Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Tilt Cord Can Prevent Cargo Theft And Stowaways Hiding In Freight Trucks

Tests Show Product Can Defeat The Invisible Enemy
Shipping News Feature

UK – Ask any truck driver pulling a tautliner or tilt trailer and he’ll (or she'll) tell you the weak security point of the whole system is the cord. No matter how carefully one examines it, a serious thief can cut and reseal it in an inconspicuous place so that only a microscopic examination can reveal the damage. However these days the risk is not just to the freight carried within.

Up to now the cargo has always been the prime objective of criminals but now, with the growing industry that is illegal immigration, cutting and resealing a tilt cord whilst the driver eats or sleeps can leave him vulnerable to a crime he would not even be aware of. Once a stowaway is safely ensconced within the truck only a search by the UK Border Agency can reveal the offence – and for the innocent driver, that’s where the problem starts.

For each illegal the driver or operator is liable to a £2000 fine, and should the truck be found carrying nine, such as the Portuguese registered trailer apprehended earlier this month, the prospects can be catastrophic. Now, at last, there may be something coming on the market which could resolve the problem at a stroke.

They say the best ideas are the simplest and a British company, Running Man Designs Ltd. have come up with the Liqi-cord, similar to a standard tilt cord with a wire rope running through, but it with the extra security of an additional clear PVC sheath containing a bright green florescent liquid which will leak when the cord is cut.

Brains behind the cord is Nik Cooper who thought of the solution after pondering on a News report showing illegal immigrants trying to enter the UK by way of a trailer. When the cord is tampered with the fluid evacuates and the break cannot be hidden and, as the liquid centre is fluorescent, the damage can be seen at night, when so many of these offences occur.

Running Man put the device out to test with a local haulier who fitted it to a curtain side tri-axle trailer which spent a week in Europe entering France via Calais. The journey included Germany & Holland before returning to the UK via Calais and two runs were made with different drivers.

Whilst he was working on it Nik noticed how awkward traditional cord ends could be (anyone who has been struck on the knuckles by the end of a ‘curly’ cord will understand this) and opted for a redesign. The cord slipped so easily through the rings a video of it in action is available HERE and both drivers expressed how satisfied they were with it.

Anyone who would like full details for obtaining standard length or bespoke cords can get in touch with Running Man at  trailersafe@googlemail.com