When you’re talking fuel management or fueling your own car, isn’t your time worth something? I stopped the other day to fill up my Honda Accord with gasoline. It was a little busy at the Shell station, though it was 2:30 in the afternoon and regular gasoline was $2.799 a gallon.
I did pay at the pump for fuel buying and filled the car with just over 13 gallons for my fleet fuel buying. As I left, I realized just how long the whole fuel buying experience took me. Of course being a fuel consultant, I have done fleet fueling time test studies. I know I have also observed my own fuel planning before but this just seem different.
My experience took me 14 minutes in total fuel buying time. The time it took at the fuel dispensing island was 7 minutes to buy fuel. Think about this, you get out of the car, you take off your gas cap, put your fleet fuel card into the fuel card reader, a few seconds goes by and it says begin fuel buying. The flow from the fuel pump (by law) , can not run any faster than 10 gallons per minute but most places are closer to 6 ½ gallons a minute. I put my 13 gallons of gas into my fuel tank, selected I didn’t want a car wash and also selected I didn’t want a fuel receipt (as the owner I didn’t need one but a good fuel management program, you should have your fleet fueling get a receipt), then I got back into my car, started it up and away I went. That was 7 minutes of my time. The other 7 minutes came from getting to the gas station, finding a fuel dispenser that wasn’t occupied and getting back on the road.
Certainly, I wasn’t getting paid by anyone for my fleet fueling experience when I was buying fuel. It was 14 minutes of my life that I would have rather spent doing just about anything else. I can tell you this, as a fuel consulting person I wanted to get in and out and quick as possible. When you’re doing fleet management and how long you think it takes your hourly driver to pull into a location and fleet fuel your truck, I would say think again that it’s only taking them a few minutes. I am going to do some new fleet fueling studies on a few of our clients over the next several weeks. If you were to ask me today, how long it takes a truck to pull into a fuel location and fleet fuel the vehicle, I would want to know 3 items. Does the driver get paid hourly? Does the place they are fleet fueling have a store or something to buy coffee or something? Is the driver being closely managed in your fleet management program?
I believe to pull a truck into a fuel location, pump 40 gallons of fuel and get on the road. It takes at least 15 minutes to complete the fleet fueling. I think for each of the 3 items above add at least 5 extra minutes for your fleet fueling experience. That means if your driver is hourly add 5 minutes, if they stop at a location with a store add 5 minutes and if you’re not closing watching driver’s time through GPS or by delivery windows like FedEx or UPS adds 5 minutes. By the time your driver is done fleet fueling their truck, it just cost your company more than 30 minutes.
From your fuel consulting guy, who happens uses his own fleet fueling card to fuel his car. Time is Money! Are You Fueling Good?