Gamber Logistics of Ross-on-Wye has updated its depot fuelling facilities, replacing manual records with a Merridale Auditor GX monitoring system supplied by MIS Fuel Monitoring of Wolverhampton.
The Merridale system records all fuelling transactions and transfers the data directly to the office computer. The investment includes Merridale FuelFX software which provides stock management and analysis for reports, such as mpg fuel usage for the company’s fleet of HGVs.
“Fuel costs represent a significant part of our operating costs and we must have accurate records to ensure the efficiency of the business,” explains transport manager, Adrian Griffiths.
“Gamber Logistics uses a number of contract drivers and some vehicles are on the road virtually 24 hours a day, changing drivers as they return to the depot between shifts.
[quote]Now it is just a click on the computer screen to download the Merridale Auditor and update the fuelling records. Details of external fuelling can be imported into the database thus ensuring a unified record. The cost of fuel can also be brought into the equation as well. In five minutes this information can be printed out and transferred to the accounts.[/quote]
“The original manual records worked well with just a couple of vehicles, but as the fleet has grown the process turned into a monthly paper chase. Stock control was questionable and we were never able to fully reconcile our bulk fuel deliveries and fuel usage.
“Previously we used fuelling slips to record fuel drawn from the tank and this information would then have to be keyed into the computer. Inevitably records would go missing or were keyed incorrectly. Chasing up the drivers and dealing with queries was very time consuming. As well as being unreliable the whole process was also exposed to potential abuse.”
“Now it is just a click on the computer screen to download the Merridale Auditor and update the fuelling records. Details of external fuelling can be imported into the database thus ensuring a unified record. The cost of fuel can also be brought into the equation as well. In five minutes this information can be printed out and transferred to the accounts.”
The Merridale Auditor uses smart keys to access the pump. On fuelling the driver inserts the key and enters both the vehicle odometer reading and his PIN number to authorise the transaction.
Access to the fuel is secure because the smart key can only be used with the designated vehicle. By recording and authenticating the odometer reading, the software can recognise any unauthorised attempts to draw fuel. In such an event the transaction is closed down and the key will be disabled.
The odometer information is also used in analysing fuel usage and the production of mpg reports for each of the vehicles. Any loss of fuel from the vehicle tank or discrepancy in fuelling will show up immediately on the mpg performance.
The use of driver PINs provides another layer of security, where vehicles have different drivers the PIN ensures full traceability for all transactions.
The Merridale solution was selected following a fairly comprehensive evaluation of fuel management solutions currently on the market. Quotes were obtained from a short list of three vendors. The Merridale solution was very competitive on price as well as meeting the operational requirements.
“Above all we wanted simplicity,” says Adrian Griffiths. “Nothing complicated on the computers, just a simple procedure to download the data, analyse and print it off.
“Another deciding factor was the recommendations from other hauliers in the area. The system is now in operation and as well as accurate fuelling date we now have peace of mind on security.”
About Gamber Logistics
Based in Ross-on-Wye, the Gamber business was founded on farm packing and grading of fresh produce. Distribution operations began in 1998 when the firm acquired its first light goods commercial vehicle. Gamber Logistics was formed as the fleet and scope of activities widened to include more general haulage work.