The media may not have been giving it much coverage lately but the issue of migrants attempting to access road haulage vehicles to gain entry into Britain is still high on the agenda for fleet managers.
Companies face having to pay £2,000 for each asylum seeker or migrant their drivers bring across the Channel and, with reports saying that those trying to get to the UK are often armed with Stanley knives to cut their way into the trailers, it remains a serious issue for hauliers.
It is essential that drivers and companies still do all they can to ensure their vehicles are secure, with robust systems in place to be able to show UK Border Force officials a credible defence if unauthorised passengers are found on board.
Manual checks during loading, the repair of canopy and curtain tears, and applying padlocks to seal the fastening points, go some way to increasing security but more robust measures are usually required to prevent individuals cutting their way into the vehicle.
We would recommend the installation of a system manufactured from 900gm/ms 2x2 Panema PVC coated polyester, with a high gloss lacquered finish, and incorporating galvanised steel wires bonded to the interior surface or fitted as a separate internal wear band reaching at least 1-2 metres up from the base.
These fixed strap curtains offer protection from cutting or slashing right at the crucial height and, coming in all standard heights; 900mm, 1300mm, and 1800mm, they can be incorporated into most vehicles to offer an additional measure of security.
Where additional flexibility is needed, a similar system can be used to incorporate the steel wire as 100x100mm squares bonded to the interior surface of the fabric. Penetration of the reinforced curtain is, therefore, made very difficult and even if one succeeds the accumulating steel wires block any movement of the knife.
Although it looks like this problem isn’t going to end any time soon, hauliers and drivers can at least be assured that there are options available to increase the security of the vehicle and, hopefully, help them avoid any fines.
Structure-flex has supplied heavy-duty flexible fabrics and curtainsiders for more than 45 years. More information about the company and its services can be found at: www.structure-flex.co.uk. Follow Structure-flex on Twitter @Structure_flex, Facebook Structure-flex and our YouTube channel Structure-flex.
(The views and opinions expressed by the authors of these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Freight Transport Association)