Excuses or Reasons? Everyone has heard these when a load is stolen:“I only left it runnin’ for a few minutes to in and buy lottery tickets,” one driver might say.“I have always parked there and nobody ever stole my truck before,” another would offer.
“I had to leave it running ’cause it takes too long for it to heat up/cool off inside if I don’t, ” said another.
“But, I still have my extra key,” said a baffled driver, “how was I supposed to know they would break a window and drive off with the load?”
I am sure you have all heard, perhaps even BETTER” reasons” than these from a driver who has returned to his/her parking spot and noticed his/her keys don’t fit in the truck that is now occupying that space. In most cases, the driver is lucky because he/she is still able to call in the loss. The driver has suffered no more than the embarrassment likely faced when explaining to the recruiter of his/her NEXT prospective employer whey he/she is currently unemployed. Actually, these are the lucky drivers. As we all know, in some cases, drivers have been seriously injured or worse, when someone really wants what’s inside that truck or trailer. Technology is a great thing, but it doesn't work well if the driver fails to apply it and basically makes it totally ineffective. If the driver isn’t going to take the time to shut the truck off, take the keys and lock the doors, why would they take the time to apply Air Cuff Locks, Glad Hand Locks, and King Pin Locks etc.? Maybe it’s not a case of being lazy or in hurry, but a lack of knowledge on how to properly apply the technology. Don’t assume they already know about security technology and how to make it work. We beat drivers over the head with Safety programs and messages to make sure they drive safely, thereby protecting themselves and the motoring public, but how often do we remind them that personal, vehicle and cargo security are also very important? We need to get back to basics and keep reminding them that part of being a Professional Truck Driver is accepting the responsibility for their own personal Safety and Security , as well as the security of their equipment and cargo.Train them, train them and train them! There a lot of new folks in the truck divining community who may not be aware of many of the dangers lurking out there. Keep them informed. Use many good programs out there (Highway Watch, etc.) to give them tools to again protect themselves and others as well as equipment and cargo.
- Remind them to:
- 1. Adhere to Company policies related to stopping, parking and dropping equipment (Make sure they know what the policies are in the first place.)
- 2. Park in well lit, secure locations whenever possible
- 3. Use whatever technology the Company has provided for personal and load security
- 4. Shut the engine off, lock the doors and take the key5. Observe the surroundings both coming from and to the truck
- 6. Don’t talk about the cargo with ANYONE outside your Company
- 7. Do a walk-around to see if the doors, seals, locks or security devices appear to have been tampered with. The sooner a theft is detected, the better the chance for recovery.
- 8. Report unusual or suspicious activity to law enforcement and the Company immediately.
- 9. Remember, there is usually a lot of personal property and personal information inside a truck, related to the driver and possibly their families that could also be compromised during a theft. Anything a driver may lose as a result of a theft may NOT be covered by their Company or even their own personal insurance. They do have a lot to lose too.
Wally White is Chairman of the Security Council’s Homeland Security Committee and Director of Safety and Regulatory Compliance at U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc.