Fuel Management

Sponsored by OPW Fuel Management Systems

Fleet Managers: The Future of Fuel Management Is Here

Today’s Scalable Fuel Control Technologies Meet a Variety of Operational Needs While Promoting Value.

August 2017, Government Fleet - Feature

by Bobby Hayes

Government fleets aren't one size fits all. As a result, neither are the fuel management tools required to keep a fleet's fuel budget in the black.

Ranging in size from very small municipal fleets in rural locations to very large fleets comprising many departments and covering expansive jurisdictions, public sector fuel management runs a wide gamut. Thankfully, fuel cardlock manufacturers are beginning to address this in a way that delivers value-driven fuel management solutions to government fleet operations.

Today's fuel control systems not only put government fleet administrators in complete control of their fuel, but modular equipment designs provide them greater control over the types of fuel management solutions they deploy. The selection process is changing from “choose the right fuel management system for your needs” to “choose the right fuel management options for your needs.” This shift helps extend service life and increase value.  

For instance, OPW Fuel Management Systems recently introduced its Petro Vend 200 (PV200) Fuel Island Terminal, which can be scaled up or down to meet the specialized needs of public sector fleets, big or small. The PV200 is part of a family of fuel control solutions from OPW Fuel Management Systems that support future adaptability, including OPW’s FSC3000™ Fuel Site Controller and Phoenix Fuel Management Software.

With that in mind, here are five considerations government fleet managers should evaluate prior to adopting a scalable fuel control system:

  1. Pedestal Height. Select a Fuel Island Terminal (FIT) that offers multiple options for pedestal heights. This will enable the FIT to accommodate a variety of site configurations (some FITS are mounted on an island, some are mounted at grade, etc.). OPW's PV200, for example, is available in three pedestal heights – including heights that meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements – that adapt to on-site considerations.
  2. Card Reader Technology. Fuel Island Terminals that support the operation of more than one card reader provide government fleet managers flexibility to use more than one activation device. This feature enables public sector fleet managers to accommodate the needs of different applications – from postal service workers to public works employees. For instance, OPW's PV200 provides fleets their choice of two of the following activation devices: magnetic stripe cards, proximity cards or ChipKeys®. Magnetic stripe cards offer fleet managers a lower cost alternative, while proximity cards are less prone to physical damage. In other instances, an even more rugged solution, such as the ChipKey, is needed to withstand the wear-and-tear of demanding fleet applications.
  3. Fuel Site Controller. In many cases, a Fuel Island Terminal is only as powerful as its Fuel Site Controller. That is to say, that fuel control systems that utilize an advanced Fuel Site Controller as part of their fuel management strategy significantly advance their capabilities. With the ability to track and report fueling transactions by the driver and/or vehicle, to set fueling restrictions, limit specific vehicles to the type of fuel pumped and quantities purchased and much more, Fuel Site Controllers serve as both a critical junction point for transaction processing and data collection. Another consideration: not all fleet fueling sites have the benefit of indoor facilities where a Fuel Site Controller can be sheltered. Some Fuel Island Terminals, such as OPW’s PV200, offer the ability to integrate a Fuel Site Controller inside the FIT.
  4. Memory. A fuel control system that provides a range of memory options, enables a fleet manager to select a memory package suited to the size of the fleet now and in the future. Most entry-level Fuel Island Terminals have limited memory capacity (usually less than 1,000 cards/users). More advanced systems that include a Fuel Site Controller offer a significantly larger range of cards/users (from 2,000 to more than 60,000 cards).
  5. Fuel Management Software. Tools for leveraging fueling data range from basic data exported directly from an entry-level Fuel Island Terminal, to stand-alone PC-based software applications, to web-based dashboards that are capable of providing an exhaustive overview of data-rich fueling information. In this climate of fiscal responsibility, advancing a site's fuel management software component ­is perhaps the best way a government fleet manager can identify weaknesses in his or her fleet’s fuel management and make operational adjustments to reduce costs.

Protect Your Bottom Line

OPW FMS is committed to delivering fuel management solutions that help government fleets improve their bottom line. To read an article about how an automated fuel management software solutions reduce inventory losses and create operational efficiencies, download the free whitepaper, “The Numbers Don’t Lie,” from OPW Fuel Management System. To set up a consultation to learn about the financial benefits of adding a modular, scalable fuel control solution to your fleet management strategy, please contact OPW Fuel Management Systems.

About the Author

Bobby Hayes is the Domestic Sales Manager at OPW Fuel Management Systems in Hodgkins, IL. He can be reached at (770) 605-9611 or [email protected]

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