Director of Safety for CalArk, Leslie Stout, wants to give you a heads up and ask for your extra vigilance this time of year. Motor carriers should be mindful of the increased risk of theft as the holidays approach. December is a busy shopping month, and to prepare for it, warehouses and trailers are filling up with valuable inventory.
Here are some security tips for our drivers:
• Always lock tractor doors and make sure all trailer and container doors are secured with a heavy-duty padlock.
• Keep tractor windows rolled up until you are on the open road.
• Always carry information on your person concerning identification of the tractor and trailers, chassis, or containers you are pulling. This includes license numbers, container numbers, and physical characteristics. Law enforcement can’t act on a cargo theft without this information.
• Maintain regular communication with your dispatcher, and let him or her know of anything suspicious or odd.
• Don't talk about your load on the citizens' band radio -- cargo thieves listen, too.
• When possible, vary your delivery route.
• When possible, go directly to your delivery point without making any stops.
• When you need a rest stop, park in areas where other truckers are present. Hijackers don’t like crowds.
• Stop only at reputable truck stops along your route – and don’t stop at the same location every time.
• Don't stop on dark freeways or in deserted areas while waiting to make deliveries.
• Never take your load home, and don’t park it in an unsecured area.
• When possible, drive in tandem with another truck – it cuts down the risk of being hijacked.
• Be aware of vehicles following your truck and of strangers asking questions about what you are carrying.
• Be suspicious of individuals asking you to stop as a result of an alleged traffic accident. Hijackers frequently use this ruse to get drivers to stop. If you are unsure that an accident occurred, drive to a police station or well-lit, busy intersection before stopping.
• Be especially watchful immediately after picking up your load. The majority of hijackings occur within a few miles of the pickup point. Freeway on- and off-ramps are particularly dangerous.
• If you are hijacked or your load is stolen, immediately notify the local police by dialing 911. Then call your 24-hour dispatcher.
• If you are hijacked, always do as instructed by the hijackers, but listen to what is being said and the sounds around you. It may provide law enforcement valuable information about where the thieves have taken your vehicle and load.
• Try to provide a description of the hijackers and the vehicles they used. You are law enforcement’s best witness.
CalArk Driven Bulletin