111. Use physical theft prevention options

Use locking fuel caps, siphon screens, or other anti-theft devices, recommend the subject matter experts at J.J. Keller.

For instance, FuelDefend offers a line of anti-siphon fuel tank filler-neck guards called NeckIt.

“The biggest problem we see is not theft of the whole tank of fuel, but skimming, where 20-50 gallons are stolen in just a few minutes,” notes David Rogers, general manager. “Unfortunately, these incidents often go unnoticed by the fleet or owner-operator because quantities are small. Fuel management systems might pick this up as poor fuel economy, maybe 2-4% of fuel consumption. It’s significant, but perhaps not enough to alert you to a theft problem.”

112. Monitor tank levels and use

Integrating a fleet’s fuel card data and telematics data allows them to better monitor potential fuel theft. Such systems match fuel level information from a truck’s onboard computer with fuel card data for that truck, that location and time. If more fuel was taken on than the truck could actually hold, there may be a problem. Other methods:

  • R:Com from Blue Tree Systems connects directly to the engine CAN bus, helps reduce fuel theft by providing live data on fuel tank levels, and the quantity, location and time of fuel fills. R:Com’s Fuel Auditor automatically compares fuel purchased and fuel used and highlights discrepancies.
  • Omnitracs’ Exact Fuel application monitors and transmits fuel level information on the vehicle data bus directly to fleet managers. This insight helps identify discrepancies in fuel levels that may indicate theft.
  • Vusion’s fuel theft detection works with a PeopleNet onboard computer connected to the vehicle’s J1939 bus, fleets can track pre- and post-transaction fuel tank levels. The data is integrated with fuel purchases for verification that the entire purchase was deposited into the truck’s tanks.

113. Control the fueling process

“When evaluating fuel costs, most carriers look at the direct cost of fuel, as well as inventory, financing, administrative and transaction expenses,” says Ernie Betancourt, president of QuikQ. “While those things are all important, the fuel a carrier pays for that is not burned in its vehicles has to be considered as well. It’s a sensitive discussion but let’s call it what it is – fuel fraud. Five percent theft, which is difficult if not impossible to catch, approaches $4,000 per year for each truck.”

The QuikQ Fuel Purchasing System helps by giving fleets and truckstops live data for real-time reporting and improved security and control over fuel transactions.

Love’s Travel Stops is adding an RFID-enabled payment system at its travel stop locations, allowing customers to process payment at the pump through radio frequency technology.

A secure, low-cost RFID tag placed on a truck’s windshield. It is detected by an antenna installed in diesel lanes at Love’s locations. The electronic signal turns the fuel pump on and off and completes a payment transaction with little driver interaction.

Stagecoach Cartage & Distribution, El Paso, Texas, has more than 100 trucks on the road using the RFID payment system.

“The entire transaction is quicker and because the process is automated, we are assured that every gallon of fuel we purchase for our trucks is going into our tanks,” says Scott McLaughlin, president of Stagecoach Cartage & Distribution.

RELATED: 121 Ways to Save Fuel