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Old 09-27-2012, 05:10 PM
arninglawns arninglawns is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Friendswood, TX
Posts: 68
Wow! Sorry to hear that about the theft. I'm just as surprised to hear that you may be refueling multiple times per day. I get on to my guys when they fill up more than once a week!
Bill Arning
Arning Lawns
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:04 PM
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CLS LLC CLS LLC is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Colgate, WI
Posts: 443
Get house accounts with a gas station, or multiple stations if necessary. Make the gas station aware that employees can only fill up your trucks.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:27 PM
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jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,557
Our Fleet cards are through the gas station. They only say truck 1-4 and anyone can use them. I would have to agree with bulk tanks, not only do you save money on the fuel you save time instead of waiting for that one pump you can get to with a trailer. The last time I used the fleet card instead of our bulk tanks I got in an shouting match with a girl blocking the only diesel pump so she could clean her car and wash her windows after buying $10 worth of gas. I'll stick to fueling up at the shop.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:29 PM
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GreenI.A. GreenI.A. is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: North East
Posts: 2,124
We use Wright Express, you need to enter a pin (we use drivers last 4 ssn) and the odometer reading. You can spot most unathorized fill ups when you can easily see the fill ups arn't matching with the odometer. A driver can lie on the odometer, but when you have one truck/driver that is getting 30 gallons of fuel every 2000 miles when other drivers/trucks are averging 30gals every 350 miles. A creative driver can still get around this, but having a good fuel purchasing system will make it more difficult.

I agree with others on purchasing bulk fuel. We looked into it. The company we were going to go with owned the tanks, pumps, and supplied it at no cost as long as we filled it with there fuel. They also paid for the permits as well, and the fuel from them was cheaper than getting from a gas station. Our only upfront cost would have been poring the concrete pad for the tank to sit on. Unfortunately the conservation commission won't allow us to store bulk fuel on site.

As far as keeping everything seperate like C Jovingo said, we have two cards in every truck. The Cards are imprinted with: Truck One, Equipment One, Truck Two, Equipment Two, etc... Truck one is mine, truck two is used only for fert, so if the Equipment Two card is used to buy 20gal I know something is wrong because the only fuel that is used for is the spreader, sprayer, and mix for a handheld blower. I also have each card's daily limit set for the amount it cost for a fill up, when gas prices climb high I can easily increase the limits online. If a truck needs a second fillup, such as when I sent guys up to NH to pick up a piece of equipment, I simply made a phone call and made a onetime authorization.
Why do people not respect us as they do other tradesmen? Because every Tom, Dick, and Harry doesn't think he can be a plumber or electrician!
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:40 PM
Working Man Working Man is online now
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 61
Gas Cards - 911

I got gas cards and the first month we spent $1000 more on gas than usual. I instantly stopped it and bought 30 five gallon gas cans. We have one guy go to the gas station every couple days now. The employees still have their cards but they can only use them if we don't have gas In the morning (usually like twice a month). The nice thing is I don't have three trucks sitting at the gas station for an hour every morning. I'm not naive, I know they still stop but they go to party stores or something on their way in the route and don't all stop together and have to wait for cars to move. Saves lots of money in wasted time and they know I will catch them if they use the card when they're not supposed to.
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:40 AM
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GreenI.A. GreenI.A. is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: North East
Posts: 2,124
One problem we had when we switched to gas cards was that the local station we had been using was known for low prices. Once the trucks had cards, the guys began filling where ever they wanted to, this included the truck stop on the highway where gas is notoriously $.10-.15 more a gallon, and diesel is $.20-.30 more a gallon. This only accounted for an extra couple hundred dollars a month though.
Why do people not respect us as they do other tradesmen? Because every Tom, Dick, and Harry doesn't think he can be a plumber or electrician!
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:55 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 7,969
I am looking into linking fleet cards to a GPS in the truck too. Will not stop theft but it will catch it earlier.
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:11 PM
seabee24 seabee24 is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 619
The only thing you can really honestly do,

1. Limit the number of people that have fuel access. Let 1 or 2 guys have access and fill all the other crews items. This way if there is a problem you only have to look at 1 or two area managers for the answers.

2. Fuel up on the same day of the week. For maintenance crews they should use pretty close to the same amount every week. Come up with a weekly average and monitor for major changes. This requires you to completely top off all tanks every week on the same day and even similar time.

3. Create a redundancy system that compare,one guys paperwork vs. another.

Example: if your guys use odometer reading for their fuel cards, when the mechanic pulls maintenance, his odometer reading should match.

If an area supervisor has paperwork that he pumped 10 gals into crew 1 truck. Crew 1 paperwork should also match that they received 10 gals.

Area supervisor has a log with starting and ending gals on the pump. Crews paperwork should match.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:25 AM
muddywater muddywater is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,813
My bulk fuel is not cheaper... it is slightly more expensive. But it saves one hour at the gas station x number of employees
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:33 AM
EA Quinn EA Quinn is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Glastonbury,CT
Posts: 384
We use fleet cards and before each use the mileage and vehicle number must be put in. It has worked very well for us. We pinpoint each time a vehicle is filled up and verify it with the mileage to verify no theft is occurring.
-EA Quinn Landscape Contracting
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