Manatee County (Fla.) Fleet Services is installing the Fuelmaster AIM2 fuel monitoring system, an in-vehicle module that communicates with the central fuel management system wirelessly. The fleet expects this will cut fuel costs and increase fuel management efficiency. Upgrades began in 2012 and 425 units have been installed with the AIM2 devices so far. Approximately 1,200 vehicles will have the AIM2 system once the project is completed, according to Fleet Manager Michael Brennan, CEM, Manatee County Government.
All eight of the fleet’s vehicle fueling sites have also been installed with the Fuelmaster 3500 Plus, which maintains data on the fuel site and allows the AIM2 to connect for transfer of that data. AIM2 automatically records and uploads mileage information, gallons dispensed, and other vehicle information into the central system.
The fleet installed AIM2 to modernize its fuel management system and increase technological approaches to fuel management and its preventative maintenance program. The new system replaces a fuel management system that has been in place since 1985, which required manual employee identification and meter and reading input.
“Another strong point with fully automating the system using the AIM2 technology is the potential for fuel theft has been greatly reduced,” Brennan said. “The wireless connection between the vehicle and the system will only allow the vehicle to be fueled; you cannot fill another vehicle or portable tank.”
The system shuts off the pump when the dispenser nozzle is removed from the vehicle, he explained.
Another benefit Brennan cited is reduction of fueling time of 1 to 3 minutes for each transaction (because drivers have less information to input), which saves about 2,000 man-hours for fueling annually. AIM2 also eliminates administrative time reconciling input errors.
“This, coupled with the overwhelming customer satisfaction and accountability for our fuel consumption, is well worth the cost,” Brennan added.
By Jack Chavdarian