Do you know the fuel tank capacity for your fleet vehicles?
With energy costs skyrocketing, internal fuel theft is an increasingly prevalent problem, and one that thieves believe is hard to detect. But today’s fuel tracking and analytics software makes it easy to spot unusual activity, and gives you the tools to investigate and identify the problem quickly.
Tracking fuel tank capacity alone may not directly prevent fuel theft, but it can be an invaluable tool for detecting and monitoring incidents. With the Coast card, you have the ability to add vehicle tank capacity, and get alerted in real time if someone fills up more. Combined with the fuel level sensors offered by telematics software, you can get a comprehensive view into fuel usage and potential fuel theft.
If you’re operating heavy-duty fleet vehicles, you can use an on-board telematics device integrated with a fuel tracking and analytics solution, while businesses managing lighter-duty vehicles can use a fleet management platform that cross-checks fuel transactions with dates, times and locations. Both will provide information on every trip, route, and stop, and can work with geofencing to ensure that out of the way fuel stations and locations aren’t being accessed.
Signs of internal fuel theft include:
- Purchasing more fuel than a vehicle’s tank can hold
- Unplanned, off-route stops
- Noticeable drop in fuel efficiency
- Purchasing a type of fuel different from what the vehicle requires
- Fill-up locations outside of the assigned trip
- Requiring more fill-ups than a route has historically required
When any of these occurrences arise, the potential answers include drivers filling portable fuel cans for personal use or to sell; filling their personal vehicles at the same time as their assigned fleet vehicle, partially filling the fleet vehicle and using the rest of the fuel tank’s capacity to fill their personal vehicle or sell; and using fleet cards to fill portable gas cans or personal vehicles. Account administrators can leverage several tools to help monitor fuel and prevent theft.
Fuel management systems can alert you to when irregular fuel consumption patterns are detected, including over-fueling, fueling at unapproved gas stations, and fueling outside of geofencing boundaries. Using a fuel card like Coast in conjunction with a telematics system can help you stay on top of all location and fueling activity with proactive, automated alerts.
Fleet management platforms can track fuel tank capacity over time, allowing for the analysis of consumption patterns and the establishment of benchmarks for normal fuel usage. Any significant deviations from these patterns can be thoroughly investigated, aiding in the identification of potential fuel theft incidents as well as mechanical issues that might be causing reduced fuel economy.
There are several different ways to gain real-time information about fuel levels in your tanks, as well as fuel usage. Telematics solutions offer on-board diagnostics to allow you to quickly spot sudden or unexpected drops in fuel efficiency, and tracking tank capacity via telematics or fuel card software can alert you to when a fuel purchase exceeds the tank capacity.
Simply knowing that fuel levels are being actively monitored can act as a deterrent to would-be thieves. Employees and unauthorized individuals who are aware of the tracking system are less likely to attempt fuel theft due to the heightened risk of being caught.
When you add fuel tank capacity to Coast’s fuel card software, you can create an additional layer of visibility and security for tracking your fuel spend. With fuel costs representing such a significant part of your operational expenses, it makes good sense to combine these tools and put them to use for your company.