Recent expansion by E&SJ Walpole Ltd includes additional workshop facilities, a new fuelling point and more space for parking trucks and trailers at their headquarters facilities in Dereham, Norfolk.

On the haulage side, the group operates 30 articulated units and around 70 trailers, half of which are equipped with forklifts to provide self-offload services. The business also carries out third party repair and maintenance services up to MOT for vehicles and trailers.

To make room for its VOSA test station, the existing fuelling point was de-commissioned and relocated to a new vehicle parking lot on the opposite side of Greens Road. After refurbishment, the existing 40,000 litres capacity diesel storage tank was reinstalled on the new site together with separate dispensers for gas-oil and AdBlue.

The upgrade included GPRS communications and Merridale tank management instrumentation, enabling continuous contents status reporting for the main diesel tank. Fuel dispensing is based on a new Merridale Auditor GS pump with integral fuel management control to record transactions. The twin hose pump delivers a high flow for HGVs as well as standard rate for cars and service vehicles.

“We also took the opportunity to switch over our fuel management administration from in-house server software to Merridale FuelWorks, which is a web-based stock control and reporting service,” explains company accountant James Curtiss.

“Our previous set up was becoming unreliable. Occasionally we lost data and we would have to spend time cross checking vehicle movements from our tracking service in order to identify which vehicles had been fuelled. As a ‘work-around’ solution we started to download the usage reports on a weekly basis.

“Now we have a more robust system, using the Merridale vLink communications cable to identify the HGVs using the fuelling point. This is a snap-on quick release device which can be used in conjunction with the proximity ID data-tags allocated to the company’s service vehicles. The vehicle ID information is required to authorise fuelling. Full details of the transaction – the vehicle, its mileage reading, date, time and amount of fuel drawn are stored automatically by the pump control unit.

“This data is then polled on a daily basis by the Merridale fuel management service to update the fleet fuel usage reports. The tank management unit provides e-mail alerts as the stock reaches a pre-set re-order level. The system also triggers an alarm with e-mail alerts for any unusual drop in the tank contents.

James Curtis concludes by saying. “The Merridale equipment is faultless. Excluding external fuelling our annual usage for the fleet amounts to some 500,000 litres, so is important that this is managed efficiently. Clearly our fuel usage correlates with carbon emissions and we can show the relevant authorities that the company has accredited procedures for measuring fuel consumption.

“As far as office productivity is concerned, the main benefit has been the significant reduction in the time taken up for the preparation of reports. Instead of having to do the usage reports weekly (because of risk of losing data) they are now completed and transferred onto the management accounts as part of a monthly routine, in about half the time taken up previously.”