Have you ever wondered what else could be done to manage driver fueling and strengthen your company’s fuel program? When it comes to handing out fuel cards to drivers, having the right resources available is the difference between a successful fuel program and one that causes constant problems for management to resolve. But don’t worry – P-Fleet has developed a multilayered approach to help companies control driver fueling. Each layer complements the other so that your overall fuel program is as strong as possible.
Layer 1: Driver Fuel Card Policy
The first layer of defense against misuse of fleet cards is making sure drivers understand the permitted use. P-Fleet can help your team draft a driver fuel card policy that drivers must sign before a card is issued to them. The policy should clearly state your expectations for how drivers use their cards. Specify the authorized fuel card controls for when (i.e., days and times), where (i.e., fuel sites or brands), what purpose (i.e., vehicle to fuel and fuel type) and how often (i.e., number of transactions) cards should be used. You might also want instructions for how additional fueling data, like driver or vehicle identification and the odometer, is entered at the pump prior to purchases. The goal is to eliminate not knowing the rules as an excuse for misuse of the cards.
In addition to stating the permitted use of fuel cards, an effective driver fuel policy indicates the consequences if drivers disregard the policy. This is your opportunity to dissuade drivers from making the wrong choice and explain what could happen should any of their fuel purchases be non-compliant. Consequences could include revoking the use of a fuel card, repayment of fraudulent amounts or even terminating employment. Regardless of the outcome, you’ve established the rules by which drivers can fuel, and drivers have acknowledged those rules by signing the policy and accepting the card.
Layer 2: Card Purchase Controls
A driver fleet card policy by itself is obviously not enough to curb unauthorized fueling. Which is why P-Fleet’s fuel cards include various purchase controls to enact your fueling policy. Fuel card restrictions include:
Fuel or product type
Gallons or dollars per transaction
Gallons or dollars per day, week or month
Transactions per day
Authorized fueling times and days
You can either set the same controls across the board for all fleet cards or customize controls for individual cardholders. Easily adjust the fleet card purchase controls through your online account as needed. The point is to set limits that minimize slippage but also match the fueling needs of your drivers so that legitimate fueling can occur.
In addition to fuel card controls, make use of additional fueling data that occurs with each purchase. As drivers enter valid odometer readings, P-Fleet’s system will calculate miles per gallon (MPG) and cost per mile (CPM). MPG and CPM that differ from reasonable expectations could indicate either vehicle maintenance issues or driver theft.
Layer 3: Fraud Alerts
After putting in place a policy and card controls to limit driver fueling, how do you detect suspect activity if it occurs? With P-Fleet’s fuel card fraud alerts, you receive notification by email of flagged activity so that you can respond immediately to resolve any issues. For some companies, setting strict card controls for when fueling is allowed could be an issue because driver fueling might vary depending upon the job or route. In these cases, you might allow fuel cards to be used outside of normal business hours but set an alert to be notified of any fueling activity. Our system captures information regarding fuel volume as well as driver and vehicle fueling patterns. Fuel card alerts include:
Volume Changes: Increases to your average weekly fuel volume could be indicative of potential theft. P-Fleet monitors for dramatic changes to your fuel volume and will alert you of suspicious activity so that you can take appropriate action with the drivers in question.
Driver Transaction Errors: Even as card controls restrict purchases, you might want to know when a driver attempts to circumvent those controls, resulting in an error at the pump. Perhaps the driver misunderstands the fueling policy or card limits need to be adjusted for that driver.
Product Exceptions: Set product alerts, like unleaded usage, to help curb abuse. Fueling that differs from normal purchasing patterns is reported to you.
Card Watch: Receive notification whenever a specific fuel card is used.
Time or Day of Purchase: Set alerts for fueling that occurs at night or on weekends, for example, even if your card limits allow for those purchases.
Fueling Location: Identify driver fueling that doesn’t occur at designated fuel locations.
Layer 4: Online Driver Monitoring
Even after you implement an effective driver fueling policy as well as controls and alerts to support that policy, it’s important to monitor driver usage regularly. Make use of P-Fleet’s online tools to review transactions from CFN, Fleetwide and Voyager cards tied to your account. Download transactions into Excel for easy sorting and filtering. View gallons, price per gallon, purchase amount, date, time, location, fuel product, odometer and other card details. Run fuel card reports for any time period to compare usage and gain insight into driver fueling activity.
Topic: Fleet Fuel Cards