North Liberty, Indiana. Arden, North Carolina. Hamilton, Ontario. Avon Lake, Ohio. Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
What do all of those locations have in common? They are just a few of the places across the US and Canada where fuel was delivered incorrectly into underground storage tanks at gas stations and truck stops. The issue, it appears, happens more often than you may realize.
EMC Insurance Companies, a property/casualty organization, explained the consequences when the wrong fuel is dispensed into a tank. “Fuel delivery may seem like a simple task, but small mistakes can create big problems with big price tags,” it noted in Loss Control Insights for Petroleum Marketers. “These 'misdeliveries' can cause extensive damage with price tags totaling thousands.”
Most fuel delivery errors are preventable. Color coding and labeling of fill spouts can make identifying the correct tank easy for drivers. Tanker fleet management can help by providing training and checklists.
“Incorrect deliveries can happen when you have a carrier or drivers without knowledge of a facility’s tanks. Problems crop up when the lids over the fill caps are not replaced correctly. And, there can be trouble if the labels or colors have worn off. In addition, drivers have been known to make errors when it’s dark and hard to see,” said Joe Ezzo, product manager for Energy at Trimble Transportation.
“Those mistakes can easily add up in expensive vehicle repairs, and the cost to pump out the tank, flush lines and send the fuel back to a refinery to be separated."
Technology to Keep You ‒ and Your Fuel ‒ on the Level
Prevention, however, does not have to require a large investment; a new tool is now available that immediately flags potential problems for carriers. It’s called Cross Dump Notification and it’s now part of the latest release of TMWSuite’s Fuel Dispatch software.
Carriers using the new Cross Dump Notification feature have the ability to adjust the tolerance percentage in set increments from as low as 5% to as high as 50%. Readings are based on automatic tank gauge sensors used for inventory management, regulatory compliance and leak detection.
Before its release, the new feature was thoroughly tested in conjunction with Titan Cloud software, which interacts with tanks, dispensers and sensors for facility fuel management. Using tank polling data supplied by the provider from five of its customer locations, Trimble was able to verify that hourly readings integrated with TMWSuite Fuel Dispatch were accurate and reliable.
“Cross Dump Notification would have caught the delivery errors in all of those places and in many more instances,” Ezzo stated. “It uses built-in logic to compare increases in hourly tank gauge readings to the dispatched order.
If a rise in volume cannot be matched to a delivery order for the same time frame, the dispatcher is notified that the wrong product may have been put into a tank. The ability to immediately stop dispensing fuel can prevent costly vehicle damage, possible liability and the need to put an entire fleet of vehicles out of service.”
Optimize the Fuel Delivery Process with Trimble
The headaches caused by errors in the fuel delivery process are painful. But, they are preventable.
Contact us today to get more information on Trimble’s TMWSuite Fuel Dispatch software and how we can enhance how you manage fuel deliveries and optimize all aspects of your transportation organization.