As diesel prices remain high, the elevated risk of fuel theft persists. Fuel is one of the largest operating costs for fleets, and trucking companies can’t afford to lose money to stolen diesel. Fuel theft can take several forms. Thieves may target unattended commercial vehicles, or employees may make unauthorized fuel purchases for personal use. The following are several strategies and safeguards fleets can implement to reduce fuel theft:
- Use and monitor fuel cards. Fuel cards provide several anti-theft measures. Fleets can associate fuel cards with an individual and vehicle to prevent unauthorized purchases. Fleets can set fuel purchase limits and run fuel reports to check for unusual transactions. Checking a truck’s miles per gallon can also identify fraudulent fuel purchases. If a truck’s mpg is unusually low, the driver may be purchasing fuel for someone else.
- Invest in fuel sensors. Sensors and connected devices make it easier than ever to monitor fleet vehicles. Sensors can send alerts to smartphones when they detect unusual activity, such as purchasing fuel at unusual hours or signs of tampering. Fuel alarms can also monitor for liquid moving inside the tank.
- Install physical preventions. While criminals will often find a way regardless of obstructions, anti-theft devices can make a fleet vehicle a less enticing target. Siphon screens and fuel caps that lock make it that much harder to steal fuel discretely. Parking trucks in well-lit and populated areas are other simple fuel theft deterrents. Drivers can also strategically park their trucks to block easy access to the fuel tank.
- Monitor the truck yard. Fuel theft can happen anywhere, including the fleet yard. Security fencing, nighttime floodlights/motion-activated lights, security cameras, and security signage can discourage would-be thieves. Fleets should also take note of any suspicious activity during the day, as thieves often survey potential targets in advance.
Fuel theft is an expensive problem for fleets and can rapidly inflate operating costs. Contact the experts at Interstate Motor Carriers to learn more about improving your trucking company’s bottom line by reducing risks.