CHICO, CA - The City of Chico recently installed FuelMaster's AIM2 fuel management system in 25 of its fleet vehicles, with plans to install the devices in the rest of the 347-unit fleet within two years. The system replaces an older, less comprehensive fuel system that was not compatible with the City's fleet maintenance software, according to Erik Gustafson, fleet manager for the City.
Because the fuel system did not integrate with the fleet software, fleet tracked maintenance intervals by time rather than odometer readings, leading to inaccurate maintenance intervals. "We were having accountability due to operators fueling multiple vehicles with one card, and there was no accurate vehicle information being input in the system," Gustafson said. He added that cards would become demagnetized and unusable. With reduced staffing, it was difficult to find staff with the time to fix the fuel cards.
The City issued a request for quotation (RFQ), but ended up buying the FuelMaster system using an National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) contract. The initial 25 vehicles installed with the AIM2 device are frontline police vehicles. Gustafson said he was working with four-year-old budget dollars in the initial purchase, and as the infrastructure is already in place, he doesn't anticipate problems in obtaining funding for the rest of the vehicles within two years. In the meantime, other vehicle operators are fueling by manually entering a security code and odometer readings into a touchpad connected with the AIM2 system.
Gustafson cited these benefits of using the new fuel system:
- Accurate fuel consumption and odometer systems reading
- Accurate tracking and scheduling of planned maintenance.
- Alerts of potential vehicle problems.
- Improved security by ensuring the correct vehicle is fueled.
- Ensured compliance with laws (the City has a no-idling policy).
- Full customer support by FuelMaster.
- The ability to pull vehicle information (even when it is not being fueled) at the entrance gate through the radio-frequency tag, or using terminals as gate-openers.