Category Archives: fleet fuel cards

Is Fueling Time Impacting Your Drivers’ Availability?

Time is money, how many times have we all heard that? We all know it’s true, particularly when it comes to fleet management. The recent changes to the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations have definitely created some challenges for companies that need to maximize their drivers’ productivity.

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It’s Tax Season! Are You Paying the Correct Fuel Taxes?

Many fleet managers, controllers, and CFOs might be surprised if they discovered they were overpaying fuel invoices because they included line items disguised as government taxes and fees.  At Sokolis Group, we‘re not surprised because we see this happen frequently.  Prior to becoming a Sokolis Group client, these companies typically just signed off on fuel invoices that contained “special” taxes or environmental fees.  These bogus fees are nothing more than an additional revenue stream for the fuel supplier.  However, in some other cases, we’ve also discovered legitimate taxes were not charged when the company was actually liable for the tax.

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Even the FBI Hasn’t Investigated Their Fuel Purchases

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General recently released their audit findings regarding the FBI’s fleet fuel procurement program.  A number of deficiencies were identified with the FBI’s purchasing controls including not verifying quantities and prices invoiced by their fuel suppliers.  You might find it surprising that the FBI didn’t pay close attention to these details but fuel management is obviously not one of their core competencies.  In fact, it’s easy to do a web search and find many government audit reports that identify significant issues with their associated departments’ fuel procurement procedures.

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Does Fueling Time Reduce Your Drivers’ Availability?

Time is money, how many times have we all heard that? We all know it’s true, particularly when it comes to fleet management and Hours of Service (HOS) regulations can create challenges for companies that need to maximize their drivers’ productivity.

Continue reading Does Fueling Time Reduce Your Drivers’ Availability?

Do You Have a “Leak” in Your Bulk Fuel Tank?

iStock_000013704769_Small.jpgMany companies have determined that locating a bulk fuel tank in their own yard provides the most cost-effective method for their fleet fueling requirements. Bulk tanks certainly come with insurance and environmental challenges, but they can be overcome with careful planning. It’s also costly to purchase and install a bulk tank, but significant net savings may be achieved compared to alternative fleet fueling options assuming your tank doesn’t “leak.”

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Is Fueling Time Impacting Your Drivers Availability?

Time is money, how many times have we all heard that? We all know it’s true, particularly when it comes to fleet management. The recent changes to the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations have definitely created some challenges for companies that need to maximize their drivers’ productivity.

Continue reading Is Fueling Time Impacting Your Drivers Availability?

Debit Cards Good for Diesel Fuel Pump Skimmers

Are you one to NOT carry around cash and use your debit card for everything, even diesel fuel? I am. It’s easy to just have a debt card right? It’s like having cash but in plastic. And with all of the scams out there with the gas pumps with your credit cards, why wouldn’t you want to use your debit card?

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Pilot Flying J Truck Stops Investigated By FBI & IRS

Pilot Flying J truck stops are under investigation by the FBI and IRS. The reason for the investigation has yet to be clear by those 2 authorities. Pilot Flying J truck stops, CEO, Jimmy Haslam said in a press conference, “that the rebates that were owed to customers were not paid. We, of course, disagree with that.”

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Diesel Fuel Prices Up for 10th Straight Increase — Ouch!

The Department of Energy (DOE) just released diesel fuel pricing data that has diesel fuel prices rising for the 10th straight week jumping 7.5 cents to $3.513. It’s the largest increase since December 6, 2010 early in this rise of fleet fueling prices for trucking. This increase puts the diesel fuel price 74.4 cents higher than this same time last year. Is there any good news in the fuel management world or is everything glum?
Well, some good news is that crude oil prices have come down over the past week. Things have settled a little bit in Egypt and it usually takes a solid week or two before diesel fuel prices catch up at retail locations as compared to the open market. In a nutshell, if nothing crazy happens, your diesel fuel prices should be going down to that $3.40 level soon. I know, it’s not great, but it’s still better than $3.513 for fleet fueling this week.
The key right now to most of your fuel management solutions is to get to the core of your fueling programs. If you feel like your fleet company’s understanding might not be up to par, then it’s time for a fuel analysis on the who, what, where, how and why of your fuel management.
Who?: Who is the person in your fleet company’s organization that really has his finger on this? Is it you? Is it the fleet manager? Fuel manager? (Maybe in title only.) Fleet fuel manager? Director? Or maybe, it’s really no one at all.
What?: As in– what does your fleet fueling program look like? “What does that mean?” you might ask. Do you have as many fleet cards or fuel card companies as you do locations? Are you using mobile fueling and not sure why? Or, do you think you should be using mobile fueling but don’t know how to do it? Do you have a fuel saving plan as part of the program?
Where?: Where do your trucks go to buy diesel fuel? Are you using truck stops, card locks or do you have a mobile fueling company coming on location to fuel your trucks where they are parked? How do you know what fleet management approach is best for your fleet company’s vehicles?
How?: How are you going to improve your diesel fuel buying if you already believe you are buying well? Another question is how do you know that you really are buying well? Who told you that? How can you be certain? How do your fueling purchases compare against other fleet companies? How are you going to change your fuel management system? It’s hard and even though it’s a big expense item most companies usually push it to the back burner. How do your fuel cards or fleet cards work? How is the fuel auditing being done on all your fueling transactions?
Why?: Why are diesel fuel additives so expensive? Why does your fleet credit card charge a fee? Why does your fuel inventory never match at the end of the month? Why don’t you see fuel savings when your fleet management keeps putting new fuel management systems in place?
These are very important questions that most fleet managers or someone in your organization should really be looking at. As I have said before, and it might sound crazy, but we talk with more companies that need our help than don’t need help. Most of us have heard the expression that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. This is diesel fuel buying we are talking about. It’s not time to be dangerous, its time to be smart. Increase your knowledge and get the answers to your questions. There is safe ground to stand on and you can improve your company’s bottom line. Consult with a fleet fueling expert and start implementing a fuel management program that you can count on.