Despite the fact that drivers of HGV trucks are rarely the victims of crime when on the road, it is seen that there are instances where they are targeted as the casualty of a trauma. In these situations, it is common for the driver of an HGV truck to be the victim of petrol theft. A spokesperson for Surrey and Hampshire HGV Training advises, “Do not leave your HGV unattended in unsecured areas, especially for overnight stops.” Read on to find more tips on avoiding petrol theft.
Why Should an HGV Driver Be Faced With Petrol Theft When on the Road?
The fact of the matter is that fuel in these types of vehicles can sometimes be as valuable as the HGV’s cargo, but much easier to access by thieves especially when the truck is left unattended at rest stops. Stopping in an abandoned or unsecured area has always carried a small amount of risk for an HGV driver that petrol thieves could find their way into the petrol tank. Once in the tank, the thief will be able to siphon off the valuable fuel leaving the driver to manage the situation and clear the issue with the company.
What Would a Thief Choose to Steal Petrol?
Simply put, a criminal would opt to steal petrol from a heavy goods vehicle because this petrol is very valuable. Regardless of the rise or fall in oil prices, fuel price tends to remain consistently high meaning fuel can be easily resold on the black market. Furthermore, if the fuel being resold is sold in bulk it is likely that the operation will be highly lucrative.
The HGV trucks are especially beneficial for black market trade because these vehicles utilise specific specialist fuel. Therefore, siphoning fuel from this vehicle means thieves can charge higher rates. It should be noted that siphoning petrol can be dangerous, not only for the thief but also for the driver or victim. If the driver does not notice that petrol has been removed, they can easily cause damage to the vehicle and this may result in fire or explosions.
How Does a Thief Steal Petrol From a HGV Truck?
The most common technique for siphoning fuel from any HGV truck is by feeding a long tube from the fuel tank cap into the fuel tank itself. The thief will then hold the tube up sucking on the visible end of the tube until petrol begins to flow from the tank in the tube. Spitting out a mouthful of fuel, the end of the tube is placed in a container and the petrol is transported from one area to another by gravity.
Once the truck’s fuel tank is empty and the fuel has been siphoned, it is necessary to lift the tube up and stop the flow. Replace the cap on the fuel tank and leave the vehicle. The time spent siphoning petrol is dependent entirely on the amount you are looking to steal; therefore, it can take anywhere between three and fifteen minutes.
How Can Fuel Theft Be Prevented?
With petrol theft becoming a more common occurrence, it is not surprising the amount of anti-theft solutions being devised as years progress. At the present moment, there are several types of alarms that can be used to reduce the chance of fuel theft by installing a protection device. The Co-Op group chose to protect its fleet of HGV’s by installing the alarm to block all non-authorised access to the fuel tanks locking the fuel once the top of the tank is reached by a lock valve. By having this as a barrier between the opening of the tank and the fuel inside it, there is no possible method for siphoning to occur removing the chance of theft and accidental spillage.
Furthermore, options that need to be considered when looking for preventative measures to petrol theft can include the installation of fences, lighting and securing cameras in vehicle or fuelling years. Due to the high density of vehicles, the fuelling yard is considered a ‘goldmine’ for petrol thieves. By making it impossible for them to enter or exit without being noticed you will reduce the chance of fuel theft.
It is also recommended that the HGV driver park defensively when on the road. Unfortunately, drivers do need to leave the vehicle but when you do it is recommended that you park in a way that restricts access to the fuel tank. This can be done by parking close to walls and trees without inconveniencing other drivers.
It is essential that you are able to lock the vehicle away behind a gate or a monitored car park to reduce the chance of fuel theft.