Now that the price of oil is rising, the risk of your own employees pumping fuel on your dime increases.
If your transaction tracking isn’t aligned properly, you’ll create the opportunity for the perfect crime – leaving no witnesses, and no possibility of capture. The results slowly take their toll. Like a long-hidden, lingering disease. But if you take no precaution … you’ll be setting-up your drivers to steal from you every time they align at the pump, which may be several times a day. Or in a number of other ways. Here is what you need to know about employee fuel theft.
Some people can’t withstand the temptation that comes with being alone on the road. You see it in the truckstop bordellos, and in the illegal taking of unleaded gold. If it was the federal government your driver might think: “Don’t mess.” But when it’s just his fleet manager who is 400 miles away, unlawful breaches happen.
Get the right technology and you can reduce this real risk to your fleet expenses and put the breaks on the darker side of man…at least the men and women who work for you. (The rest we can’t vouch for.)
There are a few reasons for less than expected fuel after a higher number of pump stops, such as heavy-handed driving or vehicles in need of service. But having the data about what is being spent and when, which is noted against an average, can put you on the road to getting important answers. But to get those numbers, you need the right technology and street cred.
You can buy devices that read the gasoline levels inside your vehicles, the rate at which it’s burned, and the number of transactions your drivers make. Then you’ll be able to vet those numbers against the common data for trucks and trips of that type. This will help you see if someone is topping up a private fuel can on the side, or siphoning off what’s already been pumped into your tank.
Did you know that employees of the Guinness Brewery in Dublin used to climb up along the ceiling pipes transporting the black beer and drill a hole into it during their lunch breaks? What your own employees do may not be dissimilar, if less satisfying. This is where regular check-ups of your fleets, including a gas tank inspection are important. As is letting your employees know that you do it.
More likely is simple siphoning, which you can stop with anti-siphoning kits.
You shouldn’t blame your own employees for theft. It’s likely that a stranger is purging your tanks. Make sure your drivers are aware of how to lock their vehicles and fuel tanks safely. When you park your fleet, ensure the space is well lit, fenced and monitored from intruders looking for easy fuel. Park your trucks with the tanks in hard to reach spaces.
Use a Fuel Card
After your physical measures are in place (or before) the fuel card is the surest and deepest way to keep a handle on your expenses. The data a good fuel card can bring you will help you pinpoint inconsistencies.