Posted by Steve Diebold

Here is a story (or call it a case history) about common sense sealing solutions. It was during a visit to a customer who sold pre-mix concrete for construction. Their product was delivered in 8 cubic meter (10 cubic yard) capacity mixing trucks. We were talking with the owner about a recurring theft/pilferage problem, during a routine courtesy call.

The discharge lever on their trucks was sealed after the truck was loaded. They used plastic padlock seal model 1001. The 1001 is a great seal for this function because it can be quickly broken off at the destination without tools. Meanwhile it is so simple in design that it is easy to inspect and to know if it is intact.

Anyway, back to the story.

The owner said his drivers were breaking the seals and dropping part of their load at another location like a friend, relative, or someone who paid them a little cash. So, when the load was delivered to the job and poured for the buyer there would be 80% or 90% of the original load in the truck. When caught the drivers claimed the seals were accidentally broken before delivery, or the customer was not being truthful. Sometimes the manager said the drivers were gluing them back together to appear sealed. Some of their customers were losing confidence.

He asked if we could provide a stronger seal to stop the problem. So the question we asked was, “do these drivers work for you?” Are they employees or contractors? He said they were employees.

We told him that from experience stronger seals usually are not highly effective in reducing this kind of theft. People will still open them with tools and try to hide tampering to fool a customer, if they are determined. Meanwhile the stronger seals will cost you more money for little or no gain. Also only a few expensive seal types would fit their lever.

A more effective solution would be to provide strict rules for the drivers. Give each driver a copy of these rules to read and accept, as well as posting the rules on their bulletin board, with the following:

  • -The delivery receipt will have a photo of how the seal should appear on the lever. Drivers are required to get a signature from the buyer on the delivery receipt stating that the driver broke the seal in view of the buyer, and it was in good condition at the time.
  • -Drivers must return each seal along with the signed delivery receipt. WARNING: Deliveries to a customer reporting a broken seal before arrival, or less than a full Load will be investigated. Serious penalties and possible dismissal may be considered for employees who are found to be tampering with seals or diverting product.
  • -Seals suspected of opening before delivery may be sent to the manufacturer for inspection, to determine if tampering has taken place.

The customer took the advice, put the rules in place and posted them, and did not need to buy a more expensive seal. The problem was fixed with few exceptions. No seals were ever sent back for an inspection but they could have been, and our experts at the factory would know if a seal had been put back together after breaking.


This took place several years ago but is still not an uncommon story in some industries. It is offered to show that we are not just a maker of top quality seals. Our years of experience help us offer effective security and loss prevention solutions while respecting our customers’ budgets.

Some customers are possibly not using their seals as effectively as they could, or might be buying a more costly seal than is needed, or may just need guidance in selecting and using their seals.

We are here to help and invite you to call with any questions or needs regarding tamper evident security seals and their use.

An experienced seal applications expert is available any time during business hours. Contact us at our main office and factory: Email: Call toll free at 1-800-342-0333 in the US or 516-349-7010 from anywhere. Online chat is available at the web site during business hours. (New York EDT)

Also see our website for all locations and complete contact information.