Preventing fuel thefts with an infrared curtain guard in Europe

IoT project of the year 2022

participant

Problem

The client, a company from Estonia, ships goods across Europe. The company wanted to prevent fuel thefts during cargo delivery, especially at nights when the driver was asleep.

The solution they had had before was not enough for fuel theft prevention. Actually, fuel thieves could drill a hole in the fuel tank, and then the company suffered losses both from the stolen fuel and the tank replacement. 

Even a single fuel theft cost a lot of money for the client. They could lose up to 3,800 euros for the fuel stolen, broken fuel tank repair, and penalty payable as a result of the late delivery.

Therefore, the company searched for another solution.

Solution

CarCops OÜ, an Estonian Wialon partner, created a fuel theft prevention solution specifically for this client. On the client’s five trucks, they installed infrared motion sensors that create an invisible curtain guard right in front of the fuel tank. If someone tries to approach the tank and enters the curtain area, an alarm goes off and wakes up the driver sleeping in the cab.

Fuel theft prevention system on a truck

A 3D graphic simulation of the invisible infrared curtain

This is how CarCops’ specialists built the solution:

  • They installed two infrared motion sensors, one on each side of the truck cab. As the sensors cover a narrow area of 50 cm, they are sensitive only to movements right in front of the fuel tanks. The system doesn’t start off when someone is just moving past the truck, without reaching the tanks.
    Unlike the ordinary fuel sensor, which was used earlier and could give a signal only when someone started draining fuel, the infrared motion sensor immediately activates an alarm if someone comes close to the fuel tank or starts drilling it.

Sensors preventing fuel thefts

An infrared motion sensor on the cab looking over on the fuel tank

  • The infrared sensors are connected to a Teltonika FMB130 GPS-tracker that sends data about the sensor activity to the Wialon platform. There, operators can conveniently monitor whether the security is enabled.

  • For the alarm module, the partner installed a standard 24V siren on the outside of the truck and inside the driver's cab.

  • When someone comes close to the tank and the alarm is activated, Wialon sends a mobile notification to the driver and the logistics operator so that they can quickly react. Moreover, the sound of the siren itself scares off the villains.

  • The drivers were also provided with a remote control for the fuel theft prevention system. They can easily disarm it or turn it on at night.

To facilitate use of the solution, CarCops made an instructional manual and created a short video highlighting the functionality and capabilities of the system. Additionally, the partner’s specialists trained the driver on how to operate the remote control.

Result

This solution helped the client keep their gasoline safe already during the first trip after the fuel theft prevention system had been installed. The client considered it an excellent investment, as the solution paid off immediately.


Now that fuel is becoming more expensive, the partner plans to upgrade the solution with a security camera or a photo camera that would capture villains’ faces.

Fuel tanks secured

The fuel theft prevention system scares away villains before they do any harm and helps the driver react quickly.

1,400 liters of fuel potentially saved

per trip as no more fuel thefts occur.

No related losses

The client no longer has to pay penalties due to cargo delivery delays or replace tanks broken by the fuel thieves.

Customer testimonial

Company representative
Feedback, provided by the client

We had a big issue with fuel thefts in France, Luxembourg, and Spain after the fuel price increased by 100%. First, we used fuel sensors and fuel caps to prevent fuel thefts during night stands in parking lots. But one night, a thief drilled a hole in the fuel tank and stole the fuel. So we switched to this fuel theft prevention solution from CarCops. We’ve been using it already for a few months, and we haven’t had any more issues with fuel thefts since.

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Company profile

Country: Estonia
IoT project of the year nomination: Long-haul shipping
Business spheres: Long-haul transportation
Monitoring unit: Freight vehicle

Implemented products

Wialon Hosting

Implemented hardware

Teltonika FMB130
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