Improved control, reduced risk and easier to maintain.

Gravesham Borough Council has upgraded its depot fuelling facilities with the installation of a 35K litres storage tank equipped with an advanced stock monitoring system. The package was supplied by Merridale, following a competitive tender and a thorough appraisal of the FuelWorks web-based fuel management service.

“Fuel usage is a significant concern to the council, explains transport manager, Ronnie Helen. “Apart from cost accounting, there are now environmental implications, such as secure storage and methods used for managing carbon emissions.”

“An important benefit of the Merridale service is that there is minimal administrative overhead. The information is always current and we simply pull off the reports – as and whenever required, to track vehicle economy performance (mpg), operating costs and carbon footprint.”

– Ronnie Helen, Transport Manager, Gravesham Borough Council

“The most obvious change is the installation of an above ground tank at the fuelling point. This replaces the underground storage tank which has been decommissioned. Above ground tanks are far easier to maintain and stock control is absolutely precise.”

“Drivers use a tag which identifies the vehicle or plant being refuelled. Every transaction is then recorded and uploaded to the Merridale fuel management service. This enables us to monitor fleet usage and account for every drop of fuel and the subsequent carbon footprint, all of which can be set against each of the council departments.”

Gravesham had been using a competitor’s control system previously but the software was out of date, and the reports involved a lot of cross checking and time consuming effort. An important benefit of the Merridale service is that there is minimal administrative overhead. The information is always current and we simply pull off the reports – as and whenever required, to track vehicle economy performance (mpg), operating costs and carbon footprint.

Ronnie continues. “After twelve months in operation, fuel management has now become a routine process. We have absolute visibility of our fuel usage and when the tank level reaches the re-order point, the system automatically sends out an e-mail alert.

“Currently the council operates 20 refuse wagons and around 90 vans allocated to housing maintenance and parks. Consumption is around 20K litres every month, which isn’t massive but a lot of time was being wasted previously, when drivers were allowed to fill up at the retail service stations.

“Clearly it makes sense to purchase fuel in bulk. We can take full advantage of the benefits now that we have a more professional environment for managing this resource. We have no worries about public scrutiny because we know that we are using the best available practice and everything is clearly above board,” he said.