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5 Ways to Get Rid of Employee Fuel Theft

5 Ways to Get Rid of Employee Fuel Theft
Featured image credit: UroshPetrovic/istockphoto.com

According to research conducted by Shell, two out of five fleet drivers have witnessed another driver commit some kind of fraud, such as siphoning fuel from a company vehicle.

The Shell survey also found that fuel spending accounts for over 20% of total fleet operating costs, and theft prevention allows fleet managers to reduce fuel spending by as much as 10%. So, it’s easy to see how fuel theft prevention will result in significant savings.

In addition to siphoning, fuel fraud can also take the following forms:

  • Fuel card fraud, which involves drivers using funds allocated for company vehicles on their personal vehicle
  • Side fueling, which involves a driver filling up a portable gas container for personal use and charging the expense to their employer
  • Inflating mileage figures for reimbursement

Effectively preventing employee fuel theft requires a multi-pronged approach. A combination of the five techniques listed below will help you control fuel costs and make more profit:

1. Monitor Employee Activity

You can’t stop fuel theft if you can’t see it.

Does the route optimization software you’re currently using come with a GPS tracking feature? The best route planners have the ability to show you the location and speed of everyone on your team in real-time.

Route4Me’s route planner goes even further than that. Our GPS-powered reporting and analysis feature provides you with key insights into your fuel consumption habits. It shows you your average gas price, total gallons used, total gas cost, average trip cost, and much more. There’s also a timeline tool, which allows you to analyze your fuel expenses for selected routes over a given period.

Watch the following video to learn more about Route4Me’s reporting feature and how it can benefit your business.

With this information, you’ll have a much easier time identifying instances of fuel fraud. You’ll know if someone is using more fuel than average, and then you can investigate to determine if there’s a good reason for the discrepancy (an accident on the highway forced them to take a long detour, etc.), or if something suspicious is going on.

There’s also the big brother effect at play. Even if you never take a peek at your tracking data, it still influences your fleet’s behavior. Employees are unlikely to commit fraud when they know they’re being watched.

And that’s not all route delivery software can do for you. Read our article about the nine benefits of investing in a route optimization app to see how you can harness the full potential of this dynamic technology.

2. Install Anti-siphoning Devices

Of course, the big brother effect is indirect. Anti-siphoning devices give you more control. They use sensors to monitor fuel tanks, and you’ll automatically be sent an alert whenever there’s an unauthorized attempt to access the tank. This gives you the ability to respond to employee fuel theft rapidly.

Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

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3. Track Fuel Card Transactions

Fuel cards allow employees to purchase fuel and other vehicle maintenance items within a network of authorized merchants. Fleet cards provide customizable purchasing controls, so you can choose where, what, when, and how much your drivers are spending. Generally, employees will need to input an identification number before making fuel purchases, which discourages them from stealing fuel.

But even with these controls in place, you must take precautions to stop fuel theft. If you’re not vigilant, someone could regularly commit theft by consumption and use a fuel card to fill up their personal vehicle. Using a route planner that automatically tracks fuel expenses will improve your oversight efforts, as it can clearly display overall trends vs. the fuel usage stats of a particular employee.

4. Educate Your Drivers

An employee could break the rules without even knowing it. There might be some legitimate confusion over your fuel usage and reimbursement policies. So, be sure to make your policies clear. Ideally, policy details will be in writing and shared with employees as soon as they’re brought on board.

5. Conduct Regular Audits

No matter how many methods you’re using to prevent employee fuel theft in the act, there’s always a chance that you’ll miss something. This is why it’s important to conduct regular audits of your fuel-related records. You want to catch anything that might have slipped through the cracks.

Keep an eye out for frequent refueling, unknown gas station locations, and irregular fueling times. You should watch out for drivers claiming a purchase that exceeds a vehicle’s fuel tank capacity as well.

Do you have any questions about preventing employee fuel theft or using routing optimization software? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

Finally, answering these three questions correctly will confirm that you understand how to stop fuel theft.

  1. How can route optimization software help you with fuel theft prevention?
  2. Why should you conduct regular audits of your fuel-related records?
  3. How can a route planner app help you ensure efficient usage of fuel cards?

Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

Start Free 7 Day Trial

About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 34,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.