Fleets are exposed to theft and loss at nearly every turn—or stop. A delivery vehicle left unlocked and unattended for even a moment while a delivery is made can be an easy target for enterprising thieves, especially if the cargo is valuable. A service vehicle returns to the shop with a vital or costly tool missing. Cargo that was loaded at point A is missing at point B.
The threats are many and varied. Some are caused by miscreants and mal intent, while others are quite simply a matter of competing priorities, absent mindedness, and poor security system design.
UNLOCKING THE ANSWER
Padlocks, puck locks, and similar mechanisms have long been used to secure commercial vehicle doors, but they present a number of problems, particularly in today’s high-volume delivery environment. Once unlocked, removable locks must generally be detached from a hasp or flange, and after a vehicle door is opened, the locks are often left hanging—or worse, placed on a bumper. Reapplying these “high-touch” locks is time consuming, and if a hand truck must be re-stowed after delivery, even more time is wasted.
“Although many fleets have strict procedures that require cargo to be under lock and key while deliveries are being made and during any other time the vehicle is unattended, with many delivery vehicles being opened and closed hundreds of times a day, locking and unlocking time can become a significant impediment to productivity,” Steven Peterson, president of National Fleet Products, says.
The new UFO Cloud Lock and Vehicle Security System from National Fleet Products makes keyed, padlock-based, and other hand-manipulated security systems obsolete. The UFO Cloud Lock remains in a fixed position and does not rotate, slide, or detach. Once cargo is unloaded, the door can be closed again and automatically locks without the use of the key.
In traditional delivery scenarios, the system’s self-locking “slam-lock” feature enables workers to enter and exit a vehicle swiftly. The system also has a safe and convenient interior unlocking cable, so personnel can work within a secure vehicle if needed.
The UFO Cloud Lock remains in a fixed position and does not rotate, slide, or detach, and its slam-lock feature means that it locks every time the door is closed.
The lock’s flush-mounted design eliminates exposed flanges and hasps, and its hardened stainless steel construction and domed shape make the lock drill resistant and difficult to grip with lock-defeating tools. Its low-profile design mates with virtually any vehicle make and model.
“Like the others in our UFO lock series, the UFO Cloud is perfect for fleets with delivery staffs who are under pressure to unload cargo swiftly while maintaining cargo security in an unmanned vehicle,” Peterson says. “In a last-mile delivery scenario, speed, efficiency, and security can mean the difference between winning or losing a contract, as well as the cargo.”
The UFO Cloud Lock and Vehicle Security System offers both fleet managers and logistics professionals a level of vehicle security and payload control never before available. The system employs an easy-to-use app that transcends mechanical keys and allows managers to create virtual keychains of admission that can be conveniently altered in real time and from remote locations.
Through the app’s user interface, locks can be opened and closed, access permissions granted, and more, all from wherever the fleet manager has access to their phone or computer. The app’s dashboard is designed to be intuitive and logical to use. The system’s platform employs SHA256 encrypted communication protocols developed by the National Security Agency (NSA), so all electronic commands and equipment communications are and remain ultra-secure.
Fleet managers can enable designated users simply by sending them keys via text messages or email. They can also control where and when users can access through a personalized access calendar that can be tailored to a specific user.
With personalized access permissions, users can open locks simply by tapping on the button in the app. Locks can also be set to open automatically or in the “Knock-Knock” mode when in the programmed range.
UFO Cloud Lock and Vehicle Security System functions without an internet connection. The system communicates through Bluetooth LE 4.0 because it’s highly reliable, provides the highest level of security, and consumes very little energy.
VIRTUAL SECURITY FENCE
Using the UFO Cloud’s location awareness capabilities, fleet managers can create and modify custom geofencing scenarios by stipulating virtual perimeters in the system that translate into real-world geographies. A geofence can be defined as a specified radius surrounding a location or an established set of boundaries such as a fleet’s home base or terminal or a customer’s factory, warehouse, or office.
“With the UFO Cloud, fleet managers can monitor and record who is opening and closing a vehicle door and when and where it took place and can even immobilize the cargo doors if needed,” Peterson says. “Using the system’s geofencing capabilities, a vehicle’s cargo area can also be rendered inaccessible between point A and B, and access can also be granted exclusively to cargo recipients or at designated destination points.”
The cloud-based, app-driven locking technology also puts advanced Internet of Things (IoT) security tools in the hands of fleet managers and is the first of its kind in the industry. Through the system’s IoT connectivity, it’s also possible to manage an “ecosystem” of interlocking security systems including those in locks, doors, entrance gates, machines, cabinets, and more. With smart UFO Cloud Locks, managers exercise complete control over who can use virtual keys, specifically what they have permission to access and when.
Any company regularly engaging vehicles to transport tools and equipment are likely to have experienced tool theft or loss, so the work truck and service fleet sectors are expected to be particularly interested in the system’s tool tagging feature. With the UFO Cloud Lock and Vehicle Security System, managers can not only confirm that the right tools are onboard before the truck is dispatched, they can also make sure the same tools are accounted for and loaded before the vehicle leaves the worksite.
“Tools and equipment are not only valuable, they are mission critical for many vocational fleets,” Peterson says. “With our system’s tool tagging and tracking feature, the very costly issue of tool loss is essentially taken out of the equation, going right back to the bottom line.”
The system’s “Fleet Box” solution allows management and tracking of the vehicle’s opening and closing activities directly and can employ a lock immobilizer, thanks to the app or Bluetooth controls.
With the Fleet Box solution, managers control all vehicle locks and manage real keys as well. Tagged keys can be left in secure, dedicated areas inside the cab, and access can be granted via the app and a QR code.
Real-time vehicle checkup is also available through use of an optional telematics device that allows fleet managers to monitor dynamic vehicle information, such as GPS position, fuel consumption, and average speed.
“With remote, encrypted lock control, virtual key convenience, tiered access permissions, geofencing capabilities, and tool tagging, there has never been this much security and control in the palm of the fleet’s hands,” Peterson says. “The UFO Cloud Lock and Vehicle Security System is literally ushering in a new era in supply-chain and asset protection.”
The UFO Cloud Lock and Vehicle Security System is perfect for applications on vans, service bodies, and box trucks with side and rear double doors. It comes complete with an assembly kit, a video, and an adhesive decal that makes precise placement and alignment simple. The kit also includes a bayonet mounting system for fast and easy installation. The entire installation process takes approximately one hour.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Find out more about National Fleet Products and the UFO Cloud Lock and Vehicle Security System, visit www.nationalfleetproducts.com.
MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS: MARCH 2019 ISSUE
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