How to Create a Fleet Asset Theft Plan

In the US, a vehicle is stolen every 41 seconds. Stealing parts and supplies from unattended vehicles is even more common. This means that theft is something fleet managers should plan for, now matter how good your lot security or how tight your system. When a vehicle, its parts, or its contents are stolen, this can become a major setback to your fleet both in planning your service routes and in the hassle that comes with handling the situation. However, the better you plan, the less setback you will experience. The right asset theft plan can almost completely minimize the negative impact of a vehicle theft, and you might even get your vehicle back from the thieves.

Be Prepared for Vehicle and Asset Theft

The first step is to accept that vehicle theft and asset theft are a risk of the business. Vehicles and equipment are both valuable, and thieves will target a well-kept fleet vehicle for this reason alone. Taking precautions, as well as being open with your team about the risks and procedures, can help you to more smoothly handle situations where theft occurs.

Keep a Detailed Inventory of Vehicles and Their Contents

First, make sure you have a current and accurate inventory of both vehicles and the valuable contents of your fleet vehicles. Take photos, record serial numbers, and update your detailed list of contents every time your team re-kits a vehicle for a new season. Know the equipment in each vehicle as well as the emergency and first aid supplies. Every little detail can help either to retrieve your vehicle or file an accurate insurance claim regarding your losses after a theft.

Geo-Fence and GPS Track Vehicles at All Times

Know where your vehicles and their parts are at all times. GPS trackers can be truly small and well-hidden, making it easier than ever to hide trackers and catch a thief red-handed immediately after a theft occurs. Place a GPS tracker on every vehicle, trailer, and valuable component. Then implement scheduled geofencing so that you get an immediate alert as soon as your vehicles are moved to an unauthorized location.

Geofencing is great for helping drivers when they get off-route and equally useful for detecting a theft the moment it occurs. With GPS tracking, you can alert the police and may have your vehicle back the very same day.

Educate Your Team on Theft Detection and Reporting

Train your drivers not just to watch their vehicles, but also on how and when to report theft as soon as they realize it has ocurred. Drivers are often afraid to be blamed for theft that occurs on their shift, but a good fleet knows that it’s better to have your driver’s trust and cooperation help get your assets back. Any fault on the driver’s part can be used as an opportunity for further training, which builds a stronger team and better theft response.

Report Theft Immediately and Provide Detailed Information

As soon as you are aware a theft has occurred, report it to the police. Provide tracking and inventory information as soon as possible. This will help the police identify your vehicle when it is located, confirmed the vehicle is yours, and determine what – if anything – is missing when the vehicle is found. If your vehicle has already been stripped (it only takes about 30 minutes if your thieves are efficient), then some of your assets may still be recovered by serial numbers, and thieves may still be prosecuted because of your quick response.

Be Prepared to Mobilize Backup Vehicles and Supplies

Lastly, be prepared to save your daily routes, even if a vehicle is taken out of your fleet unlawfully. Have a backup vehicle ready to be equipped and sent out, if possible. You can also cultivate a network of sources that can provide a fleet vehicle at the last minute to help you meet your service expectations in an emergency.

Keep Your Fleet Insured

Preparing for the risk of fleet theft should involve a well-rounded approach. In addition to protecting your assets, it’s also important to have a comprehensive rig insurance policy that covers every vehicle in your fleet. Contact us today to learn more about how our insurance offerings can help you protect your fleet from external online threats. We are licensed to assist you in all your commercial or owner operator insurance needs in Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa & Nebraska.

David Ott

David Ott