Protecting HGVs from Fuel Thieves

HGV drivers are not the usual victims of crime while transporting goods from here to there, there is simply too much in motion. But, there have been occasions where HGVs have been targeted by fleet-footed villains and the fuel load is most often the coveted loot.

The fuel of an HGV can easily be more valuable than the goods they are hauling and considerably easier to access as well, especially if done at the right time and place. Unmonitored rest stops and any other unsecured location presents the fuel thief with an opportunity to access the fuel tanks of an HGV, siphon the fuel and abscond with a valuable loot of petrol.

Why Steal Petrol?

As always, the biggest motivator for a thief is considerably easy access to a prize of great value. Despite the unsteady prices of oil, the value of fuels has remained high. Meaning free fuel can be sold for a considerable profit on the black market.

Furthermore, the HGV carries a large quantity of high-value specialist fuels. This makes the possible remuneration much higher and well-worth the risk of petrol thievery. It is a dangerous business too, not just for the HGV but for the thief looting and transporting volatile fuels and the HGV driver as well. The HGV can be damaged in the siphoning process and the thief and driver are both in danger of fire and explosions.

How Is It Done?

The tools needed for relieving an HGV of its fuel supply are fairly simplistic and even the most simple-minded of crooks can wield them with efficiency. One end of a simple rubber garden hose is inserted into the fuel tank through the fuel fill inlet. The thief then lifts the other end to his mouth and sucks until the fuel flows up the hose. After receiving a mouthful of fuel the thief drops the hose into their container and takes their fill of valuable petrol.

When they have taken what they can, the thief will remove the hose and replace the fuel cap before taking their leave. Depending on their skills and preparation, they can fill their containers in as little as 3 to 15 minutes.

How Can I Prevent Fuel Thievery in My Vehicles?

The occurrences of fuel theft have become increasingly more common, there have also been several anti-theft devices designed to thwart this particular attack. While many of these involve alarm systems, one in particular has been found very promising by Co-Operatives Group (Co-Op) which has adopted this system into their large fleet of transportation vehicles.

The transportation giant recently applied an innovative device to their fleet of vehicles that protects from thievery as well as saves cash on fuels, here is how it works:

The ‘Impregnable-HF’ uses a floating lock valve inside the fuel tank to lock off the fuel from the inside. The floating device sits atop the fuel and prevents siphoning, overfill and spillage. This protects the unit and the company from all kinds of costly losses. Other ways to protect your HGV from the dangers of petrol thieves include:

  1. Improve security on rest stops as well as vehicle and fuelling yards. With so many HGVs all in one spot, these places can attract fuel thieves from all around. Make it impossible for all unauthorised persons to access these places. Installing fencing as well as better lighting and surveillance cameras are effective measures that reduce vulnerability to criminal intent.
  2. Park cautiously while on the roads. Never leave your vehicle unattended for long, even if it is just a trip to the loo. Park your HGV in a way that blocks access to the fuel tanks. This can be done by parking up against a wall or tree.
  3. Never leave the HGV unattended in an unsecured area, especially not for long periods of time. If you must leave your HGV unattended, make sure it is locked up behind a secure fence or in a car park with good security in place. Finally, never leave the vehicle by the side of the road, this is an easy opportunity for criminals.

“While on the road the driver must have their mind focused on the safety of themselves and all other drivers on the road. This is an especially exhaustive mental exercise” sympathises HGV expert at The LGV Training Company. “Nevertheless, at the end of the day, when an HGV driver arrives at a rest stop, safety procedures can be forgotten. This is where a practical solution to preventing petrol thievery can save you from loss.”

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