Is Automated Gas Delivery A Good Idea?

An option available for companies that have bulk fuel tanks on their properties to fuel up fleets of company vehicles is automated delivery. This is when a company delivers gas when the customer's tanks are low; there's a sensor that sits in the tank that alerts the fuel delivery company when the level of fuel drops. This sounds great if you're tired of calling around for the best gas price after finding out your tank is lower than you expected. But like anything with a service contract, you need to ensure you understand all the details.

As Long as the Tank Sensor Works

Automated gas delivery relies on a sensor placed in your fuel tank. If the sensor is working properly, automated delivery can be a really convenient, helpful service. You get gas well before you need it, you can rely on having a tank with ample supplies of fuel, and you don't have to call in, hoping that gas prices are within your company's budget. But the sensor, like any mechanical part, can be defective, it can break, and so on. Make sure your contract includes information on repair policies, such as who pays for the repairs, whether there are warranties on the sensors, and so on. It helps if there are periodic calibration/inspection appointments, but this will vary by company.

Can You Contract at a Certain Price Per Gallon?

When you sign the service contract, you must ensure you know what price you'll pay per gallon for the entire contract. This can be one set price throughout the contract, or the price can change in steps. You just want to ensure that if the price of gas goes up a lot that you're not in a contract where you have to pay no matter how expensive it gets. That's really the point of automated fuel delivery contracts; they're supposed to help you save money. You want that contract to include specific information about how the company will deal with increases in gas prices and how much you can expect to pay throughout the contract term.

Always Have an Out

One more thing to consider is what happens if you no longer need the amount of fuel agreed to in the contract. For example, maybe routes have changed, you had to downsize your fleet, or you're moving the company to a state where the fuel delivery company has no branches. Can you exit the contract, even if there is a penalty? Or is the contract binding with no way to stop it or modify it? If you can get a contract for service that has a legal way to cancel or modify the contract, then that's a plus. If the company will not consider modifications or cancellations, then that's a point against automated gasoline delivery.

Automating delivery with tank sensors is very convenient in most cases, but you have to understand the terms of the service contract very well before you agree to anything. You want the delivery to work for you and continue to be a valuable service.

Reach out to a gasoline delivery service to learn more.