One of the major costs of running any fleet is that of fuel, and so it is essential that the use of fuel by the fleet is monitored constantly in order that vehicle fuel costs are kept down. One way to do this effectively is to use fuel management software, which gives each vehicle’s fuel consumption, loads fuel filling data directly into the system, and identifies vehicles with higher than average fuel consumption. Some software may also monitor inventory, forecasts when fuel deliveries are needed, and keeps a record of leak testing data. This article will look at these points and the various considerations needed to be taken into account when purchasing fuel management software for a commercial fleet of vehicles whether trucks or cars.
Knowing the fuel consumption of each vehicle in the fleet is of paramount importance in order to identify whether a vehicle has mechanical problems which is causing it use more fuel than average. Even small increases in fuel consumption across a whole fleet of vehicles, especially gas-hungry freight pulling trucks, can add up to a lot of extra expenditure if left unchecked for long enough. A good piece of fuel management software will enable the fleet manager to see instantly the fuel consumption of each vehicle and earmark for maintenance the ones using more gas than they should.
The software should also give a comparison of the vehicles present fuel consumption with its historical fuel consumption in order that it is possible to target precisely when the leap in fuel consumption started to occur. A vehicle with higher fuel consumption could have a mechanical fault which needs to be fixed, or it could be that the driver is driving the vehicle in a way which is causing more fuel to be used.
For ease of use the fuel management package should load data from the filling pump directly into the system. This cuts down on the chance for human error such as keying in incorrect fuel data. The system should make fuel usage reports easily available, and should be able to cope with alternative fuels such as diesel and ethanol for instance.
In order to ensure that the fleet’s fuel supply is never disrupted, a type of fuel management software can also monitor fuel inventory at the depot. In this way the software can forecast when there are deliveries of fuel needed. It should also keep a record of leak inspections and provide a comparison between how much fuel is being refilled and how much is being actually used by the fleet.
It should be obvious that fuel management software is a complex application which can help any fleet, large or small, to cut down on fuel costs. When doing research into any general fleet management software package, it would be well to make sure that some form of fuel management software is an integral part of the whole package or make plans to buy a standalone fuel management software package and integrate it with the main fleet management package.