Flintshire County Council
Flintshire County Council has more than 400 vehicles in its fleet. Before 2003, the Council operated these vehicles from four main depots.
Processes for issuing fuel and monitoring fuel use were very different at these four main depots. This caused difficulties in controlling and accurately measuring fuel usage.
The Council used an automated fuel management system at some but not all of its depots. In addition, the system was also becoming dated with limited technical support.
In 2003, the Council rationalised its four depots into two main sites. The Council used this as an opportunity to rationalise its fuel control and monitoring systems. It invested in an updated version of their automated fuel management system and rolled this out across both sites.
Fuel control and monitoring processes are now consistent across the Council. Each vehicle has a unique key fob which must be entered into an electronic device on the fuel pump before fuel can be issued. The system also requires an accurate mileage reading to be entered before fuel is issued. These processes mean that fuel use can always be traced to individual vehicles.
The major benefits of this updated system have been in improving the control and monitoring arrangements.
For the first time, the Fleet Manager is able to aggregate all fuel information across the fleet and can remotely access centralised fuel management information.
Further developments in January 2008 mean the system now combines fuel use information from the depots with fuel use information collected through the use of fuel cards at petrol stations. This now gives the Fleet Manager a complete picture of fuel use for individual vehicles.
Other benefits include ease in producing monthly reports and in providing the data to be able to accurately calculate the fleet's carbon footprint.
The poor quality of data collected before the implementation of this system means that it is difficult to quantify any improvements in fuel usage as a result of this system. However the Fleet Manager suggests the system has been successful in identifying larger-than-expected fuel usage by individual vehicles and drivers so that action can be taken. There is also a general view that unauthorised journeys are not undertaken and fuel efficiency has generally improved.
The system has also allowed the Council to analyse whether particular emission-lowering modifications to vehicles have had a detrimental impact on fuel consumption. Analysis using the fuel management system confirmed that particulate traps used on the exhausts of a sample of the Council's refuse fleet have not increased fuel consumption. This has allowed the traps to be rolled out across the fleet.