South Africans consume 11.1-billion litres of petrol and 12.1-billion litres of diesel a year. The theft of fuel is a massive industry and this valuable commodity is affecting company profits.
Many fleet businesses do not know where and when fuel is being stolen, unaware that fuel syphoning could be a contributor to fuel spikes. Fuel monitoring solutions will help you accurately monitor fuel consumption levels, spot possible fuel theft and drastically reduce your fuel costs.
Let’s dive into why fuel monitoring and management is a must-have for a business.
According to experts, if we consider all variable costs in the transport and logistics industry, fuel is by far the most important one. Fuel management can be the difference between going bankrupt and being successful. Statistics prove that good fuel management can save up to 10% of fuel costs, which is why you can’t afford to not optimise your fleet’s fuel efficiency.
Without a fuel monitoring system, there could be an increase in expenses and cost wastages that could be put to better use. For example, save on fuel and use the extra money to focus on a top product offering that will help grow your business.
What does monitoring fuel consumption really mean? It means taking all possible measures to have a tight grip on your fuel usage across your fleet. Basically, knowing where every single drop of fuel is going.
There are many ways fleet managers can get in control of fuel monitoring. For example, they could invest in a real-time fuel monitoring system or a fleet management platform.
But first, let’s look at some fuel wastage risks:
This is typically done using a hose and manually sucking the gasoline or diesel fuel out of the tank and into a container. Thieves will steal and place this fuel into another vehicle.
Fuel card fraud occurs when someone uses a company fuel card to purchase fuel for their personal vehicle.
This when data is stolen to create copied fuel cards which are often used to fill up other vehicles with fuel at the original cardholder’s expense
This is when filling stations swipe a fuel card multiple times for one refuel session, leaving the cardholder liable for each transaction and fuel they did not receive.
No matter the type of fuel trends you want to monitor, we’ve got a fuel management solution for you.
Control every cent with Cartrack’s fuel cost monitoring system. It reviews your fuel transactions and matches fuel receipts with your vehicle’s advanced telemetry data to identify any possible fuel theft, saving you time, money and fuel.
1 – Reduce fuel wastage
Be able to monitor your vehicle tank’s daily fuel levels. Also, know how much fuel your vehicles are consuming and the mileage driven, litres used per kilometre. This data helps you reduce fuel wastage and can be used to perform industry comparisons on driver and vehicle behaviour. If there is a sudden spike in fuel consumption, you’ll pinpoint the reasons such as it could be because of poor driver behaviour, fuel theft or your vehicles might need maintenance to be more fuel efficient.
2 – Spot fuel theft
In many instances, criminals can manage to syphon up 125 litres of fuel at a time. Sometimes it can be hard to know if fuel syphoning is taking place, especially if your drivers will need to rest on long-haul journeys, which could create an opportunity for criminals to syphon fuel while the vehicle has stopped.
If this happens, you’ll instantly know where, when and how much fuel is taken with live alerts so you can attend to the situation immediately before you incur excessive fuel costs.
3 – Identify fuel card fraud
Our system automatically matches fuel receipts with the amount of fuel going into the tank. Fleet managers can check if the fuel they are paying for arrives in the truck’s tank, and not into another car. This will allow you to see your fuel purchase history and see which vehicles filled up at which station, and then you can match receipts accordingly. This will answer unexplained questions for fleet managers like “why was the fuel card used when the vehicles were not in use?” or “why were there excess fuel card transactions exceeding fuel budgets?”
There’s telematic software solutions with smart algorithms that can be used to compare your fuel receipts and fuel card transactions to your vehicle’s data. This will help you spot any inconsistencies.
4 – Data reports
The best way to assess fuel consumption is through data analytics and using the reports to make decisions instantly. Monitor your rate of fuel usage, through fuel level and consumption reports, where you’ll be able to see the total fuel consumed, fuel levels at the start and end of trips, average fuel consumption, refuelling, fuel draining events and more. Track usage trends and have the data on hand for reporting – receive the reports in your inbox immediately.
5 – Insights into driver efficiency
When you receive driver behaviour reports, you can determine which drivers in your fleet need to improve their driving patterns – which is another big contributor to increased fuel costs. For example, unnecessary and excessive idling contributes to an increase in fuel. An idling car uses between 0.76 to 2.65 litres of fuel an hour. An idling truck burns approximately four litres of fuel an hour. Driver training or coaching can then be provided to empower drivers to improve their behaviours, and prevent fuel usage from getting out of hand.
A fleet provider can install fuel level sensors directly into your fleet vehicle’s fuel tank, which will monitor the volume of fuel in a tank.
Here’s how Cartrack’s fuel sensor system works:
Fuel is one of the largest expenses in a fleet business, and with fuel costs so volatile, managers need to conserve every drop, going into their trucks, so they can keep business costs under control. Lack of fuel efficiency in trucks can impact productivity in a business, and negatively affect profits. For example, if you spend excessively on fuel, then you have less money to allocate to other areas of the business such as hiring more salesmen to promote your business. Or you might not have enough cash flow in your business, to cover unexpected expenses.
This is part of a fleet management solution, where you can see where your trucks are 24 hours a day, and if they are operating efficiently. You can assess how your fleet consumes fuel and driving behaviours that could be affecting fuel in real-time, giving you the opportunity to take action for any fuel inefficiencies. For example, you have two drivers on their way to the same destination, driving similar vehicles and one is using far more fuel – you can do something with this GPS data to avoid unnecessary current and future fuel wastages.
Telematics software can give visibility into unsafe driving practices. By monitoring the team’s on-road behaviour and highlighting poor driving habits, you can help correct dangerous behaviour and set targets for safety that will improve fuel efficiency in your fleet.
One of the main reasons for unnecessary fuel waste is leaving the engine running when the vehicle is stopped for long periods. A fleet management system helps to identify how long a truck has been idling, quantify the amount of fuel used, and notify the driver so they can reduce their fuel waste and unnecessary idling.
If there is a significant spend on fuel, then admin tasks will increase especially compiling reports on fuel levies and taxes. Filing returns requires extensive information about when and how far trucks in a fleet have travelled that year, which the system will be able to provide. It may be difficult to keep track of all this information, but through the fuel management process, fleet managers can streamline the reporting of fuel usage for tax purposes.
If you find yourself spending excessively on fuel and your vehicles are consuming more than they should, a fuel monitoring system will help tackle that. Take control of your fleet and solve fuel inconsistencies with Cartrack’s fleet management platform.