Scania‘s new fuel alarm deters thieves

In Scania2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJanuary 6, 2020

Fuel theft is a problem many truck drivers have to deal with, which has seen Scania introduce its Fuel Theft Alarm, with an installed sensor that monitors the fuel level, initially for single tanks and soon also for the more common double tanks.

“Although the loss of valuable fuel is bad enough, it is perhaps worse that the truck cannot carry out the day‘s scheduled deliveries as planned and may be liable to penalties,” says product manager Eric Ljunggren, Scania.

If the fuel level drops significantly, the alarm is activated and emits a high-pitched sound, similar to a normal theft alarm system. The alarm is also activated when the fuel tank cap is tampered with. When activated, the alarm system monitors the fuel level for up to 65 hours, provided that the truck‘s master battery switch is activated. The customer will also receive an email, text message and a warning notification in their Scania Fleet Management Portal if they have the Control Package.

One French fleet owner says that annually stolen diesel and ancillary costs set him back €12,000 (NZ$20,119). Although his depot yard is fenced and equipped with CCTV, thieves continue to plague him.

“A large sum of money goes up in smoke each year, but additionally the thieves break and pierce fuel tanks,” he says. “This requires repairs and the truck is immobilised. It‘s all very, very annoying and now we‘ve decided never to refuel on Fridays so that tanks are empty when we park for weekend.”

Perhaps the greatest advantage of the Fuel Theft Alarm is in deterring potential thieves. A sticker on the tank warns thieves that the fuel is protected. Even if the fuel in the tank is saved, attempts may still cause problems since a broken cap might require time-consuming and costly repairs.

“The owner and driver will be alerted if the vehicle is being tampered with and the consequences of having fuel stolen can be avoided or at least mitigated,” says Ljunggren.