The most valuable product at a petrol station is fuel. From a financial perspective you don’t want to be losing fuel. You also don’t want to be losing fuel because you may be inadvertently causing environmental damage to your site and surrounding area.
Physical fuel loss comes from various sources, almost all of which can be prevented with the correct measures put in place. The first step to remedying any fuel lossn is to be able to identify the source.
In this article, we’ll explain the most common reasons you may be experiencing fuel loss at your petrol station.
#1: Storage Tank Leaks
Storage tank leaks are the most common and most urgent source of fuel loss. They can be caused by issues such as corrosion, tank shifting, or failing pipes. In addition to the environmental hazards and regulatory repercussions, you could find yourself facing customer dissatisfaction as well as a hit to your bottom line. Implementing automatic tank gauges or alarm management services are just some of the solutions to prevent leaks. All petrol station operators should be reporting their fuel inventory to a third party (SIRA). ServoPro members have access to special pricing for this service.
#2: Meter Drift
Meters are put in place to measure the amount of fuel you’re dispensing accurately, but like anything else, wear and tear over time can affect the accuracy. Regular use of fuel dispensing equipment can compromise readings in the long run, so having your fuel pumps or dispensers calibrated regularly can ensure proper measurements. We would recommend having your fuel pumps calibrated by a qualified technician every 6 months.
Depending on your location, the climate can cause fuel to expand or contract in both the storage tank and the delivery truck. When temperatures are cold, the fuel will contract before delivery and cause a variance between the amount of fuel you receive and the amount you are billed for. If temperatures are warmer above ground than they are below ground, a fuel delivery may contract inside your tank, giving the appearance of fuel loss without any delivery discrepancy. It is important that you understand this when reconciling your fuel stock.
#4: Delivery Discrepancy
There’s always the possibility that all the fuel in the delivery truck didn’t make its way into your storage tank. Not necessarily intentionally- human error happens. So, how do you protect yourself from paying more for less? Implementing proper technology to confirm the bill-of-lading will protect your fuel assets, ensure you’re getting what you pay for, and reduce future fuel loss. It is good practice to be around when you are receiving a fuel delivery to observe the process.
Unfortunately, theft is a common issue faced by petrol station owners. Credit card fraud is a regular occurrence for business owners, but thieves have found creative ways to steal fuel. They can siphon fuel directly from your underground storage tanks, bypass dispense meters, or simply drive away before paying at the pump. Adding security measures such as cameras can help deter theft attempts and monitor any other suspicious behavior.
We are here to help
If you require any help and advice with regards to fuel loss, feel free to reach out for some advice. We can advise you on the best course of action and any discussions we have are fully confidential.