Do we sound like a broken record now that diesel fuel prices have gone up nine straight weeks. The cost for your fleet fueling didn’t hurt as much this week with only a .8 cent increase to $3.438 a gallon nationwide. It does make diesel fuel prices 65 cents higher than this time last year. Ouch. Listen here fellow fueling cost watchers. The gloves are off when it comes to where your fleet fueling costs are going to go. One word ok, maybe it’s more like several words. Egypt. Middle East. The increase already in crude prices of $6 a barrel since this new twist to your fleet management budget started to unravel on January 1.
It wasn’t too long ago that fuel prices were lingering between $3.80 and $4.40 per gallon. At that point many companies took an aggressive stance on fuel conservation. However, for most it was just a flavor of the month. Many companies joined in on the U.S. EPA “SmartWay” bandwagon which is designed to improve fuel efficiencies and reduced the environmental impact. That is all well and good but unfortunately; if a company doesn’t have an aggressive fuel conservation program in place then being “SmartWay” certified should be considered consistent with permitting the tail to wag the dog or maybe ready, shoot, aim is a better metaphor. There
are numerous companies that pay an outside SMA (Subject Matter Expert) to fill out the required documentation. There obviously isn’t anything wrong with being “SmartWay” certified or using an outside resource to fill out the documentation. But the point is are you really impacting fuel economy or the environmental impact if you are not managing the one (1) factor that has a 30 to 35 percent impact of fuel economy, which is the driver? There is not one (1) single technology on the market that will have more of an impact than holding drivers accountable and since you’re now required to hold them accountable for safety (CSA 2010) why
not put the tools and controls in place to hold them accountable for fuel performance?
To use synthetic or not, that is the question. I would say the answer is it depends on your fleets wants and needs. Like any product, over time it will or should get better just because of new technology and knowledge that comes along.
I was just talking to a client earlier this week and he was letting me know that his diesel fuel prices were up 23% since this time last year. He was thankful that his fuel management program with us was in place but for those of you that don’t, time to start reading about a fleet fueling policy. Most fleet companies review standard operating procedure at least annually if not more often. When it comes to a fleet fueling policy most companies don’t even have one because they feel like diesel fuel prices are out of their control. Fleet managers would be correct in believing that they cannot control the Open market of the rise and fall of diesel fuel prices (crude oil) on NYMEX. Just because you can’t control the fueling market doesn’t mean you burry your head in the sand and feel that you don’t have fleet management control over your fleet fueling policy. The only way to get control on your fleet fueling policy is to actually have a policy. This fueling policy could include fuel hedging, fleet fuel cards, mobile fueling, fuel tax exemptions, fuel card, diesel fuel additives, fueling companies that you use, your fuel saving goals.
No a client of ours needed a fuel management solution 3 years ago, so they came to us for fuel savings, fuel card programs and fueling controls. What they didn’t know was costing them a large amount of fuel saving. This is a major company with a very familiar name but they didn’t understand fleet management for fuel. Our fuel management team overhauled the client’s total fueling program. We switch out fuel cards and put an additional fuel card in place for added fuel saving.
A fuel card or a fleet fuel card is used to make payment for diesel fuel , petrol, fuel and gasoline on gas stations with easy payment mode. Just like fleet credit cards, fuel cards help in making payment of diesel fuel and petrol without using cash. The main advantage of using a fuel card or fleet card is that all the transactions or spending done on private and business mileage can be easily obtained in detailed, easy to access statements through itemized billing to prevent any fraud.
It really takes simple math as anything goes up in price it becomes more valuable to steal so as diesel fuel prices have made it almost 60 cents higher than this time last year, the theft of peoples fleet fueling has gone up. Diesel fuel price over $3.40 a gallon have caused increase fueling theft, not to the levels of a couple of years ago but the fleet fueling price isn’t that high yet…
A major percentage of all problems with diesel fuel engines are related to fuel quality. Diesel fuel can sometimes vary from one shipment to another or from one area to another. Customers also switch from one fleet fueling vendor to another and suppliers sometimes change the fuel they are offering. The three things that vary the most in diesel fuel are cetane, weight and viscosity. Cetane is defined as the susceptibility of the fuel to self ignite. Cetane can influence both starting and combustion roughness of an engine.
If your fleet companies operation fuel card or fleet card makes you feel secure, think again. We have talked about this before but station skimming is happening at fueling locations like your local card lock or gas station.
Diesel fuel prices rose for a seventh straight week, jumping 7.4 cents to $3.407 a gallon according the Department of Energy (DOE). The last time fleet companies paid this much for fleet fueling was