Hours of Service Ruling in, Ever Think About Mobile Fueling?

The verdict is in and the hours of service law stands up in court. What does that mean for your business? As a Fuelman, I am thinking how will it affect our clients or potential clients? We all know that safety is first and foremost when it comes to this law, but when you run your own business, it really comes down to time management. If you only have X amount of hours in the day to make X amount of deliveries and you can’t do it, that means you’re out buying new trucks and hiring new drivers to get the same amount delivered as before.

These items aren’t cheap to your Cap X, they are good for the economy – but we are focused on your diesel fuel purchasing right now. Depending on your company’s ability to buy bulk fuel or buy fuel at truck stops, it is still going to take time away from your drivers’ productivity. Certainly pumping diesel fuel from your bulk tank is not that bad and you could always hire a fuel jockey.

What about the time it takes to stop at a truck stop for fuel or a retail outlet? This is taking at least a ½ hour away from your driver being able to drive and make deliveries, isn’t it!

Think about the idea of mobile fueling, wet hosing (don’t Google that), fleet fueling or truck to truck. For an industry that has had an identity crisis, it sure has a lot of names that it goes by.

Let’s do some math! You’re paying your driver $20 an hour. It is going to take your driver ½ hour to get fuel, so call it $10 to pay the driver. More importantly, he has a ½ hour less time to drive. Does that mean 1 less delivery? 2 less deliveries? I don’t know.

Let’s say the truck stop chain that takes your fleet fuel card gives you a little discount but you are still paying 20 cents per gallon over OPIS (Oil Price Information Service) a very key index (call me 267-482-6160 and I will explain). Your driver buys 60 gallons of fleet fuel at the truck stop. If a mobile fueling company came to your location at night or during the day, whenever most of your trucks are sleeping. You might have paid a premium of 35 cents a gallon for mobile fuel or 15 cents a gallon more than the truck stop. At 60 gallons, it costs you $9 more in diesel fuel. But wait, you had to pay your driver $10 to go fill up with the diesel fuel and you lost ½ hour of time to make deliveries.

I am not saying mobile fueling or fleet fueling is for every company, but it should be something you think about. We didn’t even put in out of route miles to get fuel at the truck stop. Your company needs solid fuel management solutions and ideas all of the time. Does anyone remember Casio calculators? Not many of them around anymore. Fresh ideas for fuel savings will help keep you with the edge against the others.