Commercial Truck Theft
By: Paul Hanson Executive Staff
Commercial truck theft is on the rise and drivers need to realize their vehicles
are targeted by thieves. In 1998, explained commissioner Dwight Helmick,
1,734 trucks and 4,879 trailers were stolen. Because of their high value,
these large trucks and trailers - along with the their cargo - represent a tremendous
financial loss for their owners...and society. These losses are for California
alone. Nationwide the numbers are much more staggering.
To help reduce theft drivers can follow a list of security measures that will
help to minimize risk. Common sense and constant awareness will go a long way in
reducing the number of stolen vehicles.
Security Measures for Drivers
- Maintain regular communication with your dispatcher.
- If equipped with a radio, let your dispatcher know of anything suspicious or odd.
- Whenever possible, vary your route.
- If rest stops are necessary, park in areas where other truckers are present. Thieves
dont like crowds.
- Do not stop on dark freeways or deserted areas while waiting to make deliveries.
- Make it a point to stop at only reputable truck stops along your route. And dont
stop at the same location every time.
- If possible, drive in tandem.
- Whenever possible, go directly to your delivery point without making any stops.
Dont take your load home or park in an unsecured area.
- Be aware of vehicles that are following your truck and of strangers asking questions
about your load.
- Be suspicious of individuals making you stop as a result of an alleged traffic collision.
Hijackers frequently use this ruse to get drivers to stop. If you are unsure whether
a crash has occurred, drive to a well-lit busy location before stopping.
- Always lock your tractor doors and make sure all trailer and container doors are
secured with a heavy padlock. Keep your tractor windows up until you are on the
open road or freeway.
- Be especially watchful immediately after picking up your load. The majority of armed
hijacking occur within a few miles of the point of pickup. Freeway on/off ramps
are particularly dangerous.
- If you are hijacked or you find that your load has been stolen, immediately notify
the local policy (dial 911) and then your dispatcher.
- If you are hijacked, always and immediately do as instructed by the thieves, but
also listen to what is being said and the sounds around you. It may provide law
enforcement with valuable information on where your vehicle was taken to.
- Try to provide a description of the suspect(s) and the vehicle(s) used by the suspects.
- Carry information on your person concerning the ID of the tractor and trailers including
license numbers. Law enforcement cant report your truck stolen without this
- Do not talk about your load on the radio. Cargo thieves can and do listen to your
As a reminder, drivers MVR requests, vehicle additions and deletions, claims reporting
and certificate of insurance requests our available on line at www.paulhanson.com.
Any other questions or comments can be directed to our claims department.