Fuel Management

State Fleets Adopt Fuel Cards to Reduce Cost

The States of Indiana and Illinois fleets improve fleet operations and their carbon footprint, all with the swipe of a card.

January 2009, Government Fleet - Feature

by Staff

Every once in a while, fleet managers discover a magic solution — a simple and straightforward fleet management practice that solves a number of problems all at once. For the states of Illinois and Indiana, that magic solution was a fuel card program. Implementing the new program helped these fleets reduce costs, improve reporting, and will ultimately help them become greener fleets.  

Finding a Program that Fits

Prior to opting for a fuel card program, both Illinois and Indiana had fueling programs that didn't fit their fleets. For Illinois, state fuel transactions were spread across multiple vendors, which required manual processing and bill payment.

"There was very limited report capability due to the disaggregated spending," said Barbara Bonansinga, acting manager for the State of Illinois Central Management Services (CMS) Division of Vehicles. Paying bills was a costly and time-intensive process. Operating with several vendors and no central reporting system made it difficult for Illinois to closely track fuel purchases.

To minimize expenses, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich made it clear through a 2003 executive order that greater accountability for state fleet costs was expected. Since fuel is the top operating cost item, CMS Director James Sledge acknowledged, "Knowing fuel spend is key to compliance with the order and efficient overall management."

Indiana, however, tried its hand at a few fuel card programs, but found they offered limited capabilities. Previous programs offered cards for fuel, but didn't cover off-road vehicles or service and maintenance.

"In the past, the State focused the use of our fleet fuel card program on traditional passenger vehicles and their fuel usage only," said Michael Sturm, vendor manager for Indiana's Department of Administration Procurement Division. "As we changed to the Wright Express program, we realized we have a very diverse fleet, which includes your average four-door sedans, as well as everything from snowmobiles to airplanes, boats, and dump trucks. These vehicles need both fuel and services."  

Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


Public Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Amin Amini from Verizon will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Recent Topics

Hello, We are a County Fire District and presently have above ground fuel tanks at 26 Fire Stations. We would like to install an...

View Topic

Do you insure your technicians personal tools? Do you have any policies in regards to technicians keeping a personal inventory of their...

View Topic

Fleet Documents

1055 Fleet Documents (and counting) to Download!

Fuel Saving Strategies Survey

View our 2008 survey to benchmark your fleet's fuel and green strategies with other fleets.

Fuel Calculator

A managed fuel program can help you save time and money and gain control over the way you fuel your vehicles. Determine your potential savings by using our fuel calculator.
Launch Fuel Calculator 

Fuel Prices

U.S. Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Prices.

Launch Fuel Prices 
Sponsored by

A fleet leasing company in the commercial trucking industry.

Read more