Johnsons Coach & Bus Travel has relied on depot fuelling facilities for many years since the company first set up its operations at Liveridge Hill, Warwickshire in 1988. The Merridale FuelFX management reporting system was introduced as part of a major upgrade in 2006. This investment included a larger capacity storage tank and yard service facilities including two Merridale diesel dispensers; a standard commercial pump for vans and minibuses and a high flow unit for the larger vehicles. The latter incorporated an integral Auditor monitoring unit, providing the fuel management control.
The reporting system together with the Merridale equipment have provided reliable service over the following decade, during which time the business has continued to expand. Now more evenly split between buses and coaches, the company’s fleet has doubled in size to over 100 vehicles.
“With the introduction of FuelWorks we have effectively outsourced the routine maintenance…”
Johnsons covers three main business sectors; luxury coach hire and excursions, school contracts and bus services throughout the Midlands, south of Birmingham. As part of an on-going review of operational requirements, the decision was taken this year to upgrade the fuel management system.
Merridale was awarded the contract following a competitive evaluation against an alternative system, currently in use by a coach operator, acquired recently by Johnsons.
The support and service reliability already provided by Merridale were important factors. The upgrade also provided the opportunity to switch over to Merridale FuelWorks, which is a web-based fuel management reporting service. Other elements included the replacement of the combined Auditor pump/dispenser and the installation of an electronic tank gauge and GPRS communications link to allow remote data access.
“As the fleet has grown, so have the demands of the existing fuelling point. With a larger fleet there has been an increasing turnover of our fuel stocks and management of this resource is a key factor in our service performance,“ explains workshop administrator, Emma Cox.”
“With the introduction of FuelWorks we have effectively outsourced the routine maintenance, thereby allowing our support staff more time to focus on other priorities. I can log in to review our fuelling status at any time. The screen display is easy to understand and any anomalies are easily identified. The data is collated automatically as vehicles are fuelled. External fuelling transactions can be imported into the system, ensuring that there is a complete record of the fleet’s fuel usage.