Should Fleets Use Fuel Cards?

The greatest daily cost of operating a fleet is buying fuel. Numerous fleet fuel cards offer discounts off retail prices on diesel purchases at specified truck stops or networks of truck stops throughout North America. And fleet owners and managers know their savings can really add up to significant cost reduction over time.

For example, one card we looked at boasted fuel savings of 15 cents per gallon. If you run 50 trucks an average of 100,000 miles each per year and trucks average 6.5 mpg, each truck would use 15,385 gallons per year. At $2.50 per gallon that’s $38,461 spent per truck.

And that means for 50 trucks your cost is $1,923,050 per year going straight out the exhaust stack. But if you saved 15 cents per gallon your cost would be $1,807,738 for a savings of $115,312. That’s some serious savings. Note that this is a simplified example and doesn’t take into account Idling time or APU time.


Discounts Vary

Of course, it’s imperative that you shop around and find the card that is right for your fleet and not just for the fuel discount. It’s also important to note that discounts do vary among card issuers. But fuel cards offer other important benefits. Here is where it pays to shop around and read the fine print.

Cards provide an easy way to track fuel costs. And since they require driver’s unique ID number to be entered at the pump you will be able to track each driver’s fuel usage and watch for unusual variations. It lets you know where each purchase is made and gives the date of purchase.

Pay particular attention to the composition of the network of fuel stations offered by each card to find one that works with your frequent routes. Check for applicable fees and judge whether it would be right for your fleet.


Drivers Carry Less Cash

Some fuel cards earn rewards that can be collected on fuel purchases and used for such things as discount maintenance, discount on tire purchases, food, showers, and others. With fleet cards assigned to drivers you eliminate the risk of fraud or theft of large amounts of cash. Drivers require less cash for fuel, repairs and maintenance and other expenses that are payable with cards. Your cash and drivers are safer when using cards.

Some fuel cards are prepaid and require fleet management to deposit cash to a specific account at the fuel card’s issuer. The balance must be positive to assure card purchases are not denied. This may be required by the issuer when a fleet’s credit is in question.


Contact Free

Another benefit of using fuel cards is that of contact-free point of sale purchases. The card is used at the pump to pay for the purchase. When we are staring down the craw of a raging and deadly pandemic in times of highly contagious viruses, new and old, it pays to err on the safe side.

Fuel cards utilize the latest technology available for fleets to make contactless purchases. We are confident that card issuers will continue to update cards as technology evolves. And we believe fleets should take advantage of fuel cards because of the benefits of their technology, not just discounts.


Technology Matters

At BrightOrder Inc. we are all about the latest technology. We used it and our decades of experience working with fleets to create EMDECS, our robust fleet maintenance and repair shop management system. And we continue to work to update our program as technologies change.

With EMDECS we have used technology to transform our advanced and sophisticated system into one that is simple and easy to master and use. And we’ve made it contact-free for the safety of all parties. Managers and technicians will love working with it as it streamlines and simplifies once tedious chores into those requiring only a few clicks to accomplish.

Whether you run a single shop or multiple locations EMDECS can handle them with ease. You’ll find creating repair orders and assigning them to techs a breeze. Even inventory control is simple with the system and so are many other time saving advantages. Your productivity will soar.

Contact us today for a demo and you’ll see for yourself how much time it will save for your shop and how quick and easy it is to get up and running with EMDECS.

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