If you’re in the trade, then your van is probably the most important tool you have. It’s your transport, your toolbox, your workshop, and somewhere dry to sit when it’s raining. You need your van and couldn’t manage without it, but sadly, vans are also one of the most common vehicles to be targeted by car thieves.
No matter whether your van is young or old, it can be a magnet for criminals, not just for the vehicle, but for all of the tools and equipment that you keep inside. You need to make sure that your van is as secure as can be. Most vans today have sophisticated security systems, but they aren’t impregnable, and installing extra security measures could prove to be a worthwhile investment.
Your van’s door locks are the first line of defence against criminals and will help protect your van and its contents. Make sure all of your locks are in good condition and work as they should, and consider replacing any that are worn or damaged. Adding a second lock is a good deterrent and will make it harder for criminals to gain entry.
Dead locks provide an extra level of protection for your van and are a good option for an additional lock. These are similar to household locks and are harder to break open than the standard ones fitted to your van. They also act as a visual deterrent, letting criminals know it won’t be such an easy task to gain entry.
Another option is a slam lock, these work by locking automatically as soon as the door is closed without having to turn a key, useful if you make lots of drops a day or if your hands are full, just make sure that you haven’t left your keys inside the van when it locks.
Then you can also choose to get the experts in, like VanSecure who can provide and fit a range of van security enhancements to your van which help to keep both it and your equipment safe, so it’s usually better to hire a company like that to get the very best security for your van.
A common addition to van security is the ‘hasp and padlock’. These bolt to the outside of your van doors and secure them with a padlock, which then has a lockable cover placed over it to prevent thieves from cutting the padlock off. These are a simple fit as you don’t need to cut into the door, just drill holes for the bolts, but they aren’t as secure as other kinds of locks.
Some vans can be vulnerable to having the door attacked with a tool, such as a drill, close to the door lock to gain access to the interior mechanism and force it open. Door shielding will protect against this, using steel plates to protect the most vulnerable areas of the door panel, and again, they deter thieves by being a visual display of security.
There are lots of aftermarket security devices available, like steering wheel locks, immobilisers, and wheel clamps. These won’t stop criminals from breaking into your van, but they do act as a visual deterrent and can prevent it from being stolen, as thieves will sometimes drive a van to a more secluded place to empty it of its valuables before abandoning it. Always choose a good-quality branded product and remember to fit them if you’re leaving your van unattended, a steering wheel lock won’t deter anyone left lying on the passenger seat.
Don’t forget: good old-fashioned security can be as good a policy as any, and taking a few simple steps can help to lower the risk of your van being targeted.
Always lock your van when leaving it unattended, and check to make sure all doors are locked and all windows are properly closed. Don’t think that just because you won’t be long you don’t need to lock up, thieves work quickly and you could be delayed, taking a few seconds to see to security can save a lot of time and money later on.
Don’t leave valuables on display, and remove any expensive equipment at night if possible. Try to park your van somewhere where it can be seen by you and where the thieves are more likely to be disturbed.
Make sure that any alarms and immobilisers fitted to your van are in working order and activate when they should.
And lastly, make sure that you have an up-to-date insurance policy that covers the true value of both your van and its contents. This won’t help stop your van from being stolen, but it can help to soften the blow if the worst happens.