A builder’s van is a tempting target for criminals. Dan Powell from Honest John Vans shares his top security tips.
Getting your van broken into is every tradesperson’s nightmare. From losing the tools of your trade to the disruption of having to sort out a suitable hire van, it can mean a lot of lost time and money. Luckily, there are some precautions you can take to help protect yourself from thieves. Here are the top five security tips from Dan Powell, editor of Honest John Vans.
Invest in a Disklok
I rarely recommend individual security products, but the Disklok’s been around for years and remains a strong deterrent to thieves. It’s not the cheapest option on the market, but it’ll give you the peace of mind your business deserves. It holds the prestigious Automotive Gold Security standard and is recommended by police forces alongside independent security experts.
Alongside your wheel, make sure your tools are locked up and your rear doors are secure. There are plenty of products available that turn your van into a strong box.
Secure your spare wheel
Spare wheels are often unscrewed and stolen without the van owner’s knowledge. Once you’ve checked that you still have yours, make sure it’s secured with a wheel lock. There are inexpensive products on the market that can save you the hassle of being caught out.
Make sure the security matches the badge
These days, thieves often steal to order, focussing their criminal efforts on in-demand vans with strong resale values. Mercedes-Benz Sprinters and Ford Transits are among the most common targets.
If you own an in-demand van, I’d advise taking a few extra precautions such as fitting a GPS tracker, buying a lockable bollard for your driveway, or blocking the van in with other vehicles from your household when you park up overnight.
The more barriers you can put between the vehicle and a quick getaway, the better. Small obstacles can mean the difference between theft or the crook moving on to the next target.
Keep an eye out
Although high-tech dash-cams and location trackers can help you find your van after the case, parking in well-lit, highly trafficked areas can be the most effective deterrent. It makes a discrete getaway extremely difficult. If it means paying a little more for parking or walking an extra few minutes to the building site, it’s a lot less effort and cost than the alternative.
Finally, and most importantly, it’s always worth having good van insurance in place in case of theft or damage.
It’s easy to forget about all your tools and equipment when trying to get the cheapest deal on van insurance, but it’s worth forking out for the extra cover that could save you the replacement cost.
Ensure the insurance policy includes tools and equipment left in the van overnight. Not all insurance products will provide this, and if you need to leave valuables in the vehicle, it’s essential to make sure they are covered.
Honest John Vans is the website that champions fairness for van owners by publishing expert, unbiased information to help builders make informed choices about their vehicles. For more van advice, visit: www.honestjohn.co.uk/vans