Arlyn S. Powell, Jr.
Security on the road is becoming a consideration for many cabling contractors, who must stock their vans with a variety of high-tech test equipment, components and materials. It recently became an issue for Network Communications Technology Inc. (NCT, Charlotte, NC), whose fleet of vehicles services 10 southeastern states. NCT has opted for windowed vans to promote safety and provide its technician-drivers with maximum visibility. "Unfortunately," says Tom Patterson, NCT`s director of operations, "the windows also allow anyone to see inside, providing a tempting target for a thief when the van is parked or left unattended, day or night.
"Just one incident, a burglary," continued Patterson, "was sufficient notice that we had a problem. Typically, one of our vans may be loaded with $13,000 to $15,000 worth of materials and equipment." It is also not unusual for a van to be parked overnight when a crew works on a job far from the home office.
Patterson addressed the problem by adopting a special one-way window screen that ClearChoice Marketing Inc. (Charlotte, NC) customized for NCT . "You cannot see inside the van," he says. "It was simple and cost-efficient." Opaque from the outside, the windows are transparent from within. Natural light transmitted through the screen is 50%, so the security device also acts as a sun shade.
The window material consists of a permanent, screen-printed vinyl sheet that is attached with adhesive. It can be custom-manufactured to match the coloring of a fleet of vehicles, and custom signage or graphics can be included. "It`s applied to the inside of the windows," adds Patterson, "so it`s impervious to weather and wear, and it won`t fade or peel away from the glass substrate."