Theft of and from light commercial vehicles is continuing to bedevil business owners who need to take all possible measures to combat a crime wave that could destroy their livelihoods. Fitting security devices over and above those fitted on vehicle assembly lines makes sound sense – but how on earth can hard-pressed van owners be sure their drivers are bothering to employ them?

TVL Security believes it has the answer, and the initiative it is taking has helped it win our Aftermarket Accessories Company of the Year accolade yet again.

It is making an upgrade pack available with locks it supplies with sensors which enable fleet managers to check remotely in real time that locks are actually being used. 

If they are not, then this omission can be brought to the driver’s attention promptly. The last thing any firm wants is for a van’s load area doors to be left unlocked while the vehicle is unattended, and goods or tools stolen as a consequence.

The pack is linked to a leading tracking system and a TVL-Security-developed app that allows customers to retrieve historic data. This can be used to determine which light commercials are most often left unlocked and when – which can be invaluable when it comes to training drivers to be more security-conscious.

The app can also be of assistance when it comes to reporting crime and streamlining any insurance claim if a van is attacked.

TVL Group managing director Laura Moran says: “Though our tried and tested range of products holds significant potential when it comes to slashing van and tool theft, we’ve received regular feedback from fleet managers that it can be difficult to know whether their drivers are using these systems as intended. By introducing connected versions of our ArmourShell and HookLock packs, customers can quickly and easily see whether their vehicles and cargo are being secured properly, working to cut crime and costs.”

ArmourShell 2.0 is an external semi-automatic lock that bolts to the doors of a van, holding them shut with a bullet cylinder. It features anti-drill inserts and a hardened steel locking bolt, and its angled shape deflects hammer blows. 

HookLock 2.0 is a secondary mortice lock that throws a hook into a specially-designed keep,
making it difficult to force it open. 

Both locks are approved by independent security arbiters Sold Secure and Secured by Design.

Earlier this year, TVL Security unveiled a clever way of frustrating criminals who attempt to break into vans by chopping through their doors with an angle grinder. Shield the inside of each door – the latch mechanism in particular – with anti-cut matting made from aramid fibre.

Better-known by the trade-name Kevlar and already used in cash-in-transit vans, it clogs up the angle-grinder’s teeth, and brings it to a juddering halt. It affect drill bits in the same way.

A big plus-point is that it weighs very little – so the vehicle’s payload capability is not significantly affected.

TVL Security has recently been selected by Ford once more as an equipment supplier. Its patented RepLock with its high-security anti-pick cylinder has been available as a factory-fit option from the Big Blue Oval since 2018.

Highly Commended: Legend Fleet Solutions

Van load beds can take a severe battering in service as objects are flung onto them willy-nilly. As a consequence, many operators opt to protect them with a ply cover – but ply covers are not always capable of withstanding the regular hammering they are likely to face.

Legend Fleet Solutions has come up with a rigid composite floor called StabiliGrip as an alternative, which it says can stand up to the relentless walloping it could receive.  

Capable of being combined with a wall, door and ceiling liner, StabiliGrip comes with an anti-slip surface and has been engineered to endure all climates and temperatures without bulging or buckling. It is dimensionally stable with users that include lawn care specialist GreenThumb. 

It forms a more durable platform for racking than ply does.

Legend came up with an unusual way of demonstrating how strong StabiliGrip is at the Commercial Vehicle Show earlier this year. It employed a professional axe-thrower to hurl axes at a plywood floor and at a StabiliGrip floor again and again.

No prizes for guessing which one came out the clear winner!