County Council upgrades depot fuel management facilities
Pembrokeshire County Council has updated its fuelling equipment by installing Merridale Auditor electronic monitoring units on all four of its depot fuelling points.
The upgrade also includes the installation of electronic contents gauges, enabling each of the storage tanks to be monitored centrally.
“We are spending around ￡1.7 million a year on fuel, so this upgrade was vital to improve our capability for stock control and tracking our operational costs,” explains Fleet Manager, Gerald Rowlands.
“Although the existing pumps were working OK we were not confident about the monitoring side. This has become more crucial as fuel costs have increased and cost accounting audits are also increasingly stringent. We wanted to improve the management control of our fuel usage.”[quote]Merridale software provides more meaningful reports.[/quote]
MIS Fuel Monitoring was selected following a competitive tender by Pembrokeshire County Council. Responses were received from four potential suppliers and the final decision was taken after consulting a local bus company which was familiar with the Merridale FuelFX software.
“This was the deciding factor, says Gerald Rowlands. We paid a visit and were able to see a demonstration of the software, and as ‘users’ they were also very happy with the reliability of the Merridale equipment.”
The upgrade went smoothly. The Merridale Auditor units were simply installed alongside the existing pump dispensers, together with the electronic tank contents gauges. The county has four fuelling points and these are now monitored centrally by the council’s business unit.
The system has been operational for twelve months and it meets our requirement fully. The hardware is robust and the software is user friendly and we are confident that we have a very resilient solution. Data from the fuelling points is collected regularly and we are now able to reconcile fuel deliveries with our current stock and day to day usage.
Data-keys are issued for each of the vehicles and our drivers also enter a PIN number to draw fuel. This procedure enables us to monitor vehicle usage, driver performance and different routes.
“Merridale software provides more meaningful reports. For example, by comparing fuel usage for different makes of vehicles operating similar duties, we are now able to make more informed decisions about purchasing vehicles and how they are deployed. Whilst this is not the only criteria this greater visibility is definitely an important benefit.
Over 400 data-keys have been issued for the Pembrokeshire fleet. These include 32 refuse collection vehicles, as well as vans, pick-up trucks, pool cars and tractors and all the plant used for grass cutting and grounds maintenance.
Each of the data-keys can be programmed according to the vehicle type and fuel requirements; either road diesel or gas oil for plant and AdBlue. The odometer entry for each datakey is validated using the Merridale “iProve” function which ensures that only realistic entries are accepted.
The ‘intelligent’ key will also prevent accidental misfuelling vehicles, such as plant and dedicated gritters, which run on duty free gas oil.