automated-fule-system-what-to-look-forIf you aren’t already taking advantage of the broad-scale benefits you can realize by using an automated fuel management system, it’s time to take a harder look at this new technology. Fuel management systems can help you lower ongoing fuel and maintenance costs, helping your fleet last longer and reducing your total cost of ownership.

Fuel management systems can help you lower vehicle emissions, too. You’ll be a better neighbor and you’ll be certain you’re meeting regulatory requirements. That matters, because restrictions are being put into place by more and more communities around the country, and penalties for non-compliance can be steep.

There are several ways in which fuel management systems can support preventive maintenance.

You get increased visibility.
Because the system is automated, you can gather detailed engine and other vehicle information consistently and in real time. You can collect a wide range of valuable data, and it’s reliably accurate because there’s little or no manual effort involved. The details are instantly uploaded during each fueling event, so you get what you need every time, not just sometimes. Drivers can’t forget, and no one has to decipher their handwriting later on.

It’s easy to keep regular maintenance schedules. You can see how each engine is running, and how your fleet is performing overall, to readily identify patterns that indicate where improvements are needed.

You can make better-informed decisions.
When you have preventive maintenance schedules under control and you know more about your fleet, you can make better decisions relative to vehicle deployment. And who knows? Ultimately you might even determine that you can support optimum work flow and meet customer expectations with a smaller size fleet. If that’s the case, you’ll have fewer vehicles to maintain and fewer sitting around not earning revenue during slow times.

You can eliminate excess engine hours.
Needlessly running engines with poorly-planned routes, pointless idling, power takeoffs and so on can drive up fuel consumption that wastes money and results in more frequent tune-ups or other maintenance needs. Instead, fuel management systems enable you to collect data about the way a vehicle is being driven and other functional details, so you pinpoint driver behaviors that need improvement.

You can institute revised training or awareness programs aimed at ensuring your vehicles are performing within optimum parameters, with fewer and easier miles driven. That can noticeably lower fuel usage and get maintenance schedules back on track.

You have better control.
The system will also notify you automatically with an alert if it detects engine error codes that could indicate impending problems. Early detection is the next best thing to prevention, allowing you to fix problems while they’re still small and comparatively less costly. Unanticipated repairs can undermine your ability to predictably schedule routine maintenance, and they can cause delay or complete failure to meet customer deadlines, causing disappointment and perhaps losing sales or future work.

Fuel management systems enable you to be proactive instead of reactive, when it comes to preventive maintenance. You can reduce annual costs for maintenance and repairs. You can lengthen your fleet’s lifespan, extending the return on your capital investment.

And improved preventive maintenance is just the beginning. You can monitor and control every aspect of your fueling operation, from purchase and delivery through storage and dispensing. You can count on more accurate record-keeping. And an automated system can help reduce or even eliminate theft or other losses.

Every “small” saving adds up substantially, when you multiply it by your number of vehicles and working days in the year. So it’s well worth your effort to investigate fuel management systems, and even more well worth the investment to implement one.

Photo Credit: dok1 via Flickr