Thursday, 14 July 2011

Won't Get Fuelled Again: 3 Key Ways That Transport Telematics Can Fight Fuel Thieves

Fuel theft is one of the biggest threats to the global transport business. Each year millions of gallons of gasoline, diesel and petrol is stolen from the tanks of trucks, lorries and vans worldwide. The shocking truth, however, is that most fuel-related crimes are committed within organisations, by members of staff operating sometimes sophisticated schemes to siphon off fuel from their employers.

No matter how large or small the theft, it hits someone's bottom line. What surprises us here at iBox technology, however, is how few transport professionals realise that telematics can play a huge role in cutting down and even eliminating these crimes. How? Well, here are three key ways in which you can detect and prevent fuel theft from your fleet.  

1. Fuel Cap Switches

Fuel cap proximity switches show when a fuel cap has been removed and refitted. Each instance will be recorded on the transport manager's telematics data flow. By cross-referencing this with other data, you can get a clear picture of what is going on with your fleet - and whether anything is amiss.

For instance, most commercial drivers use Fuel Cards which charge the petrol and diesel used directly to their transport manager rather than the driver themselves. This allows the transport office to see where and when vehicles are refuelling, but it also allows them to ensure that the fuel cap has been removed at legitimate times. If removals coincide with fuel stops, the chances are all is fine. If not, however, you need to know why. 

2. Fuel Level Indicators

Fuel level indicators show what percentage of the maximum fuel level is being carried by a vehicle. This can be a key clue when someone is behaving illegally. If, for instance, the percentage of fuel being carried drops dramatically and in a way that doesn't tally with the vehicle's mileage, then alarm bells should ring immediately. 

Again, it's a piece of data that can be used in conjunction with other pieces of information, such as Fuel Card transactions. If large amounts of fuel is being purchased, but levels aren't rising accordingly, you may be a victim of a sophisticated crime operation.

3. Authorised Stops

Telematics devices like the iBox 'Tele-mate' allow transport offices to list authorised stops, locations where your vehicles are scheduled to make deliveries or collections or perform other legitimate tasks.

Once more, this allows you to combine this information with other useful data to form a detailed picture of your drivers' activities. If vehicles make unauthorised stops and these stops coincide with the removal of the fuel cap and drops in fuel levels, this again should set alarm bells ringing.

All in all then, telematics provides transport managers with a range of tools that can help them detect fuel theft within their fleets. In the current economic climate, it can make the difference between survival and failure. For more information about how iBox technology's 'Eco-mate' and 'Tele-mate' can help protect your precious fuel supplies, contact us today. 

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