FleetCards USA's TrendWatch, an industry trends advisory council, provided some tips regarding fuel efficiencies and diesel fuel.
"Ever since President Obama's spring announcement ordering new benchmarks to be set for highway and work trucks, business owners who operate fleets have been paying close attention to how their company uses fuel," says Paul Citarella, senior vice president of FleetCards USA. "Diesel fuel has been a topic of much discussion in the industry, mostly due to the better mileage it can achieve. There are many other advantages to diesel as well as other ways, in addition to switching to diesel fuel, that one can improve their overall fuel expenditure."
FleetCards listed the following advantages to diesel fuel usage:
■ Diesel is more energy efficient. Diesel contains approximately 20,000 more BTUs of energy per gallon than gasoline. This means it takes more gasoline to equal the power output of diesel. Also, since diesel fuel is heavier and oilier, it evaporates slower adding to it's efficiency
■ Diesel costs less. Typically, diesel fuel is less expensive than gasoline. This is because the refinement process takes less time and is less labor intensive
■ Diesel offers overall better durability. Although the short term maintenance fee for a diesel engine can be costly, diesel engines are by far more durable in the long run. The average gas engine lasts approximately 125,000 miles before needing major repairs, where as a diesel engine can last approximately 375,000 miles
■ Diesel is cleaner. Diesel emits fewer harmful emissions than gasoline
■ Diesel engines have the option to use biodiesel. Biodiesel is an green alternative or additive to diesel fuel made from plant oil and fats that can be used in diesel engines with slight to no modifications
Fleetcards also listed the following advantages to diesel fleet card fuel programs:
■ Diesel Fuel Discounts: When using a diesel fleet card system, many suppliers offer a discount on volume of sales. Typically, this is provided by a reduced rate once the company has purchased a certain amount of fuel each month.
■ Fuel Availability: Diesel fuel is not as widely available as gasoline, which deters some companies from using them. With a diesel fleet card, diesel stations can be pre-identified and pre-approved so drivers always know where they can fuel up. This also helps with fuel efficiency so drivers aren't wasting time driving around looking for their next stop.
■ Tracking and Reporting: With a diesel fleet card, all drivers' transactions are recorded including when, where and how much fuel was purchased. This data can be analyzed to identify inefficiencies and poor driver's habits, such as a vehicle in need of maintenance, or a driver who idles or drives off route.
■ Theft Protection: With diesel fleet cards, specific controls can be set limiting the drivers' purchases. For example, restrictions can be put in place so a driver can only purchase fuel at certain stations, after a certain time has elapsed. This ensures a driver is not fueling up their personal vehicle or purchasing gas station concessions on the company's dollar.
For more information about diesel fleet cards, visit www.fleetcardsusa.com.