Fuel accounts for about 40-50% of a fleet’s total operating costs, and rising fuel bills have become a nightmare for a lot of transporting companies.
Many fleet operators are unaware of the fact that fuel theft may also be contributing to the rise in fuel bills, as with the case of Lugoba Stones & Construction.
Lugoba Stones & Construction has three branches located in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and South Africa, transporting a wide range of goods. A sales person from Globaltrack met with Willy Magessa from Lugoba Stones & Construction in February 2017, to introduce him to Globaltrack’s fuel solution.
Mister Magessa identified two problems that he wanted Globaltrack to assist him with:
- Possibility of fuel theft
- Some trucks were not reporting when going cross-border.
Globaltrack’s installation team installed fuel probes into four of Lugoba Stones & Construction’s trucks that operate from South Africa. The fuel probes will alert Mister Magessa immediately of drastic fuel changes and when suspicious incidents occur. Once the fuel probes were installed the training part started.
Mister Magessa was trained on the following reports that are crucial to solving the two problems as mentioned above.
- How the fuel reports work
- How to read the fuel consumption reports
- Setting up routes and areas
Mister Magessa’s willingness to learn Globaltrack’s web-based fleet management software; Webtrack made the training a pleasant experience. Mister Magessa identified a need for Webtrack to automatically work out the kilometers per route as this will avoid him having to work it out manually. Based on Mister Magessa’s request our RnD department acknowledge that they will work on developing a solution that will automatically work out the kilometers per route.
A week after the probes were installed the client was faced with the following issues:
- Delayed response in fuel increases and fuel decreases
- Receiving probe connect and disconnect messages.
The day after the client raised these issues, Rudie van Rensburg (Globaltrack’s Project Manager) went on site with a technician to investigate the matter. There was a direct delay to resolving this case as the solution was not straight forward. Rudie informed Mister Magassa that his case will be treated as a special project as both Rudie and Mister Magessa were under the impression that this was a fuel theft issue.
When Rudie and a technician arrived at the site they found the following problems that lead to the client receiving connect and disconnect notifications.
- No Seals on devise
- Power fuse was blown
- Probes were plugged out from the unit
- The truck’s battery terminals were taken off by driver
Globaltrack’s solution was as follows:
- Installed new seal caps
- Replaced the fuel probe’s fuse
- Informed driver not to remove terminals
A few weeks later a second truck’s fuel reporting was delayed, it showed that the truck was in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng when in fact the truck was situated at Lugoba Stones & Construction’s yard in Kempton Park. This was a technical error from Globaltrack that was resolved within an hour from when the client logged the query.
A week later the same truck was travelling cross-border and the same issue occurred where the fuse blew, this resulted in the unit not reporting. This solves Mister Magessa’s second problem of why some trucks are not reporting when travelling across border.
On the 6th of June, Rudie phoned Mister Magessa to inform him of the sudden fuel decrease of 34 litres in Zambia. Mister Magessa was not sure if the fuel decrease was authentic or not, so Rudie offered to investigate the sudden decrease. After investigating, Rudie determined that the decrease was indeed authentic and that it was fuel theft. The driver disconnected the probe to steal fuel and reconnected the probe again as shown in more detail below.
- On 6/6/17 at 17:30 the truck came to stand still in Zambia, Zimba (T1), showing that the remaining fuel in the tanks was 551 litres.
- At 17:35 whilst the asset was stationary a fuel probe disconnect event was triggered by the Globaltrack tracking unit, at the same location.
- At 17:37, 2 minutes later the system (fuel probe) reported a decrease of 34 litres at the same location.
- The decrease is regarded as valid. The reason why the decrease is valid, is due to the difference in the fuel level readings when the truck started its next journey. The Trip start value was 517 litres (551 – 517 = 34 litres)
To conclude, the client asked if Globaltrack can add another unit to a new vehicle. Clients’ reported fuel cost savings, can be invested back into their business, such as purchasing new vehicles.
If high fuel bills are becoming a nightmare for you, please click here to complete the contact form in order for Globaltrack to offer you a customised fuel solutions approach.