Hauliers and transport fleet operators in South Wales have quickly taken advantage of an opportunity to protect themselves from the financial consequences of fuel theft, a rapidly growing problem that is sweeping the UK as diesel prices rise both internal and external theft of fuel becomes endemic.
The solution is being provided by one of their own, the Welsh-based company TruckProtect, the only firm in Europe dedicated to finding a workable and practical solution to the problem.
A number of firms in Wales have so far bought TruckProtect's InstantFit NECK-IT anti-fuel theft units and new enquiries are coming in all the time as word spreads about the system's capabilities.
As companies such as Owens Logistics of Llanelli, Gerry Jones, TD Williams, and MDW, TWT/JWT, Monex and a dozen other companies in haulage or with own fleets have already discovered, the InstantFit NECK-IT units not only work, they do so without compromising operating efficiency, which is not something many other similar devices can claim. And at less than twice the price of a standard locking fuel cap they are very cost effective as well.
“Hauliers in this part of the country appreciate that at a time of dramatic rises in fuel theft they need to protect themselves. The financial consequences of losing just a few gallons from each truck every week add up and can make a big difference when profit margins are already tight and becoming tighter as fuel prices rise,” says Russell Fowler, TruckProtect's CEO.
“We started this company with one aim in mind: to develop a total solution that could stop fuel theft, and although we are relatively new to the market hauliers in this area have been kind enough to let us through their doors to show what we can do.
“Whether the fact that we are a local company helped this process initially is hard to say, but it certainly didn't do any harm and once they saw the product in action and were able to test it on their own vehicles they soon placed orders to equip entire fleets.
“We have been very grateful for the introduction and for the word-of-mouth recommendations that have followed, but at the end of the day these commercially aware hauliers chose our units because they stop fuel theft and don't get in the way of vehicle operations,” he adds.
The InstantFit NECK-IT devices are not only totally secure, easy to fit and quickly transferable between vehicles, they are now available for most truck makes and models, thus offering maximum protection for mixed fleet operators, and new models are being introduced all the time.
This has led to rapidly rising sales. A staggering 10,000 units have been sold since its launch at the end of 2005 – not bad for a small company from South Wales. And it expects demand to rise as more hauliers become victims of a crime that is already costing the local economy millions of pounds a year.