copper pipes.
As well as what’s on top, thieves like what’s underneath: the catalytic converter. It’s worth good money because of the expensive metals inside it, such as platinum, palladium and rhodium. Vans are especially vulnerable because they’re easier for thieves to climb under. Engraving the cat with the van’s numberplate is a deterrent. Fitting a special catalyst lock is a more robust measure.
Overall, a good-quality aftermarket alarm can reduce their insurance costs as well as offer reassurance. Thatcham will give them the best steer on that, as well as immobilisers, wheel locking devices and tracking systems.
Finally, owners should do the simple things that’ll make crooks look elsewhere. Such as, always lock all the doors and close all the windows when the van’s unattended. Never leave anything valuable, including documents with sensitive info, on show in their business van. They shouldn’t park in the dark, quiet places in which thieves love to operate. And keep the keys safe. In short, they shouldn’t let a thief’s business spoil your business.Read this to see which vans are most stolen in a business van comparison.
For more information, visit business vans at http://www.businessvans.co.uk/