Fuel Management Companies Look to Integrate with the CV Tyre Market
In the final edition of Commercial Tyre Business for 2016, our Editor David Wilson took a look at the integration of tyre and fuel management beginning to take place and the latest development in fuel management systems.
With the premium tyre manufacturers coming under increased pressure from the budget tyre sector, there is an ever-growing onus on the main players to justify the value of their products in terms of the cost savings that can be made across the whole of the fleet. The fuel savings that can be made, not only by fitting the right tyres, but by maintaining them correctly and keeping them properly inflated are indeed significant (tyres can effect up to 40% of fleet costs), so it is no surprise to find that moves are afoot to integrate tyre management systems proposed by tyre manufacturers and tyre fleet management specialists, with the systems offered by both the telematics providers and the suppliers of fuel management systems.
Discussions carried out by Commercial Tyre Business at the recent Eurobus exhibition in Birmingham with suppliers of equipment to the highly competitive fuel management sector, showed an increasing awareness of the fuel-saving capabilities of optimised tyre management and a realisation that the addition of tyre-related functions to their own equipment, could potentially provide the added value for fleet managers that they were all looking for.
There were seven or eight suppliers of fuel management systems at Eurobus, all displaying real-time fuel and fleet management systems capable of being integrated with tyre specific information.
Centaur Fuel Management Ltd’s top-of-the-range product is MCS’s Sapphire fleet management solution, which tracks every litre dispensed, monitors fuel consumption and manages driver performance, things that tyre companies are also looking to do via their tyre management systems. Cantaur’s Mark Cope explained that the system incorporates a money saving business tool called TSM, which incorporates real-time reports, updates and alerts. In the meantime, MCS have already integrated Kinesis Telematics into the TSM system to integrate vehicle tracking.
Triscan, the largest provider of fuel management systems in the UK, provides a segmented range of fuel management systems for various fleet sizes. Fuelsafe is the company’s solution for medium to large fleets. As Marketing Manager Jennifer Gill explained, this is used in conjunction with the company’s Supervisor fuel management software, which processes fuel data downloaded from the fuel controller to provide multi-site, multi-user access to a range of fuel reports featuring cost, MPG and audit data for individual vehicles or groups of vehicles, for any period required.
Tokheim’s Commercial Business Development Manager Nick Ellacot was also keen to talk about his company’s fuel management system and the opportunities offered by growing awareness of the link between tyre and fuel monitoring. DiaLOG is the name of Tokheim’s fuel management system. It is a web-based application, which means it is not necessary to install software to run it. It is also designed for fleets of all sizes. DiaLOG can be combined with SmartFuel, which is Tokheim’s automatic vehicle identification solution, which incorporates fuel authorisation based on vehicle identification. The system helps reduce fraud and helps operators reduce fuel costs across the fleet.
Meanwhile, Fuellink Systems’ Robbie McInnes was keen to explain the benefits of his company’s latest development, VINIE, a first-of-its-kind innovation, which allows vehicle identification, odometer transfer and vehicle fuel tank levels to be integrated with the company’s fuel management systems. Through Blue-tooth technology VINIE connects directly to the vehicle, allowing the transfer of the necessary data into the fuel management system. The company’s system FUELtran features a comprehensive vehicle fleet database including live and historic data, a two-way vehicle and driver messaging facility, full stock control including calculated stock levels, dips, deliveries and automatic tank gauge readings as well as automatic scheduled export of reports.
Also showing a strong presence at Eurobus was Timeplan, part of the Premier Group, who have been active in the fuel management sector since 1978 and now supply key clients such as Royal Mail and Arriva. General Manager Doreen Pooley pointed out that the company supplies the Sigma 750 Fuel Management unit combined with its Fuel Manager software package, which can provide a range of functions including stock level monitoring, multiple fuel and lubricant management, reports against targets, user, vehicle and site report options, the ability to support multiple users, flexible automatic polling, vehicle grouping, driver identification, exception reports and full tank low level and re-order level warnings.
During the next issue of Commercial Tyre Business, we will be investigating how specifically some of the key players in the fuel management sector have been co-operating with the tyre industry, in order to integrate the functionality of the monitoring tools marketed by the two market sectors – so watch this space.