If your business relies heavily on vehicles to conduct and complete operations, fleet security is mandatory. Whether you use vehicles to transport your goods or provide your employees with company cars, these are business assets and need to be protected.
Appropriate protection, although it will add to your company’s administrative workload, aids in preventing financial losses and contributing to the safety of your employees behind the wheel.
What Does Fleet Security Involve?
The concept behind comprehensive fleet security is to prevent unauthorized access to where your fleet is parked, prevent damage to these assets, and prevent theft. Security protocols must be established that create an ‘awareness or vigilance’ culture among employees whether staff or drivers. New technological advances can contribute significantly to increasing and improving physical fleet security.
Essential Security Measures for Your Fleet
Not all security strategies work for every business, so the identification of potential hazards is where management needs to begin.
The first step in creating a fleet security strategy is performing a risk assessment of potential weaknesses in the location of your vehicles, parking areas, routes, the type of goods your company fleet will be moving, and the employees entrusted with driving vehicles. This is essential to creating a security strategy to protect and prolong the fleet’s lifespan as well as reduce operational costs. Reference government and industry reports as well as insurance providers for specific characteristics of the location you are operating in. Prioritize identified risks in terms of significance and urgency.
Physical security measures
Physical security measures are your first line of defense in protecting these assets. Investing in security technology is one way to improve security measures. Parking facilities need to be secured whether an indoor structure or an outdoor vehicle park. Good perimeter fencing, excellent lighting with motion sensors, and parking lot surveillance cameras are standard physical security equipment. Patrolling security personnel adds another layer of protection. Anti-theft devices, steering wheel locks, immobilizers, and alarm systems can also increase the level of fleet protection as can electronic gate systems.
To increase security even more, an access control system can be introduced. These systems can require biometric identification, digital credentials, or electronic keycards or fobs for those authorized to enter and access vehicles. Your company’s visitor management should also take into account if your facility includes a vehicle park. When incidents occur, it’s essential to know who was present in the facility or the car park at the time.
Train drivers/assess performance
Often, when evaluating risks and vulnerabilities, humans provide the weakest link in a security strategy. Drivers must be educated regarding not only vehicle safety, but vehicle security, too. Businesses that operate vehicles need to implement employee training programs that focus on safe driving and the awareness of potential security and safety risks. Drivers should be encouraged to lock vehicles when not in use.
Driver education should include defensive driving skills as well as the recognition and reporting of suspicious activities. Driver performance needs to be evaluated at regular intervals.
Vehicular mechanical integrity can only be ensured through regular maintenance. Proactive maintenance can reduce the risks associated with breakdowns and improve performance on the road. Company vehicles need regular inspections and immediate servicing upon discovery of issues. Special attention should be paid to alarm systems, locks, and technological security devices. The proactive pre-scheduling of maintenance can aid in avoiding vehicle downtime.
GPS trackers offer inestimable value to fleet security. All business vehicles should be equipped with a GPS tracker as they allow management to track and monitor company vehicles in real time and pinpoint an exact location at any given moment.
Should a company vehicle be stolen, these trackers are invaluable to law enforcement for the recovery of company assets. They may also aid in apprehending criminals. GPS tracking devices contribute to optimal route planning, driver monitoring, and fleet management in general. Some systems come equipped with an alert system, so that authorities and first responders are informed should an emergency arise.
If your company vehicles are transporting goods, this merchandise will need to be protected as well. Inventory controls should be regular so that all items are accounted for. Consider introducing sealing or packaging methods and locks to impede tampering and prevent theft. Tracking devices can also be attached directly to the inventory.
Don’t Forget to Insure Company Vehicles
For comprehensive fleet security, insurance coverage is vital. Company vehicles should be insured for damage, theft, and liability. The use of technology such as GPS tracking systems or defensive driving devices may obtain discounts for company coffers.
When managing a fleet of vehicles, security is a vital component to your success. Effective security measures should protect company vehicles, your drivers, any cargo you are transporting, and consequently, your business’s reputation.