Reducing fleet fuel theft – Mission Possible?
Ways to reduce fuel theft largely depend on the type of vehicles in the fleet – cars, light trucks, heavy trucks, construction equipment, etc. Fuel theft is one of the challenges faced by fleet managers, executives or business owners.
When it comes to cars, light trucks or vans, fuel theft often occurs by draining directly from the tank or by filling up a tank or personal car instead of the company vehicle. In both cases, you can take measures that will prevent drivers from doing this kind of abuse. What you can do?
- Use refuelling cards at service stations for business customers
Available from all petrol station chains. Why do the cards help protect you from fuel abuse? Because petrol station staff are obliged to check the registration numbers of the vehicles into which fuel is loaded and, respectively, to notify the company if there is a discrepancy or if fuel is poured into tubes. Of course, there may be lapses or unscrupulous petrol station staff, but if you have a GPS fuel monitoring system, you can compare the amount of fuel invoiced by the petrol station with what the GPS system reads;
- Check that the vehicle and the card being used to fill the tank are in the same place at the same time and date
Use GPS tracking devices to compare the information received from the gas station about the date/time and location of fueling with the actual location of the vehicle at that time. Some GPS systems have integration with some of the fuel stations and this comparison can be automatic or semi-automatic.
- Monitor the fuel level in the tank and the fuel consumption.
Use technical means that allow you to remotely monitor the fuel level in the tank and the fuel consumption. Fuel drains lead to a sharp drop in the fuel level in the tank and ultimately to higher fuel consumption.
- Invest in GPS devices that can monitor the fuel level in the tank
If fuel theft exceeds 15lv – 20lv per car per month, which is between 7 and 10 litres per month per car, then you will definitely be better off paying for a GPS fuel monitoring system. Why do GPS devices help reduce fuel theft?
- GPS devices monitor the fuel level in the tank in real-time. Accordingly, they record the amount of fuel loaded into the tank as well as drains, if any;
- The quantity of all refuellings and draining from the tank are recorded by the GPS systems and can always be checked backwards in time via the accompanying software;
- The recorded information on fuel drains in the GPS system will help you to prove fuel theft and will respectively serve as evidence in court when holding the driver liable in the appropriate legal proceedings;
- The information recorded in the GPS system about the refuelling makes it possible to compare what was recorded with a document (receipt, invoice) from the service station with the refuelling recorded by the GPS device. If there is a discrepancy between the two, e.g. 20 litres according to the GPS system and 40 litres according to an invoice from a service station, then 20 litres have “evaporated” or have not entered the service vehicle’s tank.
- Create and implement a fuel policy
These rules should clearly define what is expected of drivers when they purchase fuels. You should also tell drivers in no uncertain terms what to expect if they are caught stealing fuel. Last but not least, you should impose obligations on drivers related to fuel security, such as:
- monitor the vehicle during refuelling, especially if this happens at a random service station;
- cover the keypad with their hand when entering a PIN code to pay for fuel with a service card at a service station;
- park only in secure locations to protect against theft of fuel by third parties.
- Check all deviations
Check for anything unusual such as suspicious fueling locations, unusual fueling times, inaccurate odometer readings, and stops at unusual locations. You can use a GPS system to inform you of any stops at sites or service stations other than your own. Another capability of GPS tracking software is to define a maximum length of stay beyond which you can be notified. This way you will notice a significant difference and reduction in fuel theft.
- Set fuel consumption norms
Check all fuel variances and investigate the underlying causes – driving habits, fuel leaks, a damaged vehicle with high consumption, or others.
Implementing all or some of the measures listed will contribute significantly to reducing fuel theft in cars, light trucks and vans. Take advantage of a free consultation with our specialists by contacting us at the following contact details. Ask about Viasat Fuel Control and Fuel Control Pro to experience a reduction in fuel theft in your fleet.
Viasat Technology is part of the Viasat Group.