How to Prevent Diesel theft from Trucks?
Diesel theft has been increasing in India in the last couple of years coupled with increase in diesel prices.
There are various occurrences where drivers have been the key player in diesel theft circumstances.
To quote a few:
Diesel theft happened in the Dharmapuri – Source Sathyam News
Diesel stolen in outer ring road near Vandalur – Source Zee News
Diesel theft in Tamil Government bus in Coimbatore – Source ETV Bharat
Are you one of such transporters, who are facing the diesel theft issues in the transport management?
We will discuss in detail how diesel theft happens, different types of solution to prevent and best solution out of it to monitor the vehicle diesel tank.
Significance of Fuel in the Transportation sector
Fuel is the nodal of entire logistics management, close to 25 to 30% of total expenditure is for fuel filling.
To improve the vehicle efficiency and save operational cost, the fleet manager should have a proper diesel monitoring mechanism to achieve this goal.
If the transport owner efficiently manages the vehicle fuel, it would adversely impact the operational cost.
Most of the drivers, especially in India, to improve vehicle mileage and show better fuel efficiency they drive vehicle rash (at times), neutral driving in slope regions and other such malpractices which in turn affect the vehicle’s performance.
Next major headache for transport managers is the diesel theft occurrences in the vehicle, in some instances the theft is done by drivers themselves, which increases the fuel expenditure burden to the logistics owners.
Different techniques followed in Diesel theft
Fuel Bill Manipulation at Petrol Bunks
Drivers while filling the diesel from petrol bunks, they manipulate the bills. Say for example, if the transport incharge has approved to fill 80 litres for the vehicle, the driver in collaboration with petrol bunk incharge, fill 75 litres in the vehicle, either the driver get 5 litres diesel separately or get encashment for 5 litres of diesel.
In this way, many transport operators face fuel losses which they are unable to find and reduce such occurrences.
Case Study: One of the transporters in Tamil Nadu, to reduce the fuel theft issues that are occurring in the petrol bunk, he used to ask the driver to make a video on mobile before start filling the diesel on the vehicle. If not, the driver has to record the entire fuel filling video and share the same to the transport owner.
Analysis: But do you think this is the right solution to reduce fuel theft?
The driver fills the approved diesel litres on the vehicle and after reaching certain distances, stops to drain the willing litres of diesel from the vehicle.
The above case study does not address the real problem, in fact, it increases more diesel pilferages.
Now we will see another way of diesel theft occurrences.
Stop and Drain from Vehicle
The drivers will stop the vehicle at certain places in the highway on Indian roads, and drain the vehicle diesel from the tank using hose pipes in the can / barrel.
They sell the stolen diesel at half price to the vendors, who operate in the black market.
In this way, drivers will get some extra revenue.
Case Study: Here we have shared the video footage that is viral on youtube, where the drivers stop the vehicle and drain diesel from the tank.
Video – Diesel Theft from the vehicle
Video – Diesel Theft News
Analysis: In diesel theft, this kind of activity is increasing day-by-day and most of the transporters all over India are looking for one such solution, first to capture the diesel theft, next to monitor the fuel level in the vehicle’s diesel tank.
To your surprise, we are one of the solution providers in India to monitor fuel tanks and stop diesel theft. We have captured various diesel thefts and helped transporters to reduce fuel theft and improve fuel efficiency.
Sharing that particular case study below in this article. (Check here: Diesel theft captured by Warrior Trust Technologies – Fuel Monitoring Solution)
Drain fuel from Reverse Line
There is one such instance where diesel theft occurs, that even no one knows.
Yes, the driver in association with the vehicle mechanic makes some arrangements to capture the diesel that will return from the engine back to the diesel tank.
Though the quantity will not be high. But there is a saying “Many a drop makes an ocean”, it is one of such instances occurring in vehicle diesel theft cases.
Question: Can we identify such instances using any solution?
Answer: Yes, it is possible! (Solutions are discussed below in detail)
Diesel Adulteration - Mixing Biodiesel
In diesel theft cases, there are some new trends followed by the malpracticing persons, where they take the diesel from the tank (Say 10 litres) and refill that 10 litres of quantity with biodiesel.
The diesel adulteration in vehicle fuel tanks may cause and affect the vehicles performance, negative impact on the engine performance and overall it will create chaos to the transport owner.
Question: Does fuel adulteration really happen in the logistics industry?
Answer: Yes! But it is a beginning stage.
Ways to Stop Diesel Theft from the Vehicle Fuel Tank
Now, you are all aware of how diesel theft occurs on the vehicle.
The Next Question?
How to prevent diesel theft in vehicle tanks?
Here we are discussing some of the best practices to stop diesel theft, that is globally followed by many logistics companies.
We will assess one by one, the best fuel monitoring or diesel theft prevention solution discussed below.
Fuel Locking System
It is a simple technique, as we all lock the doors in our home, similarly the transport owner will lock the vehicle’s diesel tank to prevent the external persons from opening the diesel tank.
Most of the transporters have adopted this solution in the initial stage assuming the theft occurred by external power. But the reality was different.
In most of the diesel theft scenarios it was drivers who involved themselves in the malpractices.
So this solution is good, but not the real problem solver.
Usage of Fuel Cards
With the launch of fuel cards, most of the transport owners start providing the fuel cards to the driver for fuel filling.
All the fuel billing data are captured digitally, the driver was earlier manipulating the invoices with fake billing.
So this was a good solution to mark the exact payment for the fuel filling.
But the next question arises, does this track the fuel filling data from the tank? To this question, there is no answer. Because the driver either drains the vehicle or captures it while filling itself.
To sum-up, a fuel card is a good solution, but not a comprehensive solution.
Fuel Monitoring System
The most popular and best solution to prevent diesel theft from the tank is the fuel monitoring system with the diesel sensor installed on the vehicle tank.
On installing the fuel level sensor on the diesel tank, it will capture all the vital data and transfer to the GPS device which can be monitored LIVE using the GPS tracking software.
The fuel sensor will provide data such as
- Vehicle Fuel Filling (with exact amount of diesel filled on the tank)
- Diesel theft notification (with location, time and amount of diesel drained)
- Vehicle mileage report
All the above mentioned reports and data can be accessed from the mobile app or web application remotely. If any changes occur in the vehicle diesel tank, the transport in charge or the owner gets instant notifications.
Currently most of the logistics and transporters are looking for this kind of solution in India, with the increasing fuel prices and diesel theft cases increasing day-by-day.
Fuel monitoring solution is one of the best solutions for preventing diesel theft from the vehicle diesel tank.
Security Cameras in Yards and Dashcam Vehicle
Installing security cameras in the yards, most of the fuel thefts have occurred in the yards, where drivers collectively work together to drain the diesel from the tank.
This solution will help the vehicle owner to vehicle, when they are parked and only in those particular yards where the cameras are installed.
If installing a camera is a good option as it reduces theft instances, the best solution that is available in the market is dashcam.
Installing dashcam on vehicles with external cameras will capture all the instances within the cabin, road view and external cameras fixed surrounding the vehicle.
This is one of the good solutions that is being popular in logistics.
About Warrior Trust Technologies - Fuel Monitoring System
We at Warrior Trust Technologies provide the fuel monitoring system to the transporters and logistics business.
The fuel level sensor is imported from Russia with 99% accuracy.