Nearly 4 million Americans drive trucks or similar commercial vehicles for a living. That volume of tradespeople is what makes driving among the most popular blue-collar jobs in the country.
If you’re an owner-operator, or better yet, if you own a fleet of vehicles, tell us – What’s one thing you pay for every day that your vehicle(s) can’t live without? We’re guessing the first thing that popped into your head was fuel.
Fleet fueling is a necessary evil that can be massively time-consuming when you look at how many hours per month your vehicles spend rolling through gas stations. Therein lies the value of hiring an on-site fueling service that meets your vehicles where they’re at to gas them up.
Read on to appreciate how best to filter through and hire a quality fueling team!
1. Service Area
The benefit of hiring fleet fueling services is that they’ll come down to your vehicle lot and get everything gassed up before the workday starts. Of course, no fleet fueling service has an unlimited range.
Given that fact, you’ll want to ensure that before engaging a fleet fueling company, they service the area your vehicles are in.
If the fueling service you’re considering doesn’t advertise operating in your area, there’s a chance they’ll stretch for you if your fleet is large enough. Know though that stretching often leads to surcharges.
Your vehicles rely on gas to get going. Therefore, you have to have a fueling team you can rely on equally as much as without them, you’re not going to be able to tackle your responsibilities.
Obviously, a fuel delivery company isn’t going to advertise that they’re anything less than 100% reliable. To get the skinny on what you can expect from them requires you to dig into online reviews.
Throw the company you’re considering into a Google search to see what pops up for them as far as customer feedback goes on Google reviews and Yelp. If the company is sporting 4-stars or better and 10+ reviews, you’re probably in the clear. If things look much worse than that, move on.
Cost always matters when you’re hiring any sort of vendor for your business. Optimally, you’ll be able to calculate all of the money you lose in excess fuel, maintenance, and time when your trucks have to make gas runs. Then, you can weigh that figure against a fueling service to see if what they’re charging makes business sense.
Know that cost isn’t everything when it comes to a fuel delivery service. The bigger question is “value” which is a combination of cost and quality of service.
4. Volume Discounts
Big fleets should equal big discounts. After all, the more vehicles you have that need fueling, the more money your fuel provider is going to get.
Ask your fueling provider about where their volume discounts kick in. If they don’t have volume discounts and you have a large fleet, we recommend looking for a fueling provider that offers that perk.
Volume discounts with a quality provider could and should save you thousands of dollars per year against the standard per-vehicle rate.
5. Emergency Assistance
Your vehicle is completing a job and runs out of fuel unexpectedly. Will your fueling company provide any sort of emergency services to help?
Chances are if you’re a long-term customer and you’re within a reasonable range, they will. They may even have information about emergency services described and priced out on their website.
While not a deal-breaker, on site fuel services that don’t mind deviating from your standard fueling location in a pinch are worth extra consideration.
6. Miscellaneous Services
Some fueling companies just fuel. That’s fine but others do much more than gas stuff up.
There are fueling companies out there that can manage blown tires, stalled engines, oil shortages, and much more.
Again, it’s not a deal-breaker if your fueling company doesn’t offer more than a single service. Working with one that does though is worth additional consideration so you don’t have to work with multiple vendors for all your needs.
7. Package Deals
Speaking of additional services, some fueling providers that do offer a medley of services will give package discounts if you opt into them. For example, if your fueling company fuels your trucks and cleans them, you might get a 10% discount on both services.
That, of course, is just an example but don’t be shy about asking!
8. Ease of Communication
In business, communication is key as it allows you to build lasting partnerships which in turn, drives your business. Think about how good your fueling company is when it comes to communicating.
Are they easy to talk to? Do they seem vested in what you’re trying to do? Are they a group that you’re proud to partner with?
All of that matters to your long-term success so assess those questions critically.
Fleet Fueling Saves You Time and Makes You Money
With how tight things were in 2020 and may be going into 2021, most businesses that deal with trucks may not be looking to add a vendor to their ranks. While we appreciate that logic, we implore you and others to think bigger.
By investing in fleet fueling that takes place on-site, the time and money you’ll save could be astronomical, leading to more opportunity and faster growth.
We’ll leave you to mull over the many possibilities that exist. If you’d like additional guidance in the meantime, we’ve got you covered!
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