Van security is high on the agenda and has always been a top priority for manufacturers and operators. Keeping them secure is more important than ever given how vital the commercial vehicle is central to our economy.
We spoke to Andy Woodward, Sales and Marketing Director of Van Guard Accessories – a company that makes LCV security products – on ways to help keep vans secure.
What can LCV drivers do to prevent theft?
“Whereas previously vehicle owners and drivers were largely limited to a small range of dealer-fitted security options, today the average tradesperson can buy and fit a range of high security accessories themselves as aftermarket products. Not only has the cost of security options come down, but the options available to combat thefts have risen.
“As a side benefit, many of our products, in particular, are made from lightweight aluminum, which means that they are well placed to help drivers keep the weight of their vans to a minimum, helping to keep vehicle efficiency and security at a maximum at the same time.”
What changes have you seen during your time in the industry?
“As with most businesses the internet has had a major influence on the buying patterns of our core customers, namely tradespeople. Eight years ago, UK motor dealers were fitting aftermarket accessories after the vehicle had been delivered. The internet has changed all that and the average tradesperson knows he can fit accessories like van roof bars himself, and so shops around online to get the best price.
“Unfortunately, we have seen a growth in van break-ins and the theft of tools, and that is a real problem for those affected. As a result we have utilised our 40+ years of experience in British manufacturing and history in van security to launch our own range of van locks and security plates that can be fitted to all vehicles, adding an instant and effective barrier to entry for thieves, even if a vehicle’s electric security systems have been compromised.
“We are pleased to say that alongside the modernisation and evolution of our security systems over time, these original products are still going strong today. When it comes to securing your van, tools and livelihood, it really pays to start with the basics and work upwards from there.”
How has Van Guard adapted and evolved?
“Back in the early 90s, Van Guard was formed as an offshoot of a highly regarded aerospace engineering business in 1976. Because we were highly regarded for our engineering, we were approached by a local utility company who were experiencing vehicle break-ins. This resulted in the development of aftermarket rear window grilles and blanks that provided a visual deterrent against break-ins. Hence the name Van Guard.
“The success of the window grilles in deterring would-be thieves persuaded Van Guard to explore the van security market further by developing aftermarket Bulkheads, Tool Stores and Pipe Carriers, all of which were in response to the needs of customers who were experiencing losses in these areas.”