There is a wide variety of security devices and systems on the market for vans, from additional door locks to deter thieves from breaking into the vehicle, control locks to prevent the vehicle from being driven away, to tracking systems to help recover stolen vehicles. Van Fleet World takes a look at some of the options.
Brigade Electronics launched a range of new dashcams earlier this year featuring high-definition resolution, GPS tracking, optimised night-time recording and back-up power in case of power failure. The new dashcams can also be supplied with an optional locking box and key to prevent theft or tampering. Choices include standalone camera ((DC-101-000), also available with a rear camera (DC-102-RVC) or infrared camera (DC-102-IRC).
Four recording modes are offered including continuous recording, parking recording, event/incident recording and manual recording. A 16GB micro-SD card is included with the standalone dashcam and a 32GB card is included for the combined camera packages.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE VEHICLE IS STOLEN?
CanTrack Protect combines a tracking device with a service operated by former police officers to ensure that stolen vehicles and assets are rapidly located and recovered. CanTrack Protect claims that the service provides a safeguard against fraud, high credit-risk clients and rising insurance costs. Runtime sensors are used to locate the vehicle and monitor activity. Customers have the option to purchase the hardware outright, rent it, or pay an all-inclusive monthly fee starting from £14 per month, per asset.
If unauthorised use is detected, a dedicated team of former police officers is deployed to track the vehicle down. Long battery life means the sensor unit can be installed anywhere on a vehicle and is difficult to trace. Multiple communication technologies are used to resist jamming technology and the signals can be located even if the vehicle is inside a building. The device is fully waterproof and damage resistant. Sensors can be programmed to be activated on motion, shock, tilt and light.
Checkmate designs, manufactures and supplies a wide range of travel safes for use in vehicles. They can provide anti-snatch protection for cash and valuables and help to reduce the risk of personal attack to drivers. A range of sizes is available and they can be fitted to almost any type of vehicle. “KEY AT DEPOT ONLY” is printed clearly on each safe and drivers do not hold the keys. Locks and keys can only be provided through Checkmate and a record of all locks and keys is held by the company. Most models fit direct to a base plate, which can be permanently fixed in the vehicle. The safes are supplied with four main lid types according to desired use, enabling cash and small items to be put into the safe and kept secure, without unlocking it.
Coin chute safe
Slot top safe
Roll top safe
Plain lid safe
If you are familiar with the locks that prevent a vehicle from being driven away by restricting the steering wheel movement, or locking steering wheel and clutch pedal together, you will understand the principle behind the Clutch Claw. “It’s a two-piece construction”, explains Steve Bithell, managing director of the NK Group that produces the device, “The idea is that it locks the clutch and brake together and prevents anyone from actually moving the vehicle. If you were a real out-and-out-thief and you’d cased the joint plenty of times, you could get it off if you had half an hour to spare.
“Because it’s in a footwell, getting cutting equipment to cut it off is very, very difficult for two reasons, one, you’re very limited in what you can get in there and secondly, to get at it, the thief has to leave the door open and his legs outside. There’s no way he can get his body into the footwell. So, because he’ll have the door open and his legs out, he would be seen which no thief likes to be.”
The device has been adapted to fit some automatic models such as the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter but was primarily designed for manual transmission vehicles. It has proved popular with some van fleets. Bithell says they have supplied fleets of around 400 vans with the Clutch Claw. The latest versions are equipped with a flashing LED light and window stickers are also provided.
Garrison Locks provides a wide range of accessories, locks and security systems for vans and offers a nationwide installation service as well as an online ordering service. Garrison Locks can supply a wide range of locks and security packs for most vans, as well as keys, padlocks and secure tool storage.
The company supplies full metal bulkheads, with punched or solid finish for many vans. The van security packs, which include additional door locks are available as Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond packs, according to the level of additional security required.
Innovative Safety Systems (ISS) has partnered with Amey to develop IDClear – a custom-designed device, which prevents vehicle theft and roll-aways, by ensuring that only authorised, identified drivers can move specified vehicles.
IDClear incorporates both anti-roll away and driver ID technologies to secure vehicles when they are stationary but running idle to power equipment such as bin lifts. When the driver leaves the cab, IDClear ensures that the vehicle is immobilised and the handbrake is applied automatically. Drivers must be identified using either an RFID wristband, keypad or a covert actuator before the vehicle can be manoeuvred.
IDClear includes a customisable, programmable audio warning system inside the cab, to relay warning messages to drivers as well as a secondary external speaker to alert vehicle operators and the public.
An onboard data recorder logs over 50 different event types including critical CANBUS data from the vehicle for up to three years. Another feature of IDClear is that this data can be received remotely by transport managers via ISS’ live CCTV, tracking and telemetry solutions.
“We have incorporated extra safety checks into IDClear, including a built-in ‘black box recorder’ to gather data such as when RFID tags are presented or when the park brake was applied”, says Gavin Thoday, CEO, ISS, “This information can be interrogated in the event of an incident. Integrated speed and brake monitoring systems ensure IDClear is entirely fail-safe and cannot be used inadvertently.”
Ford has worked in partnership with TVL security for several years, offering TVL’s Replock as a factory fit option. The relationship was recently extended by offering Ford customers a wider range of security products as factory fit options on both Ford Transit Custom and Ford Transit models.
“Van operators can now have their new vehicles delivered to the dealer ready for use”, says Laura Moran, Managing Director, TVL Group, “In addition to the convenience this provides, customers will have the assurance of market leading TVL products that come with the same Ford warranty as with all factory options. Plus, the cost of vehicle security becomes part of the overall vehicle cost and can be included in the financing of the vehicle.”
“Ford is continually looking at new ways to improve vehicle security as new technology develops and we know security is a particular concern for Britain's builders and traders”, says Mandy Dean, Commercial Vehicle Director, Ford of Britain, “It isn't just vehicles themselves being targeted by thieves but also the tools inside them. Our partnership with TVL goes a step further in our mission to help keep customers' vehicles safe.”
These additional factory fit options will be available as packs based on the most popular products that are fitted in the aftermarket.
VAN SECURITY SYSTEMS
Van Security Systems reports that its most popular product is it’s 2 deadbolt system with combined shock alarm and side door armour plate anti-peel brackets. Their customers’ greatest concern is theft of tools and equipment from the vehicle.
In the company’s experience, the remote-controlled deadbolt systems that the company supplies offer the best defence against attempts to either break into the vehicle, or drive it away. The company reports that their tests using five feet long crowbars to attack these locks has not succeeded in opening the deadbolts. While the first pandemic lockdown reduced the incidence of tool theft from vans initially, the company reports that this increased again in subsequent lockdowns. Van Security Systems believes that preventing entry in the first place is the most effective method of securing a van.