Fuel Monitoring 101

Today’s fleet managers are continuously looking for ways to manage their fleet’s total cost of ownership, minimize their operating expenses, and increase profitability. However, identifying new opportunities for reducing costs can be difficult.

With Geotab Advanced Fuel Usage Reports, Fleet Managers can:

  • View total fuel used by fleet
  • Easily spot trends
  • Track fuel economy, fuel cost, cost per fill-up, monthly fuel spending
  • View a map of fuel purchases
  • Import your bank fuel card data
  • Integration with IFTA and Fill-Ups reporting

This report is essential for fleet managers trying to cut their total fuel costs, reducing fuel expenses and make their fleet more efficient and profitable.

How is fuel usage calculated?

Fuel usage is calculated using a combination of engine-reported fuel data, imported fuel card data, and the GPS-calculated distance travelled. The system calculates the fuel used during a trip for a vehicle by querying the Device Total Fuel Used metric from the engine. Additionally, the imported fuel transaction data will also be used in the calculation, if available. Summarily, the fuel economy is then reported as the amount of fuel used over the distance travelled with the given fuel (in L/100 km).

Running a fuel usage report on MyGeotab software:

It can be accessed by navigating to Engine & Maintenance > Fuel Usage.

The Options dropdown allows you to filter the report by vehicle and time period. Additionally, the Sub-Periods option can be used to narrow down the report to daily or weekly results.

Once the report is generated, clicking on a row from the list will take you to a particular fill-up or the set of fill-ups associated with your chosen sort order. Alternatively, you can select the Fill-Ups button to view all fill-ups associated with the selected filters.

Running a fuel usage report on MyGeotab software

Fill-Ups

A fill-up event occurs every time fuel is added to the vehicle. The Fill-Ups Report displays all fill-up events for a selected time period.

The Fill-Ups Report on MyGeotab

When sorted by vehicle or driver, the heading of every vehicle row provides a brief summary of the average fuel economy, the total fuel added for that fill-up event, and the total cost of all fill-ups for the selected time period.

Fill-Up Validation

Fill-up Validation

Telematics data is used to validate imported fuel transactions. A yellow warning icon will be displayed for any fill-up row that does not meet validation criteria. Hovering the cursor over the icon will display the reason why the system flagged the fill-up.

Fill-Up Details

Selecting a row from the fill-ups report will show the details of that particular fill-up event. A matching fuel transaction will also be shown if available.

Fill-up Details

Validation Details

Rows are highlighted in yellow when the fuel transaction cannot be validated against telematics data.

Validation Details

Fill-Ups Graph

The fill-ups graph can be used to validate a fill-up that has been flagged as suspicious.

Fill-up Graphs

The image above illustrates a fuel transaction event where the fuel level of the car (red line) does not increase together with the blue line. Generally, such an instance indicates suspicious activity associated with that particular fill-up.

The blue line is influenced by three factors: the fuel transaction import, the fuel tank level as reported by the vehicle and the total fuel used as reported by the vehicle. Each dot on the blue line indicates a vehicle stop.

The red line is influenced only by the fuel tank level as reported by the vehicle. The accuracy of the red line will depend on the vehicle and manufacturer.

The two lines should follow a similar pattern under regular driving and refuelling. However, because the blue line changes with imported transaction information, it is possible that the blue line may rise when the red line does not, indicating a scenario like the following:

  • There was an instance of card sharing — a driver forgot his fuel card and another driver let him use theirs.
  • The fuel card is associated with the wrong vehicle.
  • A driver has used the fuel card to fill a personal vehicle or a jerry can.

Importing Fuel Card Data into Your Database

Most fuel card providers will supply fuel transaction data in .csv or .xls file formats. Each row of the transaction file represents a separate fuel card transaction, with the columns indicating values like cost, volume, location, vehicle, etc. Fuel transactions can be imported using the methods below:

Using the Import Fuel Transactions Add-In

An Add-In has been developed to assist in importing fuel card data from .csv/.xls files. Two formats are supported: the WEX master file and a generic format.

  1. Integrate the Fuel Transaction Import into your database.
  2. Select Engine & Maintenance > Fuel Transaction Import.
  3. Click the Browse button and choose a .csv/.xls file of the appropriate format. Note: .xlsx files must be converted to .xls files before importing.
  4. Select the Load File button.
  5. The Add-In will begin parsing the file. When completed, the first ten records will be previewed and the Import button will be enabled.
  6. Some files may contain information for multiple fuel card accounts. In these cases, you can select the account whose data you wish to import from the dropdown menu. Only the data rows with the selected account name will be imported into the database.
  7. Click the Import button to import the selected data. The Add-In will notify you when the process has completed or if an error has occurred.

Import Fuel Transactions

Author: Ricardo Labans, National Technical Supervisor – GEOTAB AFRICA

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