Fuel — one of the most important variable fleet costs.
Research shows that most businesses spend about 24% of their fleet budget just on fuel. While you can’t control the price of fuel, you can have systems in place that help you optimise your fleet’s fuel efficiency.
Let’s jump right in and find out just how you can start slashing those fuel costs.
In this article, you will:
Learn what a fuel management system is
Find out how a fuel management system works
Discover the benefits of a fuel management system for your fleet
See how Cartrack’s fuel management solutions help boost fleet efficiency and profits
What is a fuel management system?
A fuel management system is a system that measures the fuel usage in vehicles. As part of a fleet management system, this system makes use of hardware and software components, known as telematics, to offer automated solutions for the monitoring, controlling, and optimising of fuel usage.
By giving you precise insights into your fleet’s fuel economy, this system helps fleet managers take the guesswork out of manually tracking fuel consumption data by providing an automated, real-time tracking system that helps them effectively manage all fuel-related activities.
How does a fuel management system work?
Fuel management systems are designed to provide operational insights to fleet managers.
The system automatically tracks fuel consumption levels and also notes the speed at which the fuel is burned.
The system makes use of telematics to gather vehicle data and translates it into simple information, compiled on a fleet platform. This is done by making use of:
- Sensors: These are responsible for collecting data related to fuel consumption, mileage, and engine operating hours.
- Fuel level sensors: These are installed in fuel tanks and work to provide real-time data on the volume of fuel remaining in the tank.
The information typically gathered for optimum fuel efficiency includes:
- Vehicle speed
- Full trip history of vehicle usage
- Vehicle routes travelled
- Idle time
- Driving behaviour
- Fuel level data
The Risks of Not Having An Effective Fuel Management System
The repercussions of not having a fuel management system can be detrimental to a fleet’s success, including:
- Increased fuel costs
- Fuel theft
- Inefficient travelling and delivery routes
- Fuel-wasting driving behaviour
- High maintenance costs
- Decreased productivity
All these fuel-wasting costs add up, but with a good fuel management system, you can easily identify them and start saving.
The importance of fuel monitoring systems
Fuel monitoring systems are important for fleets because they allow fleet managers to collect and analyse fuel consumption data in their fleet. This data is a crucial part of fleet success, as it yields a wide range of benefits, including:
- Improved driver behaviour:
Identifying and addressing driver behaviours that lead to unnecessary fuel usage is crucial to fleet success. Fuel management systems can help reduce fuel costs by identifying driver behaviour that is causing unnecessary fuel usage. These behaviours which include excessive idling, speeding, harsh braking, and cornering, all significantly contribute to increased fuel consumption.
- Improved fleet efficiency:
Fuel management systems can use information on their fleet’s fuel consumption to better plan for future trips. For example, by knowing how much fuel a typical delivery will take, unexpected delays can be avoided, which positively impacts workflow.
- Improved planning and optimisation:
Fuel management systems help provide real-time data and insights. By analysing fuel consumption data, fleet managers can identify the most fuel-efficient routes and make adjustments to less efficient routes.
- Fuel theft prevention:
Fuel management systems help fleet managers identify possible fuel theft with real-time fuel capacity, ensuring that unauthorised fuel consumption is immediately detected. Common methods of fuel theft include syphoning, fuel card fraud, fuel card cloning, and false transactions.
- Accurate vehicle running costs insights:
Fuel management systems help monitor and record the amount of fuel each of your fleet vehicles is consuming. This data is crucial in helping you know when you need to change your fleet vehicles. It also gives you insights on which vehicles are more efficient so you can use the most fuel-efficient vehicles for more fuel-demanding trips.
- Reduction of human error:
Fuel management systems automate the collection of vehicle and driver data, eliminating errors caused by human input. Before these advancements, fleet managers and drivers would have to manually record vehicle and driver data, which would result in inaccuracies that would negatively affect fleet efficiency.
Without an effective fuel monitoring system, fleets can experience an increase in expenses and cost wastages, which can be detrimental to any business’s general operations and bottom line.
However, with software that enhances operational efficiency, reduces costs, and ensures proper and secure usage of fuel within a fleet or organisation, these problems can turn into money-saving solutions.
How Can We Help Improve Your Fuel Management?
If you’re looking to reap the benefits of a fuel management system, then look no further than Cartrack. Its industry-leading solutions simplify fuel cost data capturing and its valuable tools help you gain a comprehensive understanding of fuel consumption and leakages, providing you with actionable insights that can be used to improve your fleet’s fuel consumption.
Here are some key ways our solutions help save fuel costs:
- Monitoring and Improving Driver Behaviour:
Cartrack’s fuel monitoring software helps you see how much fuel has been put into your vehicles and helps you identify the driver behaviours that negatively impact fuel consumption. Research shows that idling consumes between 0.76 to 2.65 litres of fuel an hour, while harsh braking has been shown to increase fuel consumption by approximately 40%. Our driver scorecards monitor high-risk behaviour such as speeding, harsh accelerating, cornering or braking, which helps you know exactly what areas require improvement so you can drastically lower your fuel consumption.
- Promoting Preventative Maintenance:
A critical aspect of fuel efficiency lies in vehicle maintenance. Neglected issues such as worn-out tires, engine damage, or low coolant levels can lead to increased fuel consumption. Cartrack takes a proactive stance with preventative maintenance. We monitor your vehicle’s health. This allows you to schedule maintenance that suits your fleet’s schedule, minimising downtime and optimising vehicle performance. Now you can ensure your fleet operates at peak efficiency while minimising unexpected fuel consumption spikes associated with maintenance neglect.
- Simplifying Admin with Automated Reports:
Monitor fuel usage and expenses with Cartrack’s automated reports. When integrated with fuel level sensors, these reports give you access to critical data points, including total fuel consumption, initial and final fuel levels for trips, average fuel consumption, unauthorised vehicle usage, and fuel-draining incidents such as excessive engine idling. These reports are promptly delivered to your inbox, ensuring you have the information where and when you need it.
- Mitigating Fuel Card Fraud and Theft:
Cartrack’s intelligent algorithm goes beyond traditional measures to address fuel card fraud and theft, with examples including syphoning and fuel card cloning. By automatically cross-referencing fuel receipts with your vehicle’s location and fuel status, it instantly flags any suspicious activities. This proactive approach empowers you to identify abnormal spikes in fuel consumption promptly. Moreover, trip reports with fuel sensor data provide an additional layer of security, helping you take immediate action against any discrepancies.
Is It Beneficial to have a Fuel Management Software for Businesses of All Sizes?
You would think software solutions like this would only be suited for larger businesses, but they’re actually super beneficial for businesses of all sizes and in all industries.
Small businesses: Small businesses typically have limited resources, making it important for them to find ways to save money and improve their efficiency. A fuel management system can help small businesses do both by tracking fuel usage and identifying areas where fuel can be saved. Since small businesses will typically have one vehicle for deliveries, this enables them to optimise routes and helps ensure that there are no delivery delays.
Medium-sized businesses: Medium-sized businesses have more complex fleets than small businesses, making them require more stringent compliance requirements, which fuel management systems can help them achieve.
Large businesses: Large businesses often have massive fleets with hundreds or even thousands of vehicles. Fuel management systems can help them manage their entire fleet efficiently and comply with all applicable regulations in all provinces and countries where they operate.
What’s more? Implementing these solutions results in the automation of manual business processes, helping you free up resources, minimise paperwork, and speed up productivity.
The Solution for World-Class Fuel Management
Effectively improving your fleet’s fuel management needs a system that closely monitors fuel consumption, aids driver training programs, and adopts fuel-efficient technologies. The answer? Cartrack’s world-class solutions give you all the tools you need to say farewell to fuel stress and welcome enhanced productivity and efficiency.