One of the new categories introduced for the What Van? Awards 2024, the Security Award aims to recognise the best of those working to protect van operators from the serious and increasing problem of theft. An innovation-focused approach contributed to Locks 4 Vans being chosen as the first-ever winner of this category.

The company impressed our judges by integrating traditional locking solutions with a dedicated van alarm system, creating what it describes as ‘the ultimate level of van protection on the market’. It argues that, while the vehicle alarms market is very mature in the UK, it was apparent that for decades commercial vans have been fitted with traditional car alarms that are not designed to accommodate the specific needs of their operators. There was, therefore, a need for a system that could be tailored to these demands and to each van make and model.

Following a year of development, including feedback from fleet and retail customers as well as alarm installers, the L4V Van Alarm was launched at the Commercial Vehicle Show in April. It says the response from the industry has far exceeded its expectations, and that the alarm is the only dedicated van alarm on the market to be approved by insurance industry organisation Thatcham Research. Hundreds of hours of testing are said to have been carried out to cover every eventuality.

Features of the alarm include anti-tamper shielding to prevent any chance of criminal deactivation and an anti-peel door sensor designed to work with Locks 4 Vans’ Anti-Peel Kit, delivering the ultimate protection against this common method of attack.

Additional sirens in the load area operate at maximum volume to help drive away any thief that does manage to get inside, and user-defined configurations allow the system to be tailored to work with other security features.

The system can be applied across multi-brand, multi-vehicle fleets, and Ford has become the first manufacturer to include controls for the alarm within its own user app.

The system has also been developed with installers in mind, with wireless sensors and bespoke brackets said to reduce fitting time by up to 50%. The wireless capability is such that even towed trailers can be incorporated within the coverage area. 

Locks 4 Vans says all bracketry has been specifically designed for each vehicle application, removing the need to find fixing points and hide unsightly wires, and that all kits are pre-programmed and pre-paired, further aiding installation.

All kits come with comprehensive instructions written from an installer’s perspective, including photos and diagrams, and in the event that any installer or user does come across an issue, Locks 4 Vans operates a help desk with dedicated alarm experts offering instant assistance. The product’s user guides are accessed via QR code, and constantly updated with the latest information.

It’s not just van operators who can benefit from a Locks 4 Vans alarm system either. The company has also developed a Pick-up Alarm, in collaboration with Truckman, to help protect load areas beneath hard tops. 

Highly Commended: TVL Security

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TVL Security aims to protect its customers against criminal threats by deploying more than 80 years of combined experience in designing, building, finishing and installing advanced anti-theft products and systems.

New products for 2023 include a new range of lightweight anti-cut shielding panels that use aramid fibres. These panels prevent unauthorised entry to vans by incapacitating any power tools used to drill or cut through the vehicle’s exterior.

The company has also introduced two new smart van locks with remote monitoring capability. The HookLock 2.0 and ArmourShell 2.0 locking systems benefit from additional sensors to allow managers to remotely monitor whether the locks are engaged in real-time, as well as access historical data to aid driver training and validate claims of attacks.

The company also draws on insights from its Tell TVL online volunteer-driven community, designed to provide intelligence on van theft techniques and hotspots, to support product development. For example, after receiving reports of thieves attempting to steal bonnets and bumpers from vehicles, TVL Security was able to develop, prototype and deploy its new
Bonnet Shield product.