As any experienced fleet owner or manager will know, fuel fraud is as ols as the mountains. But as the price of oil continues to go up and methods for theft become more sophisticated, the problem is a growing one. Here is a look at some of the most common ways in which fuel fraud or theft happens today and what you, as a fleet owner, can do to protect your liquid assets.
Fuel costs are a big expense for any logistics company or fleet owner. As a fleet manager, it’s important to have backup systems in place to make sure your fleet is not paying more than it has to for one of its major operating expenses—diesel.
Fuel theft and unauthorized fuel purchases could be hurting your business more than you realize. To keep drivers honest and operation costs lower, it’s important for fleet owners to have a theft-minimisation plan or a system in place to reduce loss related to the main operating expense, diesel fuel. Let’s take a look at steps your fleet can take to help reduce fuel theft, then highlight how Digit fleet and fuel management can help in prevention and control.
4 Steps to reduce or prevent fuel theft
Luckily there are a few simple steps and best practices you can implement today to reduce fuel theft from your fleet vehicles.
Educate your vehicle operators
Having a meeting with drivers about the threat of fuel theft and how it impacts fleet profitability is key to reducing instances of theft. Drivers should be aware of any systematic approach the company takes to tackle the issue and what they can do to minimize threats when on the road. This can also be a warning to potential operators who has been skimming fuel to stop their operations.
Asking drivers to adopt defensive parking techniques which include parking in a highly visible, well-lit areas or parking so that fuel tanks are as inaccessible as possible, can also minimize fuel theft. Also choosing premises with CCTV surveillance.
Install fencing, lights and CCTV cameras in vehicles or truck yards
Thieves target poorly monitored storage yards, truck stops or warehouses. They will typically assess the risk and opportunities during the day and strike when at night or during weekends where there is a lower risk of being caught. Installing the right lighting and cameras can help reduce the chance of becoming a victim of fuel theft. CCTV systems can trigger and notify clients of movement in their premises. A strong perimeter fence or wall will deter the occasional/opportunistic thief and also slow down the more organized ones so that your other security measures can be deployed. Installing signs that highlight the security measures like CCTV and Fuel theft alarms will also make potential thieves think twice.
Create a culture that rewards the operator
The power of positive reinforcement through financial rewards for driving fuel efficiently can create cultural change and increase the incentive for drivers to save fuel. And the rewards don’t even have to be financial; they could be extra holidays, vouchers or just recognition. Rewards could even be given out to teams instead of individuals which could create a shared cultural approach and peer pressure to stay within the rules. Your Digit fleet management systems can be used to monitor driver performance, give feedback and implement a good reward scheme.
Fit your fleet with fuel sensors your fuel dispensers with flow control systems
One of the best ways to track fuel operations is to invest in a comprehensive fuel management software system. These systems can live track fuel data, so you don’t have to pour over spreadsheets and tank levels. Using a fleet management software, like DigitFMS , can also help you with fuel theft monitoring notifications. If fuel is stolen from your dispensers or fleet vehicles, where ever they, you can receive a notification while fuel is being siphoned form the vehicle.
The bulk tank system not only notifies you on theft but monitors fuel transactions very accurately and fuel dispensed can obviously be compared to level drop in the main bulk tank.
Whatever you do to save fuel on your fleet, make sure your implementation is thought through and everyone in the company is onboard. Especially in these trying times it is the best thing to start monitor and control for curbing costs in your company