For trucking companies, fuel is one of the most significant expenses. Fuel cards can help control spending, get discounts and streamline IFTA filings.
They also provide detailed reporting and fraud protection features. But not all fuel cards are the same, so it’s important to choose wisely. Here are five essential factors to consider.
A fuel card works much like any other credit or debit card but offers more control and savings. They’re accommodating for fleets because they help simplify budgeting and expense management processes. Access to reports detailing purchases, locations, and price paid per gallon helps identify cost trends. This helps owner-operators and fleet managers determine what routes may be more profitable and where they need to improve efficiency and cut costs.
Many fuel cards offer additional features that can streamline operations, including partner discounts for truck accessories, maintenance, hotels, and emergency services. They can also be PIN-protected, which reduces the risk of fraud and theft. Choosing the right trucking company fuel cards can save time and money for trucking companies of any size, from small to large fleets. It can even eliminate the need to collect and process paper receipts, which can help minimize paperwork and administrative tasks. Additionally, some cards are easier to get for truckers with bad credit since they’re prepaid and don’t require a credit check. This can help make it easier for them to start or grow their trucking business.
When choosing a fuel card for your trucking company, you don’t want to take chances with providers who lack industry experience. With the plethora of logistical, personnel, and financial issues that freight transportation companies face daily, a fuel card provider with significant industry knowledge can make or break your business.
In addition to offering significant fuel discounts, the right fuel card can save time by allowing fleet managers to set spending controls, streamline IFTA reporting, and more. When selecting your next fuel card, look for a provider with a robust network, fleet management tools, and security features.
Ideally, your trucking company will select a card that can be used at any station nationwide. This allows your drivers to get the best possible prices on fuel and gives you peace of mind that they are spending their money at legitimate stations. In addition, the correct card should offer a driver support line that is easy for your drivers to reach and provides fast solutions to any problems they may encounter while on the road.
Fuel cards offer a higher level of security than credit cards. They utilize EMV chips, which generate a unique code each time your driver swipes to pay for fuel. This prevents fraudulent purchases and helps to protect your company’s assets on the road.
In addition, top-tier fuel cards for small businesses often require driver IDs and odometer readings before allowing a transaction to be processed. They also may include geolocation, station, and engine control unit (ECU) data, which can help to identify potential theft or fraud.
These safety and security features help minimize the amount of time fleet managers spend on accounting administration. They can also reduce or eliminate the need for paper receipts and allow for odometer tracking, which can help improve driver efficiency. Some cards even provide automated IFTA reporting. This can save you time and money on paperwork and tax filings. Additionally, some fuel cards can offer a wide range of cash advance options, which can be particularly helpful for owner-operators who need quick access to cash while on the road.
Fleet fuel cards eliminate the need for truck drivers to carry wades of cash vulnerable to theft and reduce administrative expenses associated with reimbursements. They also allow managers to monitor, score, and compare driver purchasing behavior, identifying routes and fuel stops that offer the most significant cost savings.
In addition to fuel, some cards offer discounts for maintenance, roadside assistance, and convenience store purchases. Many provide an online account that includes real-time, detailed reporting and provides a wealth of information to help streamline accounting processes such as quarterly IFTA filings.
Look for a card that allows you to limit individual drivers’ purchase behavior, such as the day and time they can fuel or which types of products (fuel only vs. fuel and convenience store). Some cards even enable you to choose a specific odometer entry date so the company can control how far each driver drives between fill-ups. The right fuel card can help you achieve significant daily, weekly, and yearly savings on diesel. The most successful trucking companies have implemented programs that meet their unique business goals.
Whether you are a fleet manager managing 1000 vehicles or an owner-operator looking to reduce expenses, fuel cards can be an essential tool for your trucking business. When choosing a card, look for one that offers significant discounts on the cost of diesel and features to streamline other operations. These include providing consolidated reports that eliminate the need to keep physical receipts, offering automated IFTA reports and spending limits for individual drivers, and much more.
As you evaluate different cards, it’s also important to consider how extensive the network is. A large network ensures you can get the best fuel deal at stations along your routes and will save you from paying more than you need to.
In addition to fuel savings, look for a card that can offer other types of discounts, such as on tires, repairs, document scanning, lodging, and more. Some programs bundle a fuel discount with other powerful financial tools, like freight factoring and flexible lines of credit, to provide additional support for your trucking company and improve profitability.