Operations

Harnessing The Power of Fleet Fuel Card Programs

Jim Luff
Posted on November 8, 2013

It’s not just about the fuel savings. Fleet card programs such as Arco Fleetpro, Fleet One and others offer reports that can not only save you money at the pump but also provide a wealth of information from the data entries required to buy fuel.

Using PINs

By assigning every chauffeur and driver in your fleet an individual PIN that is required to pump fuel, you eliminate opportunities for theft. A driver knows that the unique PIN is assigned to him and it probably will be used to match up the purchase to the day’s assignments. Some fleet programs have a card for every vehicle and some have a card for every driver. A card for every driver is recommended since it makes them more accountable for the card. If a card assigned to a car goes missing, the natural tendency is to grab one from another vehicle until the missing card is found or replaced.  

Using Mileage Reports
By requiring your chauffeurs to enter the vehicle mileage at the pump, you can detect many irregularities. The biggest one would be unauthorized use of the vehicle. You can easily see the miles added to a vehicle on a particular trip. Having drivers fuel after every trip can help identify the true cost of each trip and keep your car topped off and ready to go long distance at any time. If you also require the vehicle ID number to be keyed in at the pump, most programs will track the average miles per gallon the vehicle is getting since the last fueling. This will help you identify potential mechanical problems such as a dirty fuel filter or air filter. It also can point out “lead-foot” drivers. When a vehicle averages 14.7 mpg with most drivers and suddenly drops to 8.2 mpg, you know you have a driver who is abusing your vehicle in most cases.

Lost Cards
When you lose a regular consumer fuel card, the results can be financially devastating. Most consumer credit cards have a credit limit of $500 to $2,500. When a lost card is found by someone, the only thing needed to use it is the zip code associated with the billing address. A simple Google search of your company name can easily provide your zip code and then they are free to use your card until it reaches the limit. Using a fleet card program allows you to turn the card off yourself through the provider’s website.

Setting Limits
Fleet fuel programs allow you to set various parameters, including how many times a day the card can be used or a maximum single pump allowance such as $100. Of course that limit would not work for a bus, but because you can set limits for each card issued, you can change it as often as you wish. You also may allow drivers to buy products such as oil, transmission fluid and ice or restrict the card to fuel-only purchases.

Setting Alerts
The technology offered by most fuel card programs includes instant notification of suspected fraud. For instance, you can set alerts on Wex Fleet Fuel cards to send you a text if a card is used more than two times a day, if someone attempts to enter an incorrect PIN too many times, or even set it for any purchase over $100. Sometimes that is a legitimate purchase, but most often, that is not acceptable. Instead of waiting for your bill to arrive and discover your account has been compromised, you can find out immediately to prevent further fraudulent charges.

Related Topics: fleet management, fuel costs, fuel efficiency, fuel management, fuel prices, New Operator

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
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