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Monday, August 1, 2011

5 Suggestions to Prevent Fuel Theft

There are two types of fuel theft, one from a thief that acts alone or with a group and raids the tanks of parked trucks, the second is incremental fuel fraud from within the company where employees use inventive tactics to steal diesel unnoticed. The first can cost a manager anywhere from 500 to 1500 euros a truck in one night and the second will cost 1500 per truck for the entire year. Here are five investments in time and money, when used in conjunction, greatly reduce the risk of fuel theft from occurring.

1. Maintain clear accounting of your fuel expenditures:

Thieves are ingenious and there are always ways to steal small incremental amounts of fuel. Managers can stop this fraud is to have clear accounting procedures by keeping historical driving records of their vehicles compared against their overall expenses at the filling station. This is one strategy that is quite time-consuming and sometimes difficult to prove due to how different terrains and cargo can influence the rate of fuel consumption.

2. Use an anti-fuel theft device:

Fuel theft is usually achieved with a siphon, so the easiest way to combat fuel theft is with an anti-siphoning device that fits onto the inside of your tank entrance or by having a locking gas cap. These two ways limit the ability to siphon diesel, but will not deter the more determined thief armed with a drill to make a hole in the fuel tank or tear apart the fuel valve of your truck. As a further countermeasure, reinforced tanks and valves have been developed, but to limited effect.

3. Park vehicles in secure parking zones:

For fuel theft, the general idea is that trucks at rest are at danger, so when going for the long haul, one must be vigilant for thieves using the cover of night to siphon fuel. These places can be guarded by security officers, CCTV cameras, should be well lighted and guarded by reinforced fencing. While this solution may seem easy, it is also expensive, which secure trucking oftentimes costing as much as a hotel night. In Europe, there is a simple portal for finding a place to park your vehicle with variable search elements and easy navigation on the website at Truck Inform

4. Use background checks and employment tests on all prospective drivers:

For any company, this is an absolute must and seems pretty clear, but many companies don't have the capability to test properly. Job knowledge tests are important to gauge the ability of the driver, but the best way to be informed about the drivers reactions to different situations is a situational judgement test, whereby a multiple choice answer is given by the test taker in response to a question that can gauge the morality and decision-making of a prospect. Lastly, given the ability of an employer to make a background check, take this possibility as the first step in eliminating future employees that could end up stealing diesel or more.

5. Use telematics to constantly monitor your fuel level:

This solution uses the relatively new field of telematics or machine to machine (m2m) communication to prevent fuel theft. A GPS-enabled device collects data on total fuel added at refilling, the amount consumed per trip and any special incidences where there is considerable loss of fuel. This allows the manager to stop fuel theft stemming from employees by objectively monitoring fuel consumption and also to stop fuel theft with an alarm that sends an SMS of the trucks location so the manager can immediately send police or security forces. While there is no sure-fire way to combat fuel theft, these tips will be sure to lower the risk of loss from diesel theft and the repair damage associated with it.

To find out more about telematics and how it can stop fuel theft while saving you money, making fleet management simpler and reducing fuel consumption, visit

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