What Is a Fuel Log Sheet?
A fuel log sheet monitors fuel consumption. It is vital for keeping track of fuel price per gallon and gallons purchased, cost per mile, starting fuel, ending fuel, distance travelled, total mileage, and odometer readings.
There are numerous reasons for recording fuel consumption. It can be used for fuel cost management, reporting and calculating IFTA (International Fuel Tax Association) tax, improving driving habits, and preventing fuel theft or leakage.
Being one of the top spend categories in fleet management companies, controlling fuel spend is imperative. Many organizations prepare a fuel log because unmonitored fuel consumption can cost a lot. Fuel overconsumption can hurt your business profits.
This article covers the following topics:
Why Is a Fuel Log Sheet Needed?
A fuel log sheet keeps track of fuel consumption. It is essential for monitoring fuel expenditure on a weekly or daily basis. There are numerous reasons a business will need to keep fuel logs. One of the most obvious is cost control or cost planning.
Fleet managers reported in 2019 that fuel accounted for 24 per cent of their total fleet costs. Being one of the biggest expenses for fleet management businesses, minimizing fuel costs can mean significant savings.
Many factors affect fuel costs, such as your location, government regulations, and economic factors. Fuel logs can give you access to relevant fuel data and usage metrics. Using a fuel log sheet can help you identify issues and reduce fuel-related expenses.
Let’s find out how a fuel log sheet can help improve your fleet management business.
Ways a Fuel Log Sheet Can Help Your Business
One of the prime reasons a fuel log sheet is dispensable to many businesses, especially fleet management, is cost savings. Fuel logs are an essential part of fuel management, which is key to improved efficiency.
Here are some of the most crucial ways a fuel log sheet can help you reduce expenses and increase efficiency.
Improving Driver Behavior
Driving within the speed limit is an effective way to improve fuel efficiency. After 50 mph, fuel economy declines at a rate of $0.20 per gallon for every five. Going faster than 50 mph means wasted fuel because engines are optimized for travel at the speed limit.
Fuel logs can help pinpoint vehicle speeding. Such information helps you understand and promote good driving practices.
A fuel log sheet can also help reduce idling time. For example, long-haul trucks usually idle for up to eight hours per day. When a truck is left idling, it uses up to 7/10 of a gallon of fuel per hour. Wasted fuel from idling can accumulate into a hefty expense.
Fuel log sheet data also help fleet managers identify drivers who need further training or coaching. Various training programs can help achieve the desired results.
For example, driver coaching uses automatic alerts that detect certain driving behavior. You can add the information to your fuel log sheet, and it will help you better understand the problem. From there you will know what skills your driver needs to improve.
Driver training and coaching can be beneficial to your company. It can reduce fleet-related costs and help create a good reputation by reducing accidents and injuries.
Fleet managers can identify and then reward good driver behavior by leveraging fuel logbook data. Information about idling and speed allows fleet managers to measure changes over time. They can find out about inefficient or abnormal activity and make smart decisions based on reliable data.
Scheduling Preventive Maintenance
Vehicle maintenance and repair is one of the most important items in a fleet managers checklist. Making sure that your vehicles are in tip-top condition can mean a world of difference. It can turn you into a successful business rather than a failing enterprise.
You can ensure vehicle optimal performance if your trucks undergo regular preventive maintenance. When vehicles are working at their best, you minimize fuel consumption, prevent accidents, avoid compliance issues, and boost driver and customer confidence. It also helps reduce expenses because preventive maintenance is cheaper than reactive maintenance.
Fleet managers can use preventive maintenance to proactively avoid or reduce vehicle breakdowns. Scheduling vehicle maintenance can be based on mileage or gallons of fuel used. Preventive maintenance may consist of vehicle inspection, worn parts replacement, lubrication, cleaning, adjustment, testing, and repair.
Some of the most important components to assess during vehicle preventive maintenance are:
- Aerodynamic devices
- Air compressors
- Air conditioning
- Electrical systems
- Engine cooling
- Fuel filter systems
- Intake/exhaust system and diesel particulate filters
- Lubricants/engine oil
- Wheel alignment
It is challenging to rely on drivers to take charge of their vehicle maintenance. Fuel logbook data can help you plan the best time for performing vehicle maintenance.
Preventing Fuel Theft
Fuel theft is another expense that a fuel log sheet help minimize. There are various ways fuel can be stolen.
Fraudulent fuel card skimming can occur when thieves attach a device to a payment terminal in a gas station to steal your information.
Siphoning is the removal of fuel from the fuel tank in the truck or the fuel storage tank and then transferred into a container or another vehicle.
You can evaluate fuel consumption for each trip using your fuel log sheet. Doing so can help you find out about discrepancies between fueling and fuel consumption.
Streamlining Fuel Tax Reporting
A fuel log sheet can make it easy to perform fuel tax reporting. Under the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), some countries require fleets with large vehicles to submit quarterly tax returns. Proper documentation is key to the easy filing of tax returns.
Your fuel logbook should be able to tell the number of miles that your vehicles travel. Without a fuel log sheet, it can be a time-consuming task.
Fuel logs improve efficiency and save fleets money. But they also empower fleet managers to focus on their vehicles, drivers, and future instead of getting stuck in fuel costs and IFTA reporting. When you have real-time data on what’s happening in your fleet, you can understand the right ways to improve your fuel management.
Use a Mobile App for Your Fuel Log Sheet
Paper-based fuel logbooks are cumbersome for data collection. Creating a paper fuel logbook is challenging for any inspector because it is impossible to attach photo evidence easily. In addition, the loss of paper documents can lead to unresolved problem cases on time. With Lumiform’s mobile app, they can easily use the checklists on-site and access their data at any time.
Switching to a digital tool offers companies and their employees many more benefits that they can take advantage of in their daily work. Here are some of them:
- Get access to an extensive selection of templates in the template library and use them immediately.
- Easily create car service checklists with the form builderand customize them at any time with drag-and-drop ease.
- Select answer types such as multiple choice, checkbox, yes/no, or long and short text answers in your checklist to ensure you get the data you need.
- Add photos and annotations during an inspection to make your results more descriptive.
- Assign corrective actions with priority levels from the app so incidents are addressed and fixed in order of urgency.
- Automatically generatereports so you can immediately share information with your team and clients.