8 Benefits Of Using Fuel Cards For Your Trucking Company
by Abdul Aziz Mondal Automotive 03 February 2023
A fuel card is a payment card specifically designed for gas station use. While these cards are specifically created to serve businesses in transportation and logistics, some vendors also offer them for personal use.
Trucking companies can avail of several benefits, including setting spending limits, tracking purchases, and receiving fuel discounts. These can double as credit cards and be used to pay for other related expenses such as car washes and convenience store items. As they are convenient and cost-effective, fleet companies prefer them to monitor and exercise control over fuel expenses.
How Do Fuel Cards Work?
Interested trucking businesses set up an account with the service provider – usually a bank or oil company. They can opt for any number of cards, based on their fleet size, and link to the same account. Once these cards are issued, businesses can use them to purchase gasoline or diesel at participating gas stations or other such providers. The card’s account is linked to the business’s credit or checking account, and funds are transferred to pay for the purchases.
When an employee or authorized representative uses a fuel card to purchase gas, the transaction is processed through the card’s network, and the funds are transferred from the business’s account to the supplier. The business can set up account controls, such as spending limits or location restrictions, to ensure that fuel is only being purchased for authorized vehicles and to prevent fraud.
Some of the card providers also offer additional features, such as purchasing other vehicle-related items, such as oil changes, repairs, and tires. Businesses can also typically access detailed reports and data on card usage to track and manage gasoline and diesel expenses and monitor usage patterns. You can check a few of them here.
Top 8 Ways A Fuel Card Benefits Your Trucking
- Cost savings: Like other credit cards, users can avail of discounts and paybacks that range from a few cents to several dollars per gallon, depending on the vendor’s program and the volume of gasoline purchased. These can add significant savings over time, especially for companies that operate large fleets.
- Simplified Expense Tracking: Fuel cards make it easy for trucking companies to track and manage gasoline expenses. Each card is assigned to a specific driver or truck, and all purchases made with the card are automatically recorded and grouped for easy tracking and reporting. This eliminates the need for manual tracking and record-keeping, saving time and reducing the risk of errors. Once integrated with an existing fleet management system, this data can be used for faster IFTA calculation.
- Improved Security: Trucking companies avail an added layer of security as these cards can be programmed to restrict purchases to specific types of fuel and specific locations. It can help prevent fraud and misuse of company funds. The cards often have built-in security features, such as PINs and multi-factor authentication, to protect against unauthorized use.
- Increased Efficiency: One of the USPs of these fleet cards is that they help streamline fuel and related expenses. Drivers no longer need to carry cash or credit cards and can simply swipe their card at the pump to fill up. It eliminates the need for long lines at gas stations and reduces the time spent on fuel-related tasks, allowing drivers to get back on the road faster.
- Better Control over Expenses: Owning these cards provide trucking companies more control over their expenses by providing detailed reports on purchases. These reports can be used to identify patterns and trends in gasoline consumption, such as which drivers are burning the most gas or which routes are the most cost-efficient. This information can be used to adjust and improve the company’s management strategy.
- Improved Compliance: As these cards record authentic and unadulterated data, trucking companies can comply with state and federal regulations with accurate reports. These records can be used to demonstrate compliance with regulations related to taxes, emissions, and other environmental laws.
- Enhanced Driver Accountability: Fuel cards can hold drivers accountable for expenses. Because each card is assigned to a specific driver or truck, trucking companies can easily track which drivers use the most oil or make unnecessary purchases. This can help identify areas for improvement and encourage drivers to be more mindful of their gasoline usage.
- Increased Flexibility: Apart from benefiting the company, fleet cards can also offer certain flexibility to drivers. For example, some cards can be used to purchase other items, such as snacks or tires, which can be a real help when a driver is on the road and in need of something. Additionally, some cards can be used at various locations, making it easy for drivers to find gasoline or diesel when needed.
Fleet fuel cards are a valuable tool for trucking companies looking to save money, improve efficiency, and increase control over their fuel expenses. With a wide range of benefits, including cost savings, simplified expense tracking, improved security, and enhanced driver accountability, fuel cards can help trucking companies stay competitive and run their operations more smoothly.
Additionally, the flexibility that comes with using fuel cards can be a real game-changer for trucking companies. With a dedicated card program, trucking companies can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their fuel expenses are controlled.