We all have that nagging suspicion and we've all heard the official explanations. But the answer isn't just a simple yes. In fact, the causes and the culprits might surprise you.
Over the past couple of years the price at the pump has fluctuated a great deal. Only a few summers ago prices had reached a point where many motorists were trying to sell their fuel-thirsty SUVs – and having trouble finding buyers.
Among businesses, cutting back on fuel expenses isn't always an option since our production and livelihood are fuel-reliant. All we can do is pay the price and pass on the expense wherever possible to our clients. Fuel has become the largest expense for many industries.
Today the price we pay for fuel maybe not quite as punishing, but like every other operating cost, we wonder if we're paying too much. Unless you're pumping oil in the backyard, you probably are. Or perhaps you've discovered a new concept called Total Fuel Management. Then you'd understand there's more to fuel costs than what you pay at the pump. A lot more. Let me explain.
Total Fuel Management helps you control and cut fuel costs, guaranteed.
If you run a medium sized construction company and operate a few trucks and equipment, you're filling up three or four times per week, per unit. That's a lot of time invested in man-hours driving to and from the card lock, or your own bulk storage tanks. Each trip takes on average 20 minutes per refuelling occasion.
If you do simple math, for 10 units, three times per week totals 30 refuelling trips. At 20 minutes each, you invest 600 minutes or 10 hours in labour costs each week just to refuel. Over a month this example is costing you 40 hours – one week's production. That's 40 hours of paid time, plus the lost productivity and profitability you could have earned.
Total Fuel Management allows you to control costs and manage fuel the way you manage other investments like people, technology and equipment. From acquisition to delivery and from measurement and management of your fuel assets to improving the return on your fuel investment, TFM cuts your real cost of refuelling. Here's how:
TFM delivers fuel directly to your job site and a whole lot more. The competitive pump price includes delivery from tanker trucks direct to each piece of equipment or your fuel storage tanks. When you use Certified Refuelling Professionals it eliminates the risk and safety threats to your workers and the environment.
Since most refuelling is done while your equipment is idle, your productivity increases. Professionals do the fill ups so there are no dangerous spills causing expensive clean ups. If a rare spill occurs it's fixed professionally at no cost to you. With on site refuelling of your equipment and bulk storage tanks by an independent fuel management company, theft is eliminated too.
In addition to cutting the cost of refuelling and eliminating theft, TFM systems deliver a unique competitive advantage: the ability to measure and manage the return on your fuel investment. Companies that use this system can calculate, by unit, fuel consumption, hours of operation and other key operating data. An RFID chip about the size of a dollar coin is attached to each piece of equipment for positive identification. User-friendly software delivers these reports to your computer for quick analysis.
Total Fuel Management gives you all the tools you need to cut your fuel costs and without it you're paying too much for fuel. In some cases it has saved clients up to 20 per cent each month – a nice saving to your bottom line.
Jack Lee is CEO of 4Refuel – the largest onsite fuel management company in Canada and a global leader in technology designed to help businesses reduce their fuel expenses. Got a question about fuel? Ask the fuel expert by emailing Jack at AskTheFuelExpert@4Refuel.com.