With so many trucking companies hauling all over the country, there are a lot of options to choose from, when it comes to buying fuel. So many of the truck stops are a part of larger corporations and though they will regionally go by different names, they are actually the same company.
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Most of these will offer loyalty programs similar to the fuel cards. You can set up a contract to purchase fuel from their various stores and truck stops. In doing so you not only earn reward points, you get special rates and even additional discounts. Compare their billing rates and plans with other similar providers to make sure they fit with your needs and business model.
This option is great for both trucking companies which work regularly in the same region and for long haul services. By using the same company you can be ensured of quality and other related services. Many times they offer special deals if you use their service centers and mechanics in conjunction with the fuel contract.
The only downside is availability. Be sure that if you set up a contract, they operate in the same regions that your organization does. It won’t do you much good if the company works the Southwest but most of your runs are to the Northeast.
Remember if you fail to properly plan your trip, down to the last detail, or at least what is realistically possible, it could cost you. Just as bad weather and traffic issues can cause delays, so does not planning and knowing where to fuel, will cost you.
It isn’t just about the price paid at the pump. By not planning ahead to find the best truck stop it could cost you both time and money, by adding additional mileage and related expenses. Even worse, it could cost lots more if you run out of fuel. Imagine explaining that to your dispatcher and/or the customer.
So, just like ensuring your electronic logs are up to date, make sure you have up to date listings of the best truck stops and service centers. With all the available tools at your disposal there is no excuse for not being properly prepared. Take the time to download and app to your phone with your favorite spots, it will help you a lot when you least expect it to.
What stories do you have regarding fuel and cost? Ever drive past a truck stop think you’ll catch the next one, only to find out either they’re closed, the off ramp is under construction, or the per gallon rate is much higher? What about your fuel card? You ever lose the pin number? What did you do and what advice are you willing to share with others in the industry?
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