Merridale fuel dispensing equipment has been selected by North Kesteven District Council for use at its new waste collection depot facilities in Metheringham, near Lincoln. Whilst this is a new investment, the case was made that continuity and previous experience with Merridale as a reliable supplier, outweighed the cost and risk involved in seeking alternative tenders.
Merridale has provided the Council with depot fuel dispensing equipment for the best part of a decade. Over this time fuel management by the council has moved from manual records to an office computer reporting system. In its latest iteration, as Merridale FuelWorks, it is now a web-based service, allowing multiple Council departments to access and share the fuel usage information.
An important benefit is that reports can be produced to help make more informed decisions about equipment procurement, driver training and fuel economy. Fuel usage also corelates to vehicle emissions and the fleet operations’ carbon footprint.
In addition to engineering support, maintenance and parking for the council’s fleet of refuse collection vehicles, the purpose-built depot consolidates the Waste and Street Scene service teams. The latter covers car parks, grass cutting, shrubs and hedges. The depot also houses training facilities and a specialist unit dedicated to following up cases of fly tipping.
The Merridale system provides us with the tools and functionality we need to monitor our fuel usage accurately.
“The depot fuelling point is based on a 20,000 litres storage tank which is twice the capacity of the former site,” explains Waste Administrator, Jayne Brown.
“Our current usage is around 6,000 litres of diesel a week. The advantage of having a larger tank is that we don’t have to re-order so frequently. This reduces administration and allows us additional flexibility in making purchasing decisions. We normally replenish stock, once a fortnight. These orders are usually around 14,000 litres, in order to keep the tank topped up.
“Most of this fuel is consumed by the council’s fleet of 29 refuse collection vehicles. The system operates on a vehicle identification fob which activates the pump. To complete the transaction each driver enters a PIN and the vehicle mileage odometer reading. Every transaction is recorded, and the data is then collected and processed to create weekly management reports by the Merridale FuelWorks system.
“We were already familiar with the functionality of the Merridale software. There was no need for training, and we could see the benefits of a web-based system in making the fuelling information readily available to the Accounts and any other council departments.
“Since we were already using Merridale vehicle ID fobs, we didn’t have to invest in new vehicle keys. The actual transition was seamless. All we had to do was Zip file the existing fleet database and pass it over to the Merridale support team. This was then pre-loaded onto the new system and all the vehicles were ready to fuel on day one, as the tank was filled and commissioned.
“Additional savings have been achieved by making this depot the principle fuelling point for all council vehicles. These include vans operated by the housing department which were fuelled previously at a higher cost by using retail filling stations. Three other general service vehicles have also been relocated to the new depot.
Jayne Brown concludes. “The Merridale system provides us with the tools and functionality we need to monitor our fuel usage accurately. The data on fuel usage can be used in many ways to help manage our fleet more efficiently and most importantly, as with all public bodies, we have to show that we have procedures in place to manage pollution and the impact our operations are making on the environment.