Posted April 22, 2020

Rental Solutions: Efficient fuel handling 

Fueling systems can make the job easier, track use and protect fuel from theft and contamination.

When it comes to running a business, everything points to profitability. Staff management, equipment efficiency, even something as simple as fueling can impact the bottom line. In the scope of any job, the cost of fuel often accounts for one of the most significant expenses; when you consider additional factors affected by fuel availability and quality, the stakes are even higher.

Western Global fuel systems

Fuel-filling monitors can help prevent fuel loss and improve tracking fuel costs on a job site.

Western Global fueling systems
Storage units can be outfitted with filtration equipment to assure dispensed fuel is free of contaminants.

From the cost of stolen fuel, to engine issues associated with contaminated fuel, to lost productivity due to lack of fuel, the storage, transportation and distribution of job site fuel has the potential to significantly affect the bottom line. However, changing technology in fuel storage is helping companies tackle those issues and mitigate costs. 

Remote tank monitors
The most fundamental concern with fuel tanks is making sure there is adequate fuel available to power the jobsite. Without fuel, time and money are lost. New technology in fuel storage tanks offers remote tank monitoring systems. These systems allow remote tracking of the tank’s fuel levels and location at any time, helping users avoid downtime associated with a depleted fuel supply. The data is transmitted to a browser or phone app, where users are able to generate reports, enabling efficient, accurate and timely refill orders. The systems also help flag abnormal level changes due to theft or leaks and reduce the risk of overfill.

Knowing how much fuel is on hand and how much capacity you have free helps users capitalize on low prices when they occur.

Personalized alerts can signal above-average consumption rates, overfill incidents and more.

On a large jobsite, tank monitors use GPS to help operators precisely locate their fuel tanks. Fuel delivery trucks quickly and easily locate the truck or trailer carrying the tank, saving them the time of driving around looking for the tanks to fill.

Secure dispenser controls
Loss of fuel, or fuel that goes unaccounted for, is a sometimes-overlooked expense. Losing upwards of $500 a month on misplaced fuel and chalking it up to “the cost of the job” happens more than one might expect. In fact, Ernst and Young estimates fuel theft is a $133 billion issue that includes stolen, adulterated and defrauded product. However, fuel loss can be prevented, and your bottom line protected.

Card-locking control technology combats the potential of fuel theft by only allowing authorized individuals to access fuel.

With Western Global’s card-locking technology, for example, drivers use a phone-based app to enter their driver number, vehicle number and what type of fuel they need. Only after they’ve answered the required information does the fuel pump dispenser turn on and distribute fuel. This not only prevents loss, but also helps determine what operator and piece(s) of equipment is using the bulk of the fuel.

This valuable information can help determine overall efficiency or even cost/price structures. In the rare event of technical difficulties, administrators simply bypass the app with a key to allow for fueling, ensuring minimal downtime.

Fuel filtration upgrades
While fuel availability and loss prevention are no-brainers in terms of impacting the bottom line, fuel filtration and quality are often overlooked. Some may find it surprising that most diesel is delivered with a fairly “dirty” ISO rating. This has led more and more users to realize the benefits of dispensing filtration. A system using contaminated fuel can damage the engine, resulting in unwanted downtime and repairs.

Engineers design new engines to meet changing environmental standards, and fuel tank manufacturers are designing filtration systems to keep up with those standards. Clean, contaminant-free fuel means higher usage time and fewer issues when it comes to dispensing.

Bottom-line protection
When fuel can account for up to 50 percent of a job’s total operating costs, it’s important to do everything you can to protect your fuel assets. Pinpointing issues – and utilizing technology from Western Global – is an effective way to support your bottom line. Clean, readily available fuel means project movement, and project movement means profit.

This article was originally published in the May-June 2020 issue of Pro Contractor Rentals magazine. ©2020 Urbain Communications LLC. All rights reserved.