Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash
Of all the problems that keep you up at night, maintaining your fuel island is not likely one of them. Fueling equipment maintenance is not fun. It is not sexy. Maintenance is not glamourous, but it is necessary. You have made the investment for a bulk fuel island in hopes of saving money on fuel. Ignoring the maintenance is not free to you.
An Ounce of Prevention is Economical
What is the cost of one hour for a driver? What is the cost of one hour for your truck? A driver delayed from fueling for one hour is not free.
To ensure your operations is not impacted by disruptions in your fuel availability, follow these preventative steps monthly:
- Change filters every 3 – 6 months. This will allow faster fueling reducing time spent at the pump. Do not wait until your filters completely clog.
- Inspect dispenser outer cabinet, displays, panels and hanging hardware for leakage, wear, or damage.
- Open lower dispenser door and check for signs of water intrusion.
- Check the hydraulics, dispenser product line connections, and shear valves for signs of leakage or damage.
- Visually inspect all spill containers and tank sumps for signs of damage, leakage, or water intrusion.
Understand that drivers need to be driving, and trucks need to be running for your business to operate. Take a little time each month dedicated to prevention. The cost of the cure will be far less fun.
Compliance Is Required
If you own and operate an underground storage tank, then the monthly inspection steps noted above are not optional to you. The EPA requires them. In addition, they require you to keep a record of them. When the state inspector visits, they expect to see monthly “UST Walk Through Inspection” records.
Designate someone to complete the Walk Through Inspection. Store the inspection records where you can quickly access them. If you worry about your team having the time and discipline to complete the inspection, then outsource it. Make sure you stay on the right side of compliance and avoid costly penalties.
Inexperience is Costly
Let us imagine a scenario. Let us pretend you are an experienced fleet supervisor. You have spent the last ten years of your career keeping your fleet on the road.
One day you are driving a company vehicle and notice a problem. You quickly assess the situation and take it to a preapproved mechanic for the repair. Since you know the approximate problem and are experienced, you also have a general idea on what to expect to pay for the repair.
Now let us envision a second scenario. You are a marketing executive with absolutely no understanding of auto mechanics. You are hard at work in your office when your sixteen-year-old calls you with a problem with their vehicle. Not knowing what to do and being unable to leave work you simply tell your sixteen-year-old to find a mechanic somewhere and have them fix the vehicle. You will pay the bill when the repair is complete.
Assuming each vehicle in these two scenarios has the same problem, which of the two scenarios will pay the most? Clearly, experience matters. Inexperience can be costly.
Does your team have the expertise to manage fueling equipment problems, or are they the equivalent of the sixteen-year-old child of a busy marketing executive? If you lack experience, partner with someone who can understand potential problems with your fueling system. Some can be addressed remotely at no cost to you. If a technician is needed, your partner can prepare the technician for what to expect and make the repair more efficient and less costly to you.
Pride Is Contagious
Where do you like to buy fuel for your vehicle? Do you prefer the modern station down the street that keeps its place clean and takes pride in its appearance.? Or do you prefer the rundown station across the street that is dingy and smells a few ticks worse than a high school locker room?
How do your drivers feel about using your fuel tank? Do they have the same sense of pride that the attendant at the new retail station exhibits, or are they more closely compared to the disengaged attendant behind the three inches of bullet proof glass at the other station?
This is not to suggest that properly maintaining your fuel island will solve your struggles with recruiting and maintaining drivers. However, every advantage helps. Take pride in your business. Your drivers will notice.
An easy way to address all problems with old faulty equipment is to work with a capable partner to handle them for you. Diversified Energy Supply’s experienced fuel equipment technicians can save you time and money by making sure your fuel island is properly maintained. You will be able to access all of your repair and compliance information using our industry leading customer portal, myFuel. Let us show you how.