When your fleet fuel management system incorporates radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, the system can function entirely hands-free. Fuel dispensing and data gathering are fully automated. The advantages for your fleet operations and overall business management can be surprisingly widespread.
An example of RFID technology is the Automated Information Module (AIM2), a component that can be used with Syn-Tech’s FuelMaster PROKEES®, a popular fleet fuel management system.
The receiving unit is attached to the fueling nozzle. The corresponding transmitter is incorporated into the vehicle’s fueling port and communicates with the on-board computer. When the two come into close proximity – as during each fueling event — the fleet fuel management system goes to work.
The RFID receiver collects data from the vehicle and sends it to the fleet fuel management system’s central database, where it’s stored for easy, anytime access by anyone in your office who needs the information.
The system reads the vehicle ID code, automatically recognizing the type of product allowed for that vehicle and the dispensing quantity limit. The system collects the fueling site signature and RFID tag ID for future reference.
Since the system requires an electronic handshake between the RFID transmitter and receiver in order to function, the possibility of theft is eliminated. Fuel can be dispensed only into an authorized vehicle. That also eliminates accidentally using pumping the wrong fuel type into a vehicle.
Information such as odometer readings for updated mileage and chronometer reading for updated vehicle hours are captured routinely. The system calculates vehicle efficiency and fuel consumption on an ongoing basis.
Regularly recording individual vehicle information including hours and/or miles remaining until the next scheduled service gives you complete, predictable control over service intervals. But the system also collects engine error codes and detects other anomalies outside the regular maintenance schedule, so you can investigate immediately and make necessary repairs.
In addition to hours of service and other maintenance-oriented data, you can gather valuable information about vehicle run time, idle time, travel direction and so on. You can detect wasteful driver actions such as speeding, power take-offs and unnecessarily hard braking.
With RFID in place as part of your fleet fuel management system, you can track every drop of your fuel from purchase through consumption.
You can save time and labor, by eliminating manual paper-and-pen record keeping and time-wasting back-office file searches. You can use the information you collect to quickly producing customized reports as needed for internal review or compliance reporting submissions. You get more efficient vehicle usage, without premature wear and tear, giving you longer, more productive fleet life and reduced down time.
When you’re investigating which system will be most advantageous for you, specifically ask about this capability. Of course it costs more, but like a fuel management system itself, the return can be quick and substantial. And you may be able to add the RFID component one or a few vehicles at a time, to spread the cost for your entire fleet.
RFID technology ensures a quick and easy process that works with attended or unattended fueling sites. Your driver has only to swipe their ID card to activate the system, then it automatically handles the rest. What goes out – fuel dispensed into the vehicle — is reliably correct. What comes back to you is a wealth of information, captured in real time so it’s immediately useful, but also stored in a central database to support future analysis and planning. This information is what makes the end of the year fuel reconciliation easy.