Episode 183 – Armored Vehicle Market, Tires and Heat, and Mexican Attack

Driving in the Heat

We have mentioned this subject often in the last few months, but with the heatwave still affecting many countries, we feel it is worth repeating.

Basic Tires

The only connection between you and mother earth is your tires. Keep in mind that the tires don’t support the vehicle load. The pressurized air inside the tire supports the weight of the vehicle. The tire is just the container; this might sound obvious, but it is critical to understand.

Heat and Tires

Tire pressure will increase as the outside air temperature rises, tire pressure will go up approximately one pound for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Tire pressures are a vehicle characteristic that needs monitoring often. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System will warn the driver when the tire pressures are low but do not supply a warning when the pressure is too high.

Excessive heat will over-inflate the tires. Over-inflated tires can lose traction because the tire’s shape becomes deformed by extreme air pressure, decreasing the tire’s footprint on the road, limiting traction and stability. The tires can be more prone to damage. An over-inflated tire is stiffer and can cause loss of control when they encounter common road hazards like potholes.

Wheel Lugs

If you are doing any protective driver training in extreme heat, avoid over-tightening the wheels lug nuts. In this type of heat, there have been cases of front-wheel lugs shearing off. The heavy loads on the front tires combined with over-tightened wheel lugs and the extreme heat can be problematic. We suggest using a torque wrench. You can find the torque setting in the owner’s manual.




Distracted Driving

We know that drinking and driving and texting and driving are dangerous. And are hazardous to your health and the health of those who share the road with you. But we need to add another scenario to the distracted while driving series, driving while marketing.

I recently watched a YouTube video produced by one of the many EP YouTube evangelists. The evangelist was supplying the latest EP tip, learning point, etc. The gentleman is talking into a camera mounted on his dashboard while he is driving. At times to make his point, he takes his hands off the steering wheel.

These folks make these YouTube videos profess to be EP experts and go to great lengths to discuss that they are protectors. Yet they’re driving distracted and driving with no hands on the steering wheel.

Although they profess to be protectors, my suggestion, my tip, is to start by protecting the people that are on the road with you—driving with no regard for the safety of those around them when it could be so easy to pull over and record your video.

I get it. It’s a free market economy. You can market whatever you would like, but you cross a line when you endanger the lives of others by your actions.


The fact is that while you’re looking at your smartphone for just 3 seconds and you’re traveling down the road at 40 MPH – you’ve traveled approximately 180 feet without looking where you are going.

If there were an emergency (someone crossing the road or a car in that popped out in front of you) within that distance, you would not see it. We all take our jobs as security professionals seriously while protecting a principal. You should take the same amount of care while you are driving in your neighborhood. The next time you think of making a video while driving – don’t. Keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road.

Armored Vehicle Market

Looking at posts on LinkedIn, one could get the impression that the civilian armored car business is booming, and they would be correct. In fact, according to Bloomberg Business Magazine, the market for bulletproof vehicles is skyrocketing, and that demand for armored vehicles in the United States is higher than ever.

Also, the Los Angeles Times reported the market for “bulletproof” vehicles is exploding. We need to keep in mind that the press will always use the phrase bulletproof.

According to the armored vehicle manufacturer Armomax, the market value is at $15.96 billion. I would think that that number includes the military market.

All this data is pre-pandemic.

We have not compiled the data from our 2021 Executive Vehicle and Secure Transportation Survey. However, the results of our 2019 Survey showed the number of participants using armored vehicles jumped to thirty-six percent that is a significant increase from the 2017 Survey. We will get it out to the community when we compile the armored data from the 2021 survey.

With the market for armored vehicles increasing, one would think that so would the training for the drivers who must operate these vehicles.





The Vehicle Ambush In Mexico

In a post on LinkedIn, the author commented on a recent assassination of an individual while in a vehicle. It occurred in Mexico. The author mentions, “as noted in Gavin de Becker’s book, Just Two Seconds, 64% of attacks occur in and around the vehicle, and 77% of those succeed”. He also mentions the need for situational awareness. We’ll add the demand for Surveillance Detection and armored vehicles.

A couple of thoughts come to mind. Data says 65% of attacks occur while in or near a vehicle. How much of your time do you spend on training that mitigates the massive risk of vehicle attacks?

For close to 50 years, we have preached the need for surveillance detection, situation awareness, and armored vehicles. We are still talking about incidents resulting from a lack of surveillance detection, situational awareness, and armored vehicles.

History of Training Surveillance Detection

What is not talked about are companies that have been sending those who protect their executives to protective driving and surveillance detection programs for decades. Those working in the corporate sector and for HNW individuals have also been mitigating this risk for decades.

For decades surveillance detection has been the most misunderstood and neglected aspect of executive protection and secure transportation, especially for the new and inexperienced.

As VDI’s Joe Autera points out in his book “The Professional Guide to Planning, Managing, and Providing Secure Transportation,” surveillance detection is not new; it has been around for decades.

The importance of receiving this type of training lies in this quote from the book:

“Surveillance detection might not be just the best protection Security Driver has for preventing an attack, it might be the only protection they have when it comes to preventing an attack from being carried out.”

Also, for decades the Scotti School and now the ISDA has been preaching the gospel of Surveillance Detection.


Episode 179 – Surveillance Detection

Surveillance Detection and Security Driving

Carlos Marighella and the Need for Surveillance Detection

Surveillance Detection – Not Much Has Changed
This old video, circa 1988, by the US Army on Evasive Driving Training, is thirty-two years old and covers Surveillance Detection.


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