“Ultimately it is the stock control and fuel economy reports that the managers see. The priority for the drivers and people using the pumps is reliability – they don’t want fancy they want functional utility. “ Kevin Powell managing director, Ledbury Welding & Engineering Ltd.

The basic components of all depot fuelling stations are the storage tank and the diesel pump dispensers. The tank generally is the larger value item and its location and capacity will be the immediate considerations for any new installation.

It follows then that the tank manufacturers often take the lead for new customer requirements, since every tank needs to be equipped for dispensing, security of the contents and fuel usage monitoring.

The relationship between Ledbury Welding & Engineering and MIS Fuel Monitoring is longstanding and can be traced back fifteen years to the genesis of above-ground bunded tanks with integral pumps and fuel monitoring.

“It’s a relationship rather than a marriage as the UK market supports several tank suppliers as well as alternative fuel dispensing solutions,” explains managing director, Kevin Powell. “There is no single vendor providing an end-to-end solution. Thankfully we have sufficient diversity to mix and match customer requirements.

[quote]People have long memories and we find that Merridale equipment has a reputation for being robust and very much fit for purpose.[/quote]

Stock control and economy reports
“Indeed as the market has developed, we have seen that the fleet managers are now much more savvy about fuel costs and the need for efficient fuel usage monitoring.”

The fuelling point has two main functions. For fleet managers it delivers stock control and fuel economy reports. For the drivers and people using the equipment the emphasis is on access to fuel and reliability.  They want functional utility. Fancy ideas such as touch screens don’t translate in the 24 x 7 operational environment of the road transport sector.”

“Our reputation has been built by providing a high quality product with absolutely no compromise on quality,” says Kevin Powell. “We are competitive because we have been able to reduce tank manufacturing costs through innovative design and the implementation of more efficient production methods.”

“Clearly the dispensing equipment is important to allow our customers to benefit fully from their investment in a depot fuelling facility.

“We do value the relationship with MIS because their products are very well received in the industry and their after sales service is very good. We find that Merridale is prepared to listen to the client’s requirements and offer packages that meet the client’s operational requirements.

“Our customers specify Merridale because it was one of the first in the market to offer an integral pump and fuel monitoring solution and the entire tank services package is provided and supported by a single supplier.

“People have long memories and we find that Merridale equipment has a reputation for being robust and very much fit for purpose.  And as far as positioning – it does what it says on the tin, in terms of commercial operation and functionality.

Kevin Powell concludes our chat with his view on the current business climate, and noting that although it is challenging time, Ledbury is seeing returning levels of investment.

“It remains a very competitive market,” says Kevin, adding, “Ledbury as a supplier has to make sure that we are equal to that.”

“We are seeking to provide levels of service and value that will distinguish us from our competitors. We take pride in our ability for retaining customers. After all they place their trust in us as a business to deliver a solution to them. We value that trust and are therefore striving continuously to do our best to deliver.

The emphasis for future development will be in the business intelligence and back-office reporting side of things. That is where the professional transport manager and fleet manager will be looking for information.

Essentially we have the yard equipment sorted. New developments will be based on satellite tracking to cross reference distance travelled, vehicle onboard technology and vehicle recognition which will all help to make life easier for the transport fleet operators.

“History has shown that fuelling in-house still remains to be the most cost effective way of servicing a vehicle fleet. It offers better flexibility for managing costs. And as the price of diesel continues fleet managers can buy in bulk and take advantage of any price reduction. They have a built in buffer against any event affecting fuel supplies as well as added convenience – saving the drivers’ time and reducing the need and cost of extended journeys – just to pick up fuel.”