Truck drivers and the goods they transport live dangerously on Europe’s roads. This is shown in several recent surveys. Every year approximately 200,000 commercial vehicles are stolen, at a value of more than 8.2 billion euro. This is revealed by a survey carried out in 2007 on behalf of the European Parliament. At the same time, a survey by the IRU (International Road Transport Union) reveals that one out of every six truck drivers has been subjected to some form of attack in the past five years. One-third of them had been attacked more than once. In most of the attacks, about 60 percent, the main motive was the vehicle and its cargo, while 40 percent were directed at the drivers and their personal belongings. Just over 40 percent of attacks took place at parking sites intended for trucks.
“These attacks constitute a serious threat against the safety and security that commercial vehicle drivers have the right to expect in the course of their work. They are also a threat to the haulage firms and the immense financial value for which they are responsible to their customers when transporting their goods. Ultimately even end-customers may suffer as a result of the delays that arise when goods disappear,” says Per-Anders Grösfjeld, who is marketing manager for transport information systems at Volvo Trucks.
In order to make the working day safer for commercial vehicle drivers and to protect truck cargoes from theft, Volvo Trucks and Securitas have launched a joint venture. Together they are offering a security concept based on Dynafleet, Volvo’s already existing transport information system. Volvo Trucks is behind the development of the technology while Securitas is responsible for actual operation of the system.
The new security concept, Security Service, is being introduced this spring. In the event of an emergency situation, the driver can press an alarm button inside his truck cab. A signal goes to the Securitas call centre, which in turn contacts the haulage firm or the local police. The driver can also directly contact the call centre via his mobile phone.
“We already have operations with a similar traffic safety concept in a number of countries and we have seen immensely positively results,” says Lucien Meeus, President of Securitas Alert Services business area.
“The need for this kind of services is growing and we aim to offer even better protection against thefts in the future. We are now developing systems that are able to remotely shut down a stolen truck’s engine or locking the trailer to the tractor. These services combined make it more difficult to steal the tractor, the trailer or the whole combination,” says Per Adamsson, Director soft products at Product Strategy and Planning at Volvo Trucks.