Your van is your mobile office where the tools and paperwork for your livelihood are stored. Is it safe, or could you become a victim of thieves?
When purchasing a new van, be selective with its security features. A van with glazed rear sides or doors invites thieves to look inside, so opt for solid or mesh and your possessions will be better protected. Don’t leave valuables in the vehicle when it’s not in use, and make sure anything left inside is out of sight.
Always be aware when pulling into a café or petrol station to park in view of cameras or under street lighting and not hidden out of view. It only takes a thief a second to break into your van or attack you as you get out of your vehicle. Tradespeople are being targeted by groups of thieves because they invariable carry expensive tools or equipment with them, so vigilance is essential.
Always lock your van. Many thefts occur while the owners are going back and forth to their van when working outside a property. Keep your tools in lockable toolboxes and make sure the windows are locked. Window grilles or blinds are a good investment to block out vision; this will help prevent petty thieves who normally grab through open windows.
Most thieves can break into a standard van lock, so it is advisable to add extra locks, such as a slamlock, which engages automatically when you close the door. Use stickers to highlight the fact that you have extra locks and advertise the fact that the van is alarmed. There are several locks for vans, such as http://www.vehicle-accessories.net/Deadlocks-Van-Locks, available to add to your security. Steering wheel locks, hand brake locks and lockable fuel filler caps are fairly cheap options to deter thieves. It is also worth installing a catalytic converter anti-theft device as these components are being targeted more often for their valuable precious metals.
Always keep a record of the contents of your vehicle and keep receipts of any valuable items purchased in case you need to make a claim.
Tracking devices are useful if your van has been stolen, but in most cases, it is the contents that are stolen; the empty van will often be found abandoned.