As forecasts predicted at the beginning of the year, robberies, assaults and crime in the road freight transport sector have not only increased, but due to the volatility of fuel prices during the year, fuel theft has become the focus for much of the criminal activity affecting the sector.
Due to the huge increase in fuel prices during the 2021/22 campaign, a full tank of quality diesel is currently worth around €2000 making trucks on the road a significant target for those individuals and gangs looking to make easy money. Therefore the safety of trucks and their drivers has never been so important.
Trucks, agricultural machinery and on-site tanks are all major targets and with theft levels increasing on a daily basis – many carriers are forced to look at new ways to secure the fuel they purchase through new and innovative means.
Are trucks sitting ducks?
Due to the value of diesel nowadays, criminals have perfected the art of emptying fuel tanks in a quick, efficient and effective manner. With just some basic tools and know-how, criminals are targeting the most vulnerable trucks on the road in a manner which makes catching them very difficult and hence reducing the possibility to claw back the associated losses. The most basic theft operations involve an extraction pump, hosepipe and a container – and away they walk with 2000€ of liquid gold. Others operate slightly more sophisticated methods involving perforating the vehicle tanks which also lead to considerable repair costs after the theft has been committed.
Tips to protect yourself against diesel theft
- Control through a geolocation system: Given the situation, it becomes almost mandatory to take control of the fuel tanks through applications or external devices, to obtain detailed information on the fuel consumption of the vehicle. With solutions like OPTIMO PRO, they combine sensor reading systems with GPS data and give you a clear picture of what’s happening with your vehicle in real time. These fleet management systems, which in addition to providing agility and control, offer improved security through warning systems including door openings, sudden changes of temperature of refrigerators and other options that are useful to prevent theft.
- Park in video monitored areas and secure car parks: Another fundamental measure is to choose safe car parks to guarantee optimal rest conditions for carriers and protect their goods and diesel. These areas are provided with essential services to ensure that drivers make their trips with the greatest possible comfort and safety. Click below to view our current network of secure car parks in Europe.
- Route planning: Drivers who know exactly what route they are taking are often better placed to avoid heavy losses in the event of theft. Companies who calculate the fuel consumption necessary for each journey often avoid filling the tank full and hence reduce losses in the event the vehicle is targeted. With a fleet management system you can plan the routes by destination and enjoy the benefits of diversion warnings, knowing the traffic status in real time (heavy traffic, traffic jams …), create “Geo-fence” circulation zones and points of interest (warehouse, offices etc) as well as keeping an eye in the driver’s activity when in and out of the vehicle.
- Secure fuel cards: Another effective measure to prevent diesel theft is the use of secure fuel cards. In addition to the thefts carried out on vehicles, transport has also suffered a barrage of thefts of diesel cards, cloning, PIN thefts etc … That is why it is essential to have a fuel card that offers the highest possible security measures:
- 24/7 card blocking.
- Management of limits according to needs.
- Anti-cloning system with PIN calculation outside the magnetic strip.
- Consumption alerts in stations.
- Online consumption reports after each refuelling.
- Daily limits: litres per transaction, amount € per transaction, activated countries, time limits etc.
- Complete online control through digital card management.
- Real-time reporting.
Although we cannot prevent people from trying to steal fuel, we can offer you the best services to ensure the best safety features for your trips. We facilitate, promote and help you manage your operations and your business. Contact Us