Truck Seals: The Best Known Security Seal Application

Truck Seals: The Best Known Security Seal Application

Posted by Steve Diebold


There are countless ways to use tamper evident and security seals. Today, the single largest use for seals in the world is, without doubt, to secure trucks and shipping containers placed on trucks. Anyone who drives the roads anywhere in the world knows that the volume of trucks moving every day is substantial.

American Casting & Mfg has been making security seals since 1910, when small mass produced trucks were just beginning to show up on roads. There were only 6,000 commercially made that year. Today. AC&M is a US leader in production of truck seals among many other security seals for all industries.

There is no reliable number for the total use of seals on trucks, but it is in the hundreds of millions annually, and growing. There are nearly 1 billion commercial vehicles in use worldwide. In the US alone, the most recognized type (semi truck/trailers) are estimated to number about 2 million units in operation. Seals are used on many but not all trucks. Some use multiple seals daily. Adding tankers, flatbeds and other specialty trucks, the number of active vehicles and their seal use is significant.


The primary (and still most obvious) purpose of a truck seal is to provide evidence that the truck has been opened or opening was attempted. A damaged or broken seal provides that evidence. Early seals were (and are still) known for that function. Stamping of letters and serial numbers on them provides unique identification for all seals.

Today the ability to have logos, barcodes, more printed data and color coding have made the seal a multi-purpose tracking and security tool.

A person who receives trucks at a major retail store commented that their first step when a truck arrives now is to scan the barcode on the seal. It alerts their system that the truck has arrived, where and when. The information in their system relating to that barcode and that truckload tells them the contents and other specifics about the truck. The seal has become a valuable tool.

On the opposite end, trucks, trailers, and tankers that are empty are often sealed to provide evidence if the empty truck was opened or opening was attempted.


Almost any type of seal can be used to secure a truck. Historically, fixed length strap seals of metal and plastic have been the most often used. These have letters and serial numbers stamped for unique identification. Plastic and metal flat seals are still the most widely used truck seals.

Meanwhile, today’s distribution systems have expanded and changed the role of seals. New options are offered to meet security demands and fit information for use in a company’s operational database.

There is a growing need for stronger seals, or seals with more information, or both. Barcodes and other details are added to both indicative seals and heavy duty barrier seals, for use in tracking and controlling the progress and security of truck delivery. AC&M supplies seals with barcodes both on plastic seals and metal high strength cable seals.

Plastic Pull up Seals are widely used and can be an easy alternative to strap seals. They are especially useful on tank trucks where wider and uniquely shaped latching mechanisms need longer and more flexible attaching straps.

A padlock type seal also works well for trucks but is sometimes overlooked as an option because it is often seen as an electric meter seal. It is much more than that.

For barrier and high security applications, trucks are sealed with steel bolt type seals or cable seals. Both require strong tools to open. This is most often for high value cargo or in the case of international shipping. For cross-border shipments, high security seals are typically required to be certified under ISO-7712, quality standards. This is standardized testing for strength that is recognized globally.

The choice of a truck seal is varied by location and carrier type. Simple truck runs call for simple seals. Some internal company systems with close monitoring dictate more sophisticated seals.


AC&M serves thousands of seal users including government, utility, military, transport, and commercial entities of all types, worldwide. We invite you to utilize and benefit from our 110 years in the seal industry, and our wealth of expertise. Please contact us with questions or further discussion of your needs in seals for any aspect of trucking applications.

An experienced seal applications expert is available during business hours in multiple ways. 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.

The AC&M web site also offers an online store where you can purchase seals 24/7 in the US.

LIVE CHAT with a seals expert, is available during US Eastern Time business hours.

Our web site now offers a wealth of information. You can find all of our locations, full data on our latest products and other useful information. Also find office and factory locations, contact information, and full data on all our current products. We are glad to assist with guidance, samples or pricing at your request.