Fuel purchases account for a large portion of owner-operators’ operational expenses. Controlling these costs will help your trucking company improve its bottom line.
A fuel card works much like a credit card and offers many benefits for fleet owners, such as avoiding hidden fees and simplifying IFTA reporting. It provides more control and security than a regular card and can save time, energy, and money by eliminating the need to keep receipts.
Commercial truck fuel cards are a payment system for purchasing diesel and other transport-related items at truck stops and gas stations. It can save time and money for truckers and freight companies compared to paying cash. In addition to allowing drivers to pay for fuel and other expenses with a single transaction, these cards often come with tools to help monitor over-the-road expenditures and streamline IFTA tax reporting.
Choosing the right fuel card for your company can make all the difference in saving time and money. It’s essential to consider the acceptance network, discounts and partnerships, and other benefits before selecting a card. For example, choosing a card with an extensive acceptance network will allow drivers to save time by not finding a specific brand or location along their route. Choosing a card that offers real-time spending reports through an online account is also helpful, which can be used for both long-term budgeting and short-term expense monitoring.
When used correctly, fuel cards are just like credit cards, meaning truck drivers can pay for fuel using a line of credit and then pay the balance later. This eliminates the need for cash or receipts and cuts down on administrative costs incurred by handling reimbursement requests.
A fuel card also offers a range of other benefits that can help trucking companies save money and improve profitability. For example, many cards offer fraud protection through enhanced authentication techniques and automated IFTA reporting. Some fuel cards can also provide discounts on trucking-related expenses such as tires, repairs, lodging, and food and beverages at partnering truck stops.
It’s essential to choose the right fuel card for your needs. For instance, if your fleet travels across several states or regions, you’ll want to select a card with a network that covers your route area. This will maximize savings and give your drivers more flexibility on the road. In addition, choosing a card with IFTA reporting can simplify the paperwork for filing quarterly fuel tax reports.
The trucking industry is notorious for its low-profit margins, so any opportunity to save money must be taken advantage of. Fuel cards offer substantial savings on diesel fuel, one of the most significant expenses a trucking company incurs. This benefit alone can help distinguish between a positive and negative profit margin.
Essentially functioning like a debit card, truck drivers swipe their fuel card at the pump or fuel desk, and their purchase is instantly deducted from a prepaid amount monitored by the card provider’s system. This eliminates the need to keep receipts and provides transparency between the truck driver and those in the office.
Besides allowing for easy tracking of purchases, many fuel card providers also offer other fleet management tools that can save trucking companies time and energy. These additional features can include automated IFTA reporting, expense tracking, and more. As a result, truckers can focus more on the road and less on administrative tasks.
As a fleet manager, you need to be able to track and control fuel expenses. Fuel cards help streamline and manage your transportation company’s operations. They allow you to set specific driver purchase restrictions to minimize personal spending and maximize fuel discounts. This enables you to increase overall savings and reduce your operating costs.
Fuel cards work like credit cards, allowing truckers to swipe their card at the pump to pay for fuel. A trucking company can also reload them with funds, reducing cash outlay at the pump.
While there are many different fleet fuel cards, evaluating them all against the following criteria is essential. Consider factors like account maintenance fees, transaction fees, custom reporting, and out-of-network refueling fees. In addition to these financial elements, select a card offering the right customer support level. If you have a question about your card or the purchase status, you should be able to get someone on the phone right away.
Regardless of whether you’re an owner-operator with one truck or a fleet manager overseeing 100+ vehicles, the fuel cost is often your company’s most significant expense. As such, finding ways to save on fuel is critical for boosting profit margins and reducing risk across all business areas.
Fuel cards offer a unique way to help truckers, fleet managers, and the companies they work for manage expenses while offering discounts that credit cards can’t match. From prepaid fuel cards that operate the same way as debit cards to cards with a line of credit for buying gas that is then charged at the end of each month, fuel cards have the features that truckers and fleets need.
Most importantly, fuel card programs provide access to detailed account activity reporting, making it easy for transportation companies to monitor spending trends and guide decision-making around cost control. They also simplify IFTA fuel tax reporting by collecting and consolidating all fuel and state mileage data in a single, exportable report.