Is Your Fuel Site Protected? Fuel Control Systems are an Effective Solution…Part 1

By OPW | Nov 16, 2011

From the smallest fleets to the largest petroleum marketing operations in the world, every fueling operation is in need of an effective solution that will provide complete security, accountability and control. Theft, misallocation of fuel, inaccurate record keeping and the inability to control fuel restrictions are all results that can occur when a site is left unattended.

With the current economic conditions, fuel theft has become a real issue. Not only can it occur by outsiders who enter your location without authorization, but also fuel theft occurs among employees if they are dispensing fuel into an unauthorized, non-company vehicle. Relying on the "Honor System" is no longer an acceptable form of security at an unsecured site.

In addition to fuel theft, fuel misallocation is also a major problem for fleets. Often times it occurs by authorized users when more than one vehicle can be fueled simultaneously. Fuel misallocation can also happen by sharing the same nozzle. No matter how it actually occurs, these fuel transactions are then recorded in the log creating a circumstance of inaccurate record keeping…resulting in unnecessary vehicle maintenance. Inaccurate record keeping can also occur due to lost fuel log tickets, inaccurate data being recorded on fuel tickets and inaccurate data entry.

Another problem is fuel contamination, which can occur at many unattended fuel sites because of the lack of driver or vehicle fuel restrictions. Fuel contamination sometimes even occurs due to the lack of product control, which happens when a driver accidentally puts the wrong fuel in a vehicle.

How to Improve Fueling Site Security and Control?

In most cases, fuel management systems can be an effective tool for monitoring your unprotected fuel site. Fuel management systems are designed to maintain, control, monitor and track fuel inventories, purchases and transactions for fleets and unattended fueling sites. In addition, automated fuel management systems have been designed to help improve overall fuel asset management and accountability and can be used as an effective solution to eliminate error-prone manual entry systems, improve fuel tracking for tax purposes, allocate fuel expenses, eliminate misallocation and theft of fuel, improve driver accountability and regain control over valuable fuel assets.

There are three primary types of fuel control systems: key lock, stand-alone card lock and single-site & multi-site card lock. Key lock systems are mechanical systems, providing basic fuel control and eliminates the need for the padlock, clipboard and pencil approach to fuel management. A stand-alone card lock fuel control system is an electronic system that has been designed to identify driver, vehicle and gallons dispensed. Single-site & multi-site card lock fuel control systems provide all the features found in a stand-alone card lock system, are permanently connected to the fuel site controller and can periodically be connected to a PC to store and transmit product data.

In the next blog post, more solutions will be discussed including an in-depth look at single-site and multi-site card lock fuel control systems.

For more information on fuel control systems, watch the basics of fuel management animation or visit OPW Fuel Management Systems to learn more.

What type of fuel control system do you use at your fueling location?

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