How Fleet Smart Fuel Cards Can Improve Your Fuel Management System

When paired with telematics, Fleet fuel cards improve performance, safety, and operational costs by eliminating wasteful driver behavior and identifying vehicles needing maintenance. They also provide valuable insights for effective coaching programs to lower vehicle and driver expenditures.

Choose cards with online platforms that show detailed fuel purchase data, and offer maximum purchasing thresholds and real-time alerts. Look for exception reporting capabilities and a station network that covers all your business locations.

Streamline Operations

Fuel is a significant expense in most fleets and one of the most unpredictable. Fluctuating prices, unexpected route detours, and individual driving styles can all impact how much fuel your fleet consumes. Fleet smart fuel card offer detailed spending information to help business owners control cash flow and maximize savings.

When linked to telematics systems, fuel management cards eliminate the need to keep receipts or track expenses. Fueling transactions are automatically recorded online, with information on which driver made the purchase, odometer readings, sales tax, and other details. With this information, business owners can identify trends and outliers, including fuel-wasting behaviors that may require coaching.

Tip: Select a card with a centralized online platform showing all transaction data. Some cards also offer controls for setting maximum daily purchase thresholds and exception reporting capabilities to let managers define and track unusual purchasing behaviors.

For example, a confident driver consistently buys more fuel than the average employee. The right approach may be to communicate directly with the driver and explain that speeding is not only bad for fuel efficiency but is a safety concern. Providing this information matter-of-factly and threatening to terminate employment for repeat offenses can often make drivers change their behavior. This information may be even more helpful in modifying unsafe driving practices when combined with video telematics.

Eliminate Fuel Theft

A fleet fuel card offers a powerful solution to eliminate fuel theft and increase fuel efficiency. With a full range of security features and state-of-the-art reporting, it’s easy to see exactly where each dollar goes. With telematics data, you can track vehicle location, maintenance records, and driver behavior to reduce waste, eliminate inefficiencies, and minimize operational costs.

Eliminate fraud with daily swipe limits – set the times your employees can swipe their cards daily and reject anything outside that number. It helps prevent your team from committing fraudulent purchases or using stolen cards outside your region of operation.

Real-time purchase tracking allows you to monitor a specific driver or vehicle to identify suspicious activity. Most importantly, make sure that fuel is the only thing purchased by your drivers and use the purchase tracking system to receive alerts when there is a change in purchasing patterns.

Improved route planning translates into reduced fuel consumption and lower overall fleet expenses. Reduced engine idling is also a meaningful way to cut costs and reduce vehicle wear and tear by enabling drivers to avoid long waits at the fuel pump. With a fleet fuel card integrated with telematics, you can monitor idle time and address inefficient vehicles or drivers.

Reduce Costs

Fuel costs are one of the most variable expenses in a fleet’s budget. Fortunately, there are many ways to cut these costs. Fleet managers can improve fuel efficiency by utilizing tools and systems like fuel cards, telematics, driver training, and more. These solutions will not only reduce the cost of fuel but may also help to lower vehicle maintenance and repair costs.

The most significant benefit of fleet smart fuel cards is their ability to eliminate the possibility of fuel theft. When drivers use a company credit card to buy fuel, the card is usually matched with a telematics device in the vehicle that records the odometer and GPS locations. This data can then be compared to refueling and expense reports to identify questionable activities and potential fraud.

Additionally, most fleet fuel cards come with controls that companies can use to set maximum purchase thresholds by day or amount and can receive alerts when these limits are exceeded. This control will reduce the fuel purchased by employees who spend too much money at a gas station and save on transaction fees and interest charges.

Increase Efficiency

Fuel is one of the most significant fleet expenses and a large percentage of a fleet’s operating costs. While there are many ways to lower fuel costs, the most effective strategy includes transparency and control from management systems, reporting, and tools like fleet smart fuel cards. Whether your fleet trucks are in the office or on the road, these fuel management strategies will save money and reduce wasteful behaviors.

Fuel cards capture more robust data at brand-name fuel stations than receipts alone, with most cards able to provide level-3 information that shows which card account completed the transaction, driver ID, location, fuel price per gallon, and odometer readings. This level of information allows managers to compare fuel efficiency across vehicles and drivers, identifying areas for improvement.

Another significant benefit is the ability to monitor vehicle maintenance and driver behavior. For instance, when a fuel card is paired with telematics, drivers can be scored on driving habits contributing to excess fuel consumption, such as speeding, hard starts and stops, and excessive idling. When these drivers are coached on how to improve, this can significantly impact fuel efficiency.

For fleets that cross state lines, a fuel card can also help automate the process of IFTA reporting by providing a detailed breakdown of mileage by each state. It eliminates manual reconciliation of receipts and can help ensure that all state miles are accounted for and reimbursed.