There are many reasons to consider a fuel program when you’re running a trucking business. Fuel programs can be convenient for your driver and save you money, which cuts your operating costs. What should you consider as you select a fuel program provider for your business?
Total Fuel Program Savings
The main reason businesses look into fuel card programs? Discounts. Too often this is all businesses consider. The possibility of saving eight cents off a gallon of gas may be enticing, but you should also contemplate the extra cost of drivers going off route to find a participating cash station. Find out if the discount is off the credit price, cash price or pump price. And finally, check if the discount is consistent so you can plan and budget. If the discount is random, the discount can sometimes not be available to your current lanes. Always ask questions to ensure understanding.
Number of Fueling Locations
Many fuel programs have relationships allowing cards to work at various fueling locations. Ask yourself what you need for your business. Independent, regional, and large national truck stops have their advantages and disadvantages, so consider your needs. Are your trucks on the road for weeks at a time and in need of fueling locations that aren’t only in rural places? Is a full-service truck stop necessary for your business if your drivers don’t spend nights on the road?
Card Program Advantages
There are only a few card banks in the fuel card industry, and each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you understand each one and find out what they offer you and your business.
Some cards require pre-pay methods, others may require a secured line of credit. Read the card agreement and be aware of the terms and payment requirements.
Truck Stop Loyalty Programs
Some truck stops offer reward programs, which allow you to earn reward points to use at participating stops for reserved parking, meals and more. But all of these programs vary from provider to provider. Review all of the rewards offered.
Research reviews about the fuel program’s customer service. Make sure they are easily accessible and knowledgeable. Customer reviews are valuable to you as you make your choice.
Fuel card reporting is an advantage to tracking your costs and savings. Check to see if the card program offers reporting in a convenient way.
If you require extra services such as maintenance, repair, tire discounts, access to load boards and more, make sure your fuel card program can provide these services to you and your team.
Fuel programs are so much more than a discount on fuel.
Your business needs a program that will not only provide great discounts, but will also deliver value to your company.
Make sure you follow these tips and ask questions as you research the fuel program that works for you.
The England Carrier Services (ECS) division offers a variety of services for carriers ranging from maintenance to support. As ECS members, carriers have access to nationwide discounts on fuel and tires from dedicated team members who are committed to finding the best price. ECS also provides factoring services with benefits such as same-day funding to a bank account or fuel card. These options allow carriers the freedom to focus on growing their business while saving time and money.