Having seen a few posts lately in social media groups I belong to, I decided to chime in on the area of fuel discounts. It is something that everyone should be taking advantage of and nearly everyone, regardless of fleet size can qualify for. Believe me, I have heard all the excuses out there for owner operators to not have a fuel card, but none of them seems to outweigh some of the upfront savings I get for me and my drivers with our discounted fueling network card!
Being a localized regional carrier for the most part, you would be correct in assuming that we generally fuel at the same stops all the time and at regular intervals. Even when I was in a more OTR and long regional application though, I still found myself on runs where I could generally hit the same stops with regular frequency. I though being localized would be a disadvantage in attaining a discount card, but what I found was quite the contrary. Having increased to a small fleet, I wanted to provide a benefit for my owner-operators like many OTR O/O’s get and found out that with our cumulative volume, we could get a substantial discount when compared to the truck stop cash price we were paying, which was usually in the form of individual debit and credit payments.
I was able to find a local Southern California based fueling card supplier that offered a robust national fueling network with unbelievable discounts for a small fleet like ours. With our P-Fleet cards we can purchase discounted fuel within the CFN/Fuelman nationwide network, while still getting cash price at major truck stops if the need should arise in an emergency. It offers net terms, no transaction fees for use and no annual fee. If you’ve followed my articles for any amount of time you know I’m a numbers guy and numbers don’t lie. My most recent fill up at $3.357 per gallon, versus $3.799 at our old usual mom & pop truck stop and $4.059 at the nearest major truck stop, shows the proof is in the puddin’! At that big of an offset in discounted price, one could imagine realizing several thousand dollars in savings a year easily!
I wouldn’t say “pick a card, any card” just to have one, but if you don’t have some sort of discount fueling card, consider our observations using P-Fleet as a nudge to do so. I know some that would argue rewards points for vacations and gift cards on credit cards outweigh paying an inflated credit price, or even some that are just fearful of adding another card to their portfolio of current obligations, but believe me that discounts like what I’m seeing will be the best option. No matter whether your operation is one truck or ten, there is a discount card for you through many different channels, ranging from dedicated fuel network providers like ours to ones being offered by regularly used brokers as well. If you don’t utilize this easy to attain tool that should be in everyone’s business toolbox, you are literally throwing money away with each and every fill up!