Wednesday, May 18, 2022

For Fleet and Transport Professionals

Supplier Insight: Van Security

Established in 2003, Locks 4 Vans is an award-winning supplier of aftermarket vehicle security solutions. Many of the UK’s largest fleet operators have come to rely on Locks 4 vans, as an essential partner in the fight against vehicle break-ins and theft.
Essential Fleet Manager was therefore delighted to speak with Terry Rayner, Business Development Director at Locks 4 Vans who describes the full impact of this growing problem and the range of solutions that help keep the vehicles that support vital services, on the road.

Could you give us a brief company history?
Locks 4 Vans was founded in July 2003 by Chris Batterbee. With an engineering background, Chris quickly identified at the time that auto locking products were clumsily made and were not fit for purpose. Inventing game-changing products that were not available in the market, Locks 4 Vans has led on innovation, ever since. Locks 4 Vans is passionate about protecting Commercial Vehicles from criminal attack or theft and now features over 7,000 security products and components in our range. We now have a team of over 50 people based at our HQ in Gravesend, Kent.

Could you give us a brief company history?
Locks 4 Vans was founded in July 2003 by Chris Batterbee. With an engineering background, Chris quickly identified at the time that auto locking products were clumsily made and were not fit for purpose. Inventing game-changing products that were not available in the market, Locks 4 Vans has led on innovation, ever since. Locks 4 Vans is passionate about protecting Commercial Vehicles from criminal attack or theft and now features over 7,000 security products and components in our range. We now have a team of over 50 people based at our HQ in Gravesend, Kent.

How has the issue of van security become more significant and complex over the last 10 years?
The increased use of social media to communicate attack methods has driven the need to implement a nimbler locking and shielding development programme to keep ahead of criminal activity. Attack methods have become more sophisticated which has led to a host of shielding and protection plates being developed. Brazen attacks where doors are prised apart or peeled down are the most alarming. Our range of anti-peel devices are a typical example of how fleets can take steps in securing their vans to mitigate this issue.

L4V Anti-Peel for side door

As well as the direct cost of damage repair and loss of equipment, what are the full range of impacts of van break-ins on fleet operators?
Minimising downtime is the key consideration for fleet operators. An attack on a van not only leads to customer inconvenience but will typically increase fleet operating costs in several areas:
• The use of inappropriate stop-gap rental vehicles
• Downtime through repair panel availability
• Supply chain interruptions to replenish stock
• Additional admin through repair management


With this in mind, more and more fleets are looking at installing more preventative measures at point of registration rather than reacting after an attack. Finally, one little talked about effect on the business is the mental health implications of an attack on a vehicle. The owner driver (SME) user in particular may view an incident as a personal attack on his possessions with possible residual health implications that need to be treated sensitively.

With your wide range of security solutions, how does Locks 4 Vans assess the specific needs of a fleet operator with a diverse range of vehicle assets?
There is no “one-size fits all” solution when it comes to van security. Understanding the cargo being carried, operator usage and the associated level of risk is key prior to making locking and shielding recommendations. From experience we know that different vehicles have different vulnerabilities requiring different solutions. Equally some operators require a more overt approach to security (external shields and statement locks are a prime example) whereas others require a more covert approach (internal shielding)

Are there operating environments that make vehicles particularly vulnerable to break-ins and theft? For example, how are vehicles kept at drivers’ homes, especially with no off-street parking, best protected?
Having security products fitted to the van will provide some peace of mind but a common-sense approach to where the vehicle is parked will further reduce the risk of attack. Parking in well-lit areas and reducing the access points to the vehicle by parking with doors against a wall is advised wherever possible. Equally, minimising cargo visibility by reducing the number of times the doors are left open and keeping the vehicle in sight of the workplace are also good practices.

Could you give an example of how you have applied a range of solutions to meet the diverse needs of a major fleet?
Locks 4 Vans has vast experience across multiple industry sectors including local authorities, social housing, logistics, utilities and infrastructure. Each fleet faces its own challenge. For example, our clients in the facilities management space will be looking for maximum security to help protect tools and equipment and so our Hook Lock is a popular choice to secure side and rear doors. This is also the product of choice for Telent in the telecommunications sector (as fitted by their vehicle converter of choice Sortimo)
In the parcel delivery sector, the L4V Slamlock is the product specified for logistics companies such as DPD.
This is a convenience product that enables the driver to be regularly in and out of a load area as it safeguards against them forgetting to lock the door.
Our Statement Lock is the latest innovation for externally mounted security solutions and is about to be rolled out across the fleets of two well-known brands in the utility and infrastructure sectors.

L4V Hook Lock

Locks 4 Vans clearly reacts to the developing needs of customers. What are your most recent innovations and which issues influenced their development?
With methods of attack getting more acute one good example of a product we have in our range to frustrate the criminal is the External Shield and Repair Plate. This provides reinforcement to the metal skin of the vehicle and is positioned in the vulnerable attack areas to help prevent a puncture hole being made to gain access to the lock mechanism.
Another example is the Statement Lock, an externally mounted solution that visibly braces the doors together and prevents them being prised apart.
Finally with side load door ‘peel and steal’ attacks becoming more common, our anti-peel device prevents the door being peeled back away from its frame to gain access.

L4V External Shield and Repair Plate

The significant investment in your Innovation Centre, clearly demonstrates that Locks 4 Vans will be able to meet the changing needs of vehicle operators well into the future. How do you see those needs evolving?
Fleet operators are increasingly requiring bespoke solutions that are tailored to their needs and that provide protection against the latest attack methods. Locks 4 Vans has evolved from a supplier to Fleets to a true business partner, offering advice and anticipating future needs. The Innovation Centre has given us the capability of providing an agile response to an ever-changing marketplace. With rapid design, prototyping and testing capability Locks 4 Vans are best positioned to keep ahead of attack methods and respond quickly.


There is now a huge momentum towards fleet electrification and your partnership with LEVC puts you at the forefront of meeting the specific challenges of ensuring that the best security solutions are available for these vehicles. What are those specific challenges associated with E-LCVs?
The attack methods and vulnerable areas for Electric Vehicles varies considerably from traditional ICE Vehicles. From different cable routing, high value electrical components and new lightweight composite skins, the newest electric vans require a whole new approach to locking and shielding. Our collaboration with LEVC has been crucial in gaining a strong understanding of how the new era of modern electric vans will require a new suite of solutions.

How do you see things developing over the next few years and how will Locks 4 Vans ensure that it remains the leading provider of security solutions?
Having a solid investment plan in new technology and an experienced management team that understand the market will enable Locks 4 Vans to innovate at pace and adapt to the industry’s needs. The change in shopping habits alone has resulted in the growth of doorstep cargo deliveries into less secure environments resulting in more attacks and new prevention methods being deployed. Utilising “always on” market intelligence and rapidly deploying quality solutions will keep Locks 4 Vans best placed to deliver a high level of customer satisfaction. However we are not complacent and are constantly looking at the next new product, the next new van and the next new industry.

For more information e: sales@locks4vans.co.uk t: 01474 560077 or

visit: www.locks4vans.co.uk

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