As freight trucks increase in value, cargo theft becomes increasingly common. In fact, a cargo theft analysis conducted during the second quarter of 2018 found that there were 157 thefts during the period and the average value of each theft event was about $186,779. During the course of 2018, cargo theft accounted for $29.3 million in losses.

Though cargo theft can affect any trucker, it’s especially common in those just starting out. Many amateur truckers fail to secure their rigs properly or to perform necessary security maintenance. If you’ve recently entered the field, don’t risk making this kind of mistake. These 3 simple suggestions can help.

1.) Keep tabs on your trailer at all times. Your trailer is your lifeline. Make sure it’s attached and locked to your truck at all times. Whenever you stop for gas or to stretch your legs, you should also walk around your trailer and perform a thorough inspection. Take this opportunity to tighten chains, bungees and ratchet straps.

2.) Park in well-lit areas. If you’re driving cross-country, it’s common to pull over and take a catnap. But when you do, make sure to park your semi in a well-lit area like a parking lot or truck stop. If you’re in a lighted public area, you’re much less likely to experience theft. Do yourself a favor and avoid dark, hard-to-access industrial areas.

3.) Share your itinerary with others. As a trucking professional, you’re responsible for letting your team members know where you are at all times. Not only does sticking to an itinerary keep you on track, but it also provides a receipt for where you’ve been and where you’re going. If something goes wrong like a breakdown, your team members can locate you quickly.

These are just a few safety tips for new truckers. Did we leave anything off this list? If so, visit our Facebook page and let us know.