September 1st, 2009
If you are an owner-operator, these guidelines from Western States Cargo Theft Association will help you protect your equipment. If you are a company owner who employs drivers, the following driver guidelines will help prevent the theft of company tractors and trailers.
Be suspicious of individuals asking you to stop as a result of an alleged traffic collision. If unsure, drive to a police station or busy location before stopping. Hijackers frequently use this ruse to get drivers to stop.
Take the bill of lading and/or other paperwork with you when you leave the truck to eat, sleep or use a restroom.
Be especially watchful immediately after picking up the load and just before delivery. The majority of armed hijackings occur within a few miles of the pickup or delivery point. Freeway on-ramps and off-ramps are particularly dangerous.
Stay with the trailer or container during loading or unloading to protect the property, prevent pilfering and observe the condition of the property being handled.
Implement a “no stop” policy for drivers picking up containers for local delivery.
Make sure each of your drivers has a 24-hour phone number for dispatch or management personnel that he/she can call in the event of an emergency.
Require drivers to check and use seals, padlocks and kingpin locks when the trailer is dropped.
Require drivers to keep all cargo compartment doors closed and locked when unit is loaded.
Require the driver to get a signed delivery receipt prior to leaving the delivery location.
Insist that drivers not take loaded units home or to any other location that is not secured.
Require that drivers park units in a reputable truckstop or secure yard when waiting for their delivery time. A number of motels in southern California are being targeted for tractor-trailer thefts and break-ins.
If you are hijacked, always and immediately do as instructed by the hijackers. Listen to what is being said and to the sounds around you as this may provide law enforcement with valuable information as to where the thieves have taken your truck and load.
If you are hijacked or you find that your load has been stolen, immediately notify police (dial 911) and then your 24-hour dispatcher or emergency contact.
You are law enforcement’s best witness. Try to provide them with descriptions of the hijacker(s)and the vehicle(s) they used.
Carry information on your person concerning the identification of the equipment you are driving. You will need license numbers, container and/or trailer numbers and descriptions. Law enforcement cannot make a stolen vehicle report or cargo theft report without this information.