Why every trucking fleet needs a fuel card plan
There’s no question that fuel is a precious commodity. Rising gas prices only make it more crucial for trucking fleets to carefully manage how fuel is acquired and consumed. Fortunately technology is making it a lot easier for fleet owners to control their fuel purchases, with greater accountability and reporting to highlight areas that need attention.
Why consider switching to using a fuel card program to manage and monitor your gas purchases?
Why are OTR trucking fleets switching on to fuel cards?
Long haul trucking fleets burn through a lot of gas and, in most cases, it is the biggest operating expense incurred. It can also be time consuming for drivers managing fuel purchases and keeping up-to-date with the paperwork.
Fuel cards can simplify the process, and offer a range of other benefits.
- Less time spent on administration – With real-time data integration fuel cards can let fleet and driver managers focus on their job, rather than on the paperwork.
- Widely accepted – More and more truck stops, major store chains, and cardlock stations are accepting fuel cards.
- Easier to control than cash – Keep a tight grip on card purchases, implementing a fleet-wide usage policy.
- Discounts – Fuel cards can sometimes offer the power of negotiating with nationwide fuel suppliers for discounts or special offers.
- Cash withdrawals – Some cards can provide drivers with an option to withdraw cash, which could be useful for those drivers purchasing accommodation at cash-only motels or work-supplied meals.
- Calculating fuel tax is easier – With fuel purchases automatically recorded along with fuel type, calculation of tax is essentially automated saving a huge amount of time when it is time to file a company tax return.
There are benefits for trucking fleets to switch on to good fuel card management program but are there drawbacks? Will it be used inappropriately and cost the company in fuel shrinkage?
Controlling fuel card use
Some fleet owners may object to using fuel cards because they feel it leaves the way open for employee dishonesty and unauthorized card use. There are ways to easily tackle this concern.
For one thing, most card providers offer fuel card security at the point of sale, with the fleet owner choosing what information a cardholder has to enter at the time of purchase.
Secondly, using the Telogis Fleet fuel card reconciliation feature fleet owners can easily be alerted to any unauthorized or suspicious purchases based on the company vehicle’s location at the time of refueling.
The module has other smart features that calculate the legitimacy of the fuel purchase, making sure it is consistent with vehicle attributes, capacity and historical MPG.
When good fuel card management is combined with Telogis Fleet, fleet owners can make sure they enjoy all the benefits and convenience of fuel cards without the danger of losing precious fuel to thieves.
Combined with an overall fuel management plan smart telematics can reduce a fleet’s overall fuel bill by around 15%, which for large fleets can be a significant saving and a welcome relief from rising gas prices!