The Road Haulage Association (RHA) recently raised the alarm over increasing rates of fuel theft, posing a risk to transport’s profitability and productivity, as well as to driver safety.
When it comes to keeping your fleet’s drivers and fuel safe whilst on the move, secure parking and payment options can help to minimise the risk. However, with the RHA estimating a shortage of 11,000 safe overnight parking spaces for HGVs nationally, many drivers are resorting to parking at locations with limited if any security and no driver amenities, such as laybys and retail parks.
The government has recognised the issue and is taking action, recently launching a £20 million investment scheme to provide better roadside services, including improved security, lighting and shower rooms. The funding is part of a £52.5m investment to drive up standards of sites and further safeguard the safety and comfort of HGV drivers.
The move is welcomed by the industry and as we anticipate the roll-out of the enhanced scheme, we share some top tips to protect drivers – and their fuel – whilst on the road.
1. Choose the right place to park
Searching for a secure parking site can be a logistical challenge, particularly when drivers are on the move. Key features drivers should check for when choosing parking locations include security lighting, perimeter fencing, CCTV, surveillance patrols and onsite staff with a security checkpoint. Some sites provide on-location refuelling for additional convenience. With 29 high-speed HGV refuelling bunker sites at strategic locations across the UK, all with CCTV monitoring installed to give you peace of mind, Certas Energy assures that safety and security come first.
2. Plan ahead
Planning is key to prevention. Tools like SNAP Account help drivers to avoid last-minute decisions on where to park, enabling them to plan overnight stops in advance and offering access to an extensive parking network. The smart digital payment system allows drivers to pre-book parking from more than 125,000 parking spaces at over 300 locations across the UK and parts of Europe, including Certas Energy’s recently acquired The Hollies Truckstop in Cannock. The facility, already home to a Certas Energy 24-hour high-speed HGV refuelling bunker site, brings together SNAP Account, fuel cards and retail expertise to offer a more seamless – and safer – experience for HGV drivers and fleet managers. SNAP Account’s unique licence plate-based platform eliminates the need for HGV drivers to carry cash or cards, reducing the risk of fraud or theft, and consolidates transactions across all sites and services on one single itemised invoice for ultimate convenience and easy fuel tracking.
3. Be vigilant of criminals
Whilst many thieves are opportunistic, fuel and cargo theft are increasingly large-scale, organised operations. The advice issued by the RHA to drivers is to be extra vigilant with security, from ensuring cabs are locked and keeping keys safe, to avoiding sharing any details about cargo to unauthorised persons. The heightened risk of fuel theft has made the security of fuel tanks, including the use of padlocks on filler caps, more important than ever. Encourage drivers to check vehicles for tampering after a drop or stop and report any signs of interference. For advice or support in keeping your fuel secure on the road, contact the Certas Energy team today.
4. Get full fuel transparency
Understanding when and where drivers are refuelling is crucial for effective fleet management and budget planning. Fuel cards not only help managers track and monitor all fuel expenditures, identifying opportunities to improve fuel efficiency, but also help to minimise risk of theft or fraud, as transactions are cashless and fuel access is regulated. As well as added payment security and access to a 3,000-strong fuel site network, Certas Energy fuel cards offer additional benefits, including lower prices at the pumps and discounts on hundreds of well-known brands. An integrated telematics solution can offer further visibility of fleet fuel expenditure. As well as tracking vehicle and driver performance, FuelTrace’s Geo-Plus feature helps prevent fraudulent transactions, notifying you if a card is used without the presence of an associated vehicle.
5. Protect your fuel
Diesel Defender is an easy-to-implement solution that can help to deter fuel theft of non-rebated fuel and prevent financial loss. The liquid blue marker dye colours white diesel, also known as road diesel or DERV, to produce a green fuel, making it distinguishable from diesel purchased for personal use. It acts as a powerful deterrent to thieves as it improves fuel traceability, impacts resale value, and exposes non-commercial use.
Need help stepping up on-site fuel security? Check out our Ask the Expert blog for tips on fuel theft prevention.