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Top Oil and Gas Industry Fleet Expenses [And How to Reduce Them] Rastrac Team | Jan 3, 2019 12:32:00 PM

Fleet vehicles are essential to an oil and gas company’s operations. As a key contributor to a company’s revenue, oil and gas fleet managers manage different fleet expenses to ensure a fleet vehicle’s efficiency. According to Oilman Magazine, the top-ranked fleet expenses for most oil and gas companies are:

  • Operation of fleet vehicle
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Fuel costs
  • Insurance

One priority for oil and gas fleet managers is to reduce fleet expenses. The most beneficial solution integrates fleet management software and fleet tracking devices to monitor a company’s daily fleet operations.

Installing a fleet tracking device in all oil and gas company vehicles allows fleet managers to retrieve data and access information logs on a fleet vehicle’s performance— thereby offering insight into where possible reductions can be made to overall fleet expenses. Here are just some of the ways fleet management software and their tracking devices contribute to reducing and managing oil and gas companies’ fleet expenses:

Monitor Bad Driving Behavior

The transporting and delivering of petroleum products for oil and gas companies is a huge responsibility that is inherently dangerous. This is why oil and gas fleet managers must be sure that fleet drivers are operating their vehicles with extreme caution. An accident involving petroleum products can endanger the lives of everyone on the roadway, including the driver, and can increase an oil and gas company’s fleet expenses if the fleet vehicle sustains heavy damage.

How a fleet vehicle is operated is largely dictated by an employee’s driving behaviors. By using fleet management software, a fleet manager gains complete visibility over the actions of their fleet drivers and can accurately monitor:

  • When a driver has arrived or departed from a location
  • Acceleration and deceleration rates
  • Driving speeds
  • Hard braking
  • Turning events

With this data, a fleet manager can make notes of reckless driving behaviors and reach out to their drivers to correct any issues. This helps keep fleet expenses down by minimizing the risk of accidents while also providing the most accurate information for first responders in case of an emergency.

Set Up Maintenance Scheduling

An oil and gas fleet vehicle must always be properly maintained. Adhering to preventative maintenance strategies and routine inspections help tremendously, but an incident can still happen in between inspections. The time that it can take for the fleet vehicle to undergo an unplanned service for repair is time taken away from the daily operations of oil and gas companies and their fleet drivers. This also creates an unnecessary fleet expense because of an unscheduled repair job.

With fleet management software and fleet tracking devices, an oil and gas fleet manager can collect data that tracks a vehicle’s performance. Certain diagnostics can alert fleet management when fleet vehicles are in need of services like an oil change or tire rotation, and can offer data on areas of the vehicle that need scheduled maintenance. Some of the diagnostic features fleet management software can monitor include:

  • Equipment diagnostics (temperature, engine RPMs, etc.)
  • Activation time and total activation time
  • Flow rates
  • Distance traveled

This information can help keep small fixes from becoming larger and more expensive ones, effectively reducing extra additions to maintenance fleet expenses. It also ensures equipment and asset safety by avoiding the risk of operational failure from your oil and gas fleet vehicle.

Reducing Fuel Costs

An article from Fleet Financials states that service fleets burn about half a gallon of fuel every hour— and that a fleet vehicle’s average idle time is somewhere between three to four hours a day. With this information, it can be calculated that fleet vehicles burn about a gallon and a half to two gallons every day, simply by idling for extended periods of time.

For oil and gas companies, the fuel costs alone contribute significantly to their fleet expenses, and fleet management software is the best solution to help reduce fuel fleet expenses. In addition to monitoring a fleet vehicle's tank level, oil and gas fleet tracking devices can track mileage on both highways and private roads for better fuel tax data. Oil and gas fleet managers can also upload custom maps to provide more accurate off-road live tracking capabilities.

Another feature of Rastrac’s fleet management software that can significantly help reduce idle times is Rastrac’s geofencing tool. The geofencing tool allows fleet managers to set up virtual perimeters around specific locations or along specific travel routes. If a driver enters or leaves the designated route or area, an email or text message is immediately sent to alert the fleet manager of any movement.

Help Reduce Insurance Rates

Due to the risk and dangers associated with industry operations, oil and gas companies often have higher premiums and need specialized insurance. A number of these specialized insurance policies are tailored towards the specific equipment used by the oil and gas industry— but other policies can cover for potential environmental and safety risks exclusive to the industry.

Naturally, paying for several different oil and gas insurance policies can quickly hike fleet expenses. However, utilizing fleet management software with your fleet operations could allow oil and gas companies to qualify for lower insurance rates. Insurance agencies recognize that companies using fleet management software are taking initiative into promoting safer working conditions and minimizing the risk of accidents or injury.

With fleet management software and tracking devices, oil and gas companies can potentially lower insurance premiums and reduce risks increasing fleet expenses by:

  • Keeping claims to a minimum due to fewer accidents;
  • Installing anti-theft measures to protect fleet vehicles and assets; and
  • Tracking maintenance needs to avoid costly fleet repairs.

While it’s important to note that a premium discount isn’t guaranteed, it’s worth checking with your insurance provider to see whether they offer discounted premium rates for using fleet management software and tracking devices!

The oil and gas companies face many fleet expenses— but with fleet management software and tracking devices, you can reduce and save money on yours. Rastrac offers a variety of fleet tracking devices that can match the needs of oil and gas companies. For more information about our fleet management solutions, contact one of our project consultants today!

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