Few things are out of the hands of fleet fuel managers, while the price of fuel itself maybe one of those things there are other ways to still have a handle on your fleet fuel management. Take for instance the WAY that your fleet fuels. Do you use mobile fueling or fuel at a retail station? Mobile fueling could just be of the details that a fleet fuel manager has under control and its convenience is unmatched.
Fueling at retail may not just incur the price of the fuel your driver purchases. Take in to account the miles it may have taken for the driver to find or get to that station. Consider the time and miles used to detour from the designated route to find that station, those miles did not have to be wasted. Also the unpredictability of the fuel prices at that fuel station may not accommodate your planned fuel budget. Imagine too if the station was busy and the truck had idled for more then a few minutes, there goes more fuel down the drain. Mobile fueling will essentially bring the fuel to you. The trucks will be tanked up and ready to go each day, now there is no reason to have drivers deviate for fuel.
Another factor to contemplate is the driver and labor costs. If that detour for fuel took half an hour, including fueling time, how much were you paying the driver to diesel fuel up? If that vehicle had more then one occupant, that would have doubled the wages you paid for a simple fleet fuel stop. Mobile fueling would negate the need for a driver to use precious drive time to fuel up and allow a more efficient and productive trip. We all know how difficult hours of service can be to comply with.
Mobile fueling also would help to keep the fuel budget under control as there maybe volume discounts a possibility of price negotiability or have the ability to be locked in, in some cases. Invoicing will be easier as all the fuel is from one source. Don’t be overwhelmed by fuel prices and worry about your drivers fueling on the road, in fact mobile fueling may even offer peace of mind.
If you look at the whole picture cost to fuel, that is fuel cost and drivers labor, what are you really paying. If your fuel margin at a retail location is 15 cents and your paying your driver $16 a hour and it takes him ½ hour to fleet fuel, it just cost you $8 for him to fuel your truck. Take that one step farther and let’s say he fleet fueled that truck with 50 gallons. Your cost for your driver to fuel that truck was 16 cents a gallon. You paid the driver 16 cents a gallon and the retail location another 15 cents a gallon in fuel margin for a total of 31 cents a gallon. You might be able to have a mobile fueling company fleet fuel your trucks for 25 cents, saving you 6 cents a gallon on every gallon. On a 50 gallon fuel up that is $3.00 if you have 30 trucks, that is $90 a day and now we are talking fuel savings.
Mobile fueling might not be for every operation or for all areas of the country but it is something to think about as you look toward saving money in total fuel cost in 2010.