Guide to Securing your Tank Trucks and Storage Tanks
March 20, 2022
Fuel theft, or shrinkage, is a common problem worldwide. It is estimated that businesses lose $144 billion each year from fuel theft and 95% of the time, an insider is responsible for such theft. Furthermore, the rate of theft accelerates as fuel prices climb, tempting more drivers & employees to steal fuel.
The reason fuel theft is so common is that fuel can easily be sold or consumed. Many fuel traders and transports complain that no matter how careful they are, fuel still gets stolen.
We have been in the fuel handling equipment business for over 35 years. Just when we feel we have seen it all, learn about new and clever ways these perpetrators come up with to steal fuel. From siphoning fuel gradually and adulterating it to tampering with flow meters and disabling anti-theft systems, one thing we can be sure of is that perpetrators will try just about anything to get to your fuel.
If fleet managers are able to decrease such thefts, it will help them in improving their business. In this write-up, we’ll be looking at how businesses and fuel storage facilities can better protect their commodity.
Tips to Securing your Tank Trucks and Storage Tanks
Sometimes security provisions are inadequate while other times, the person in charge may have simply forgotten to lock the tank or security gate at the end of their shift. Below are a few tips and products that can help you secure your tank.
Fuel Management Systems (FMS)
One of the best ways to improve the security of commercial diesel storage tanks is to use a Fuel Management System (FMS). Fuel management systems are designed to enhance fuel tank security and also to gain control over day-to-day fuel consumption. Additionally, fuel management systems will ensure that only authorized users can dispense fuel, and only authorized vehicles are being refueled. Protect your business with an efficient fuel management system (Fill Rite FMS – AYTC), browse our collection and get in touch with us to learn more.
Tank Level Gauging Systems
Tank gauging systems accurately monitors your tank in real time. Our highly intuitive, full color, icon based touch screen interface allow you to electronically monitor product level, water level, volume, five-point temperature, inventory, delivery, sales and shift information in real time. Our ATG is the ideal solution for both above ground and underground storage tanks.
Location and Positioning
Where your tank is located plays a significant role in determining how easy it is to steal from it. For example, if the tanker is located next a pathway, it inadvertently becomes a vulnerable target. Additionally, where your tank is located in your terminal is also crucial. The tank must be easily visible from the back office however, it should also be hidden away from thieves. While positioning the tank, be sure to place it in way that makes it easy to fill the tank or refuel the vehicles that are dependent on it. Similarly if a mobile tanker is parked inside the terminal and locked away especially after dark, your risk of theft is greatly reduced.
Your facility may already be well secured with anti-theft alarms and gates across the property. However, you can enhance tank security by placing an alarm system within the tank itself. The alarm system can be programmed to send alerts to all concerned personnel if the fuel level drops below a pre-determined level happens.
Anti Syphon Valves and Fuel Caps
Anti syphon valves are essentially one-way valves placed at the tank inlets that allows you to fill the tank but prevent someone from syphoning fuel out. A lockable filler cap or padlocks can go a long way in preventing theft. While these are not guaranteed to stop theft, it can help deter some attempts.
Geofencing a mobile fuel tanker is a technological advancement in GPS fuel management that can help ensure deliveries are only offloaded at predefined areas. The valve of the fuel tanker will only open when the truck is at one of these predefined locations.
If the storage tank makes use of control switches for its operations, make sure these are switched off when not in use. The same principle holds true for electrical supplies, these should also be kept isolated when it’s not required.
While perpetrators may arrive at your location, they most likely won’t be prepared to make their way through barbed wire, broken glass and other intruder deterrents surrounding the tank. Defensive planning, while done correctly, can help deny easy access to your tank or terminal.
For a budget-friendly but effective means to make your tank challenging to target, install security lighting. Preparatory usually like to work in the dark, and by installing security lighting next to the tank, you can notice any dubious activity happening next to it.
While CCTVs alone may not help in warding off thieves, they are a useful security measure, especially if they are combined with other security features.
Arguably, the most straightforward and perhaps even the most useful thing you can do to prevent theft from your on-site premises is to place warning signs. While thieves may ignore such signs, these can help alert by-passers when suspicious activity occurs.
Hopefully, we’ve given you something to think about and a few good tips on securing your trucks. If you are planning to design a terminal or buy tank trucks or storage tanks, we can help you with a comprehensive range of products and services including fuel management systems, tank gauging systems, fuel dispensers, flow meters and more.
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