Stolen Truck! Steps to Protect Your Tractor Trailer from Thieves
read yet another article about a stolen
truck and had to shake our heads.
Why in the world did the truck driver
walk away from his truck while it was running (obviously with the key
in the ignition)?
Perhaps it was the case that the driver thought:
- "I'll only be inside for
the time it would take for theft to occur);
- "There's no potential
here" (underestimating the prevalence of would-be thieves).
Regardless of what went on in the trucker's mind,
rig was stolen -- along with everything he did not take inside
the store with him.
How Often Are Trucks Stolen?
theft -- that is, the stealing of commercial motor
vehicles -- is not as uncommon as some people might
A search for the keyword "stolen" on the trucking news listed
ClassADrivers.com's Dec 11 feed
shows quite a number of articles about this activity.
And in case you're wondering, yes, at least one trucker
had a truck stolen out
of a truck stop in December 2011.(1)
Don't Fail to Plan Ahead to Prevent Truck Theft
Plan ahead properly.
are some low cost and common sense ways for truck
drivers to protect their tractor trailers from being stolen.
This includes the whole rig, just the tractor, or just the
Separately, there are also ways to help prevent cargo
from being stolen.
Also separately, there are ways to help avert a
But those are topics for another time.
So, let's get into specifics...
Steps to Help Prevent a Stolen Truck
- Never ever leave your truck running and unlocked when
you're out of it.
If you're idling
for comfort and you have to leave your truck, make sure you lock it and
take a spare key with you.
- Never ever leave your truck unlocked in a public
This may sound a bit extreme because some drivers don't lock
their truck doors while fueling.
However, some truckers may not even
lock their doors after pulling forward after fueling to get their fuel
This is an invitation to have a stolen truck.
- Be careful what kinds of information you convey
on the CB radio and through social media regarding
your whereabouts, the cargo or freight you're hauling, and your
We already addressed the
dangers of truckers engaging in geotagging.
- If at all possible, do not park in isolated areas
where you could be targeted for theft.
- Do not make your rig or the things in it "attractive"
to would-be thieves.
Drivers who "flash the cash" or wear flashy
jewelry may be setting themselves up for not only the things from their
rigs but the whole truck.
or guard access points for would-be thieves to
At one time, Layover.com had a series of posts on their site about
stolen, one post of which addressed how thieves entered trucks by
grommet from this window and rolling down the passenger side window.(2)
Of course, you can't get rid of your roll-down windows, but
you may be able to do something about the peek window or fresco window
near the floor of the passenger side door.
we certainly didn't take it with us as a safety precaution, the
placement of our portable
ice machine between the passenger seat and
dash would have made it pretty nearly impossible for a would-be thief
to gain access to Mike's truck through the peek window.
- Consider increasing security in and on your truck,
such as by:
- acquiring a traveling
course, make sure that your trucking company allows you to have a pet
with you and if so, make sure that the pet has been trained to bark
only at intruders);
- running a strap -- if allowed --
handles of your doors at
night to prevent entry or providing other measures of home
security in your truck;
- installing a satellite
system in your tractor, on your trailer or both; or
- installing a security
Vehicle Disabling Technology or Remote Disabling System
of the trucks that Mike drove had a Magtec vehicle
disabling system installed in it.
A photo of the keypad and warning sticker is shown here.
The warning sticker reads:
is protected by a remote disabling system. When activated, the system
will cause the vehicle to gradually stop. Stopping in traffic may cause
serious injury or death to yourself or others. Find a safe place to
pull over and stop. Place reflective triangles to maximize visibility.
No person can override the system."
As a theft deterrent, all
trucks in the fleet
had this kind of a disabling device installed also had a warning
to the driver side window above the FMCSA inspection sticker.
Other Measures to Help Prevent a Stolen Truck?
We're sure that there are probably other measures that
truckers can use to help prevent truck thieves from perpetrating a
stolen tractor trailer crime.
Let us know which measures you use or would like to use
to prevent having a stolen truck.
Money saving tip:
Besides the tips listed above, part of any good program of preventing
truck theft is to look at your truck from the perspective of potential
- If I were in the thief's shoes,
how would I get in
- How easy is it to get in
- What deterrents are in
place to make my access
crime harder or impossible?
- What barriers might I
Do yourself a favor and evaluate your whole truck
from that perspective.
Sometimes the simplest things are quite
effective in preventing a stolen tractor trailer.
Carelessness and being off-guard for even 30
seconds can lead to a stolen truck as an October 2010 article from CBS News
Protect your job and your career by taking safety
precautions at all times.
Return from Stolen Truck! Steps to Protect Your Tractor Trailer from Thieves to our Truck Operations page or our Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips home page.
1. http://asktrucker.com/2011/12/27/semi-carrying-40k-in-dairy-products-stolen-from-punta-gorda-pilot-truck-stop/ (no longer online)
2. http://www.layover.com/forums/layovers-lounge/t-stolen-71220.html (no longer online)