Within days of installing a depot fuel storage monitoring unit for trials, a Merridale support engineer received a text message from the system showing that the customer’s tank contents were dropping at an unusual rate. This timely alert enabled the customer to disrupt a fuel theft incident which was actually in progress on his premises.
The publication of shocking statistics by the Police Authorities reveal that fuel theft is a serious problem with a total recorded value of £1,469,354 for the year 2015. Hardest hit was Greater Manchester with 3,804 incidents recorded during 2015. Whilst this report covers a variety of crimes, including retail filling stations, there are many cases involving commercial transport operators.
“The publication of shocking statistics by the Police Authorities reveal that fuel theft is a serious problem with a total recorded value of £1,469,354 for the year 2015. Hardest hit was Greater Manchester with 3,804 incidents recorded during 2015.”
Fuel is stolen from vehicles and storage tanks using siphoning equipment that can vary from basic tubes to more sophisticated arrangements involving pumps and the cutting of fuel lines. More recently however, the problem has escalated, with large thefts being made directly from depot bulk-storage tanks.
These thefts are far more sophisticated and involve long-term planning, resources, and a vehicle capable of transporting the large volumes being stolen. This type of attack is usually repetitive, with thousands of litres being stolen every few days. If not detected quickly, this can continue for weeks resulting in tens or hundreds of thousands of litres of fuel being stolen.
A full Merridale fuel management package includes high-accuracy tank contents monitoring. This, combined with the Merridale FuelWorks service, can now provide warnings of any unauthorised or unexpected drop in the contents level of the bulk-storage tank. If a theft appears to be in progress, FuelWorks will send real-time alerts by both email and text message, to designated personnel. These alerts will continue periodically until the stock level has stopped dropping.
Stock loss warnings
For customers with earlier generation Merridale tank gauges, or management systems that do not have this capability, FuelWorks will still carry out a reconciliation process after the end-of-day dip. This has also been enhanced to detect any unexplained drop in fuel, and should any serious discrepancy be detected, users set up to receive Tank Alarms Alerts will receive a warning by email.
Whilst this is not as immediate as the real-time stock monitoring – it notifies after the event and not as it happens – it does however, provide older installations with a method of warning the site manager that something untoward may be happening with their fuel stock.
If customers need assistance with configuring alerts in FuelWorks, they can contact the Merridale help desk. For customers using older systems, there are always upgrade routes. Further information can be obtained from the Merridale sales office.