Truck and Track Summer 2023

Truck and Track Summer 2023 58 FUEL MANAGEMENT A leading South-Devon-based coach-hire company has credited Merridale’s fuel management system for its accuracy and ease of use when reflecting on their transition from a different system. Tally Ho!, who have been operating for nearly 100 years, offers day trips and holidays across the UK and Europe as well as serving the local people by running bus and school services. Their fleet of 60 vehicles, ranging from workshop vans to 72-seater coaches as well as the Plymouth Argyle team bus, have become an integral part of the community from their base in Kingsbridge and a depot near Ivybridge. “We had an existing system from another company which we would often have issues with. The MPG reports with that provider were extremely inaccurate, meaning every month somebody had to sit down and input ‘external purchases’, any fuel that was used while the pump was on free flow, and all the fuel used at our other depots. After these figures were added, we had to manually enter these details into a spreadsheet to make the necessary metric/imperial conversions to get a true mpg figure.” Martin Rutherford, Operations Manager for Tally Ho!, told us. As part of the upgrade, which included a Merridale MX-Integral pump and management system, Tally Ho! chose to use Merridale’s web-based software FuelWorks. “We needed something user friendly and web-based, as our previous system was set up on one computer only. We found this to be very restricting and time-consuming.” The software, which has been designed in-house by Merridale to be as easy to use as possible, without sacrificing any functionality, allows multiple users to report on and monitor their environmental impact, fuel usage, costs, and vehicle performance across multiple sites or tanks. It also has the capability to monitor tank levels and predict low stock, with email alerts being sent in such events. “We are very impressed with the MPG conversion. This used to take us hours to convert to get the correct figures but now it is done automatically and, more importantly, it is done accurately.” Merridale also offers unrivalled levels of support and training, with initial training being available remotely, and a helpdesk on hand to offer ongoing support. “The instructions I received were step by step and idiot-proof! After dealing with our previous systems contact, Merridale are a complete breath of fresh air. As the main user of the software, integrating the use into my routine has been easy. It saves me so much time compared to our previous system and knowing I can rely on the accuracy of the data I pull from the software makes other aspects of my job simpler. We would 100% recommend Merridale, from the first contact to the installation and to the aftersales they have been fantastic.” reiterated Martin. Tally Ho! welcome change after finding a new way to manage their fuel FORS Gold members and specialist haulier company, JDC Transport, have recently praised Merridale for helping them transition from manual to automated reporting. The Stoke-on-Trent based company started as suppliers of parts and servicing to the haulage industry before being encouraged to gain an operator’s license and purchase their first artic vehicle in order to assist a customer with a contract in 2006. After nearly 20 years of growth, their fleet now consists of over 25 vehicles ranging from pickups to articulated lorries. Emma Titterton, JDC’s Transport Administrator, told us, “Our previous tank gauge stopped working so we knew that needed to be replaced but we were also without proper means of reporting. Before Merridale, I was taking manual readings and having to put together my own figures in order to try and work out what had been put in the tank, taken out and what was left in. I only ever really had a rough figure of what was in the tank as I was constantly relying on the accuracy of the data I’d been given by drivers and the people who deliver to us.” “There were times we ran dangerously close to running out because estimations and reality didn’t quite match. It had got to the point where it just wasn’t feasible anymore and when the tank gauge broke, we decided it was time to invest in a complete package.” As well as having a Merridale MX-T tank management system installed, JDC Transport also chose to use a Merridale MX-M fuel management system and Merridale FuelWorks reporting software to benefit further from features such as fuel stock prediction, automatic delivery detection, low-level warnings, and order prompts, all accessible on any web-enabled device. As well as this, Merridale FuelWorks allows fleet operators to setup multiple users across multiple sites to access unrivalled reporting features including fuel, cost and environmental impact plus vehicle and driver performance. The FORS Gold awarded fleet operator has already noticed positive differences just from having such valuable data readily available. “Getting alerts when the tank is low has been the biggest help for me so far. It’s no longer a constant worry and there is no need for me to go and check the contents of the tank. I get an email when stock reaches a certain level, giving me more than enough time to order a delivery.” “We will really see a difference when we start our FORS reporting this summer but in the six months we’ve had our Merridale system I’ve been displaying the figures, such as vehicle MPGs, as these were previously unknown. Even though nothing has ever been mentioned by the drivers it has sparked something of a competition for everyone to get their stats up. Everyone has become that little bit more conscious and none of them like seeing their number plate doing badly on the wall.” JDC Transport Go for Gold With Merridale’s Help