By Roger Brown
Devon-based manufacturer of van accessories, Van Guard is well-known for its range of aftermarket window grilles, bulkheads, tool stores and pipe carriers.
However, the company recently launched its own range of aftermarket Van Locks and security plates, all keyed alike and bespoke to the van model with door specific kits as standard. Van Guard’s deadlocks and hooklocks, which fit to a vehicle’s door, give added security to the manufacturer’s existing locking mechanism, while its Slamlocks provide an immediate lock of the vehicle’s door upon closing, without the need for turning the key.
Also, the company’s range of Loom Guards are designed to stop thieves from cutting into the vehicle’s wiring loom, which can disable the central locking. John Land, Senior Marketing Executive at Van Guard, said its replacement locks for the likes of the Ford Transit and Custom are specifically designed as an alternative to the existing locks.
He added: “With van security the fastest growing sector in van accessories due to a huge increase in van and tool theft, 12 months ago we undertook an in-depth assessment of the market, concluding that there was an opportunity to enter this market successfully. We have a reputation for manufacturing high quality van kit and our Van Locks are no exception, with our stainless steel bracketry finished to the highest of standards and installation being made simpler with clear and detailed fitting instructions.”
EASE OF USE
Meanwhile, Armaplate offers the ultra-high security Sentinel that works by completely encasing the lock-barrel and surrounding areas and is bolted securely to the door. Armaplate Sentinels, which are are available for most makes and models of van including Ford, Vauxhall, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Citroen and Peugeot, have no moving parts and no keys to be lost or broken, security is 24/7 and they require no activation by the driver.
In the event that a van has already suffered a theft-attack, the Sentinel can be used as an effective and permanent repair, in addition to preventing further theft-attacks. Also, it is made from high-grade stainless-steel which will never rust and spoil the appearance of a vehicle.
Armaplate also markets its Blockade device, a high security product designed to complement the Sentinel range that is bolted onto a vehicle, with no visible fixings on the outside. The Blockade protects the vulnerable area around the door handle which thieves attack to reach the lock mechanism and linkages, and like the Sentinel, it provides a barrier of three layers of steel to protect the lock mechanism from attack.
It requires no input from the driver and there are no extra keys to manage. The design of the handles on some vehicles means that the Sentinel is not quite appropriate due to either the depth of the handle or its overall size. The outer plate of the Blockade provides a high visual deterrence and, according to Armaplate, puts off most thieves from even approaching a vehicle in the first place.
Also, the outer stainless-steel plate provides an extremely tough barrier in the event of an attack, preventing opportunist thieves from puncturing the doorskin, while the inner steel plates provide a secondary layer of protection where required. Each Blockade plate is designed specifically according to the vulnerability of every door.
Vehicle security is also about having the right equipment to protect a yard from thieves and that is where the range of products from Butts of Bawtry comes in. Its portfolio includes vehicle key tags, security mirrors, dummy CCTV cameras, padlocks, security speed bumps and security safes as well as clocking in machines and workshop planner boards.
When it comes to secure storage of goods, Checkmate Devices designs, manufactures and supplies a range of travel safes for use in vehicles including Roll Top Safes, Slot Top Safes, Coin Chute Safes, Plain Lid Safes, and High Security Transporter Safes. The firm, established in the UK in 1962, says the travel safes offer front line anti-snatch protection to cash and valuables together with reducing the risk of personal attack to drivers. They are available in many different sizes and are very easily fitted into almost any type of vehicle.
Having good lighting systems in place is also part of the mix. Over the years Ecco Safety Group has acquired well-known brands such as Britax, Vision Alert, and Premier Hazard and its safety systems serve the commercial vehicle market, construction, and agriculture industries.
Its Eccoled range of beacons utilise nine powerful LEDs, arranged to produce a 360° flash pattern by combining the solid-state, maintenance free long-life nature of LED technology. It is available in four standard mounting options, suitable for a variety of vehicles and designed to maximise resilience to excessive vibration.
In addition Ecco’s new 12+ series LED lightbars are versatile and powerful warning devices suitable for a wide range of vehicle types and duties. They are available in eight length options with sleek low-profile styling, durable aluminium chassis, polycarbonate base and lens, including an LED centre illumination with opal lens section.
The 12+ series LED lightbars support three kinds of LED modules including: single and dual colour warning, stop-tail-indicator, and alley/worklight. Also, Ecco sells an extensive range of premium interior lighting, featuring LED technology.
Its EW0100 Series of self-adhesive strip lighting products are ideal for illuminating lockers, luggage racking or anywhere compact that needs to be well lit. These convenient self-adhesive LED strips are available in various pre-configured lengths as well as rolls.
Featuring 1-watt LEDs, each strip can be spliced every three LEDs and pre-configured lengths are supplied with wire leads at each end allowing multiple units to be easily daisy-chained together. Meanwhile its EW0351 series of surface mount rectangular LED interior lights are available in a variety of lengths and with either clear or frosted lenses.
It also features a modular design where multiple units can be connected together. Robust aluminum housings and concealed fasteners complete the package.