Catalytic converter (CAT) theft has been increasing year-on-year over the last five years, but fleets are being offered the opportunity to protect their vehicles with CatClamp.
Thieves are stealing the CAT portion of the exhaust system leaving the vehicle disabled, the exhaust system damaged and repair bills that can run from £500 to £2,500 or more.
It’s a major headache for fleets who suffer loss of revenue, vehicle downtime, the cost of hiring a replacement vehicle, the cost of paying insurance excess and possible increased insurance premiums.
"The solution is prevention,” said Kevin Heater, director of FleetTalk, an independently owned fleet services company.
“Too many times we are seeing distressed purchases from individuals and companies who have already fallen victim.
“If you run a fleet of mid to large sized light commercial vehicles, there is a high possibility that your vehicles will be targeted."
Vans, 4X4's, pick-ups and motorhomes are the most vulnerable vehicles due to their high ground clearance and the thefts are being driven by the precious metals used in CATs.
Heater says: “We are working with UK police forces to help raise awareness of the problem and help reduce this mindless crime.”
CatClamp Maxx is a catalytic converter lock, which has passed independent attack tests and is approved by the ACPO-run Secure by Design.
Heater continued: “Our Secured by Design membership makes a very powerful statement about the high quality of the CatClamp Maxx kit which is an achievement we are very proud of."
The CatClamp was invented to prevent thieves from stealing catalytic converters. The patented, cable cage design surrounds converters with an aircraft grade wire rope that is very difficult to cut.
It clamps to the exhaust pipes, not the converter allowing different sized and shaped converters to be protected. This eliminates the risk of damaging the converter, heat shield or oxygen sensors.
However, FleetTalk has also partnered with SmartWater to add to the layers of security the product currently offers.
SmartWater has just developed and launched a new high temperature forensic marking fluid specifically made for vehicle exhausts.
Putting the two independently tried and tested products in the UK market together makes for the most secure solution for catalytic converter theft, says Heater.
The CatClamp Maxx, including the new high temperature SmartWater marker and shipping, costs £275 + VAT, with a fleet installation charge of £70. However, discounts are available for fleets operating five or more vehicles.
Heater concluded: “We are in dialogue with several manufacturers and insurers to help protect their clients, their fleets and their premiums.”