How to Prevent Fuel Theft in Your Fleet

Prevent Fuel Theft in Your Fleet

How to Prevent Fuel Theft in Your Fleet

Fuel theft in South Africa is a very real problem, whether you own trucks or other fleet vehicles. Fuel consumption alone can already cost you a lot thanks to fuel prices that are increasing exponentially. Add to this the risk of fuel theft, which is also increasing steadily, and you have escalating fuel costs that could cripple your fleet.

Criminals are finding more and more creative ways to steal fuel. As a fleet owner, you probably know how important it is to keep your expensive fuel safe from all types of fuel theft. That’s why we’ve put together this list of tips to help you ensure your tank of fuel is safe from thieves.


When Are Fleet Vehicles Most Vulnerable



When Are Fleet Vehicles Most Vulnerable?

Fleet owners can be careful of theft from all sides, including thieves on the road, and sometimes their own operators skimming fuel. Of course, you should have fuel policies and security measures as a standard, but what else can be done to stop fuel theft?

Criminals can siphon fuel when vehicles are stopped at red lights, at truck stops, shopping centres, and anywhere else there’s an extended amount of time when the vehicle is stationary. That’s why it is important to take steps to reduce the chances of fuel theft, so your bottom line isn’t affected by this unnecessary expense.


5 Ways You Can Stop Fuel Theft in Your Fleet

As a fleet manager, you might know that, with the various points of vulnerability, your vehicles are at risk daily, whether they’re on the road or parked at your headquarters. Here are some tips to help you prevent fuel theft in your fleet.


1. Meet With Your Drivers

It’s never too early or too late to talk to your operators. Explain to them how fuel theft impacts the bottom line, and that can have serious consequences for the whole business. You can give them the lowdown on when and where they’re most vulnerable to fuel theft and how to prevent it. Some ideas include:

Parking in areas that are well-lit so it’s harder for thieves to be clandestine when stealing. They can also try to park the vehicle in such a way that it’s difficult to reach the fuel tank, such as close to a wall on the side of the fuel cap. Similarly, parking in a place with CCTV cameras means there’s a deterrent to theft. But if fuel is stolen, there’s a means to retribution by potentially identifying the thief or thieves.

Another danger they need to be aware of is looting. In 2019, a report indicated that the looting and burning of trucks cost the trucking industry more than R1.3 billion. During incidents like these, it’s easy for looters to steal fuel. While there isn’t much they can do about preventing it, but they can listen to the radio for reports of looting and protest action along their routes.

Finally, you can also make sure they’re aware that theft is a criminal offence, in the instance that any of them are taking advantage of your fuel supplies.


2. Reward Good Behaviour

As with any job, it can have positive effects if you use positive reinforcement with operators. Financial rewards similar to a commission structure can incentivise drivers to be more fuel economical in the way they drive and in how they protect their vehicles from fuel theft. Other ways to reward good driving is to offer time off, vouchers, or just plain old recognition, which everyone appreciates.


3. Use Anti-Siphoning Devices

Placing anti-siphoning devices in your fleet can save you thousands. There are multiple variations of these devices, suitable for various types of trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles.

They work by activating a locking mechanism that allows fuel to pass only one way—into the tank. Once the tank is filled, a float ball rises up and seals off the fuel, ensuring that not even the top few centimetres of fuel can be siphoned.

Tracking devices that include fleet telematics can also sometimes be set up to alert you if fuel levels suddenly drop. If you want this feature, you can select a tracking solution that includes fuel monitoring and advanced AI alert systems.


4. Light Up Your Truck Yard

Putting up deterrents such as cameras and extra lighting can make a massive difference in preventing fuel siphoning. In addition, if your perimeter is high and not easily scalable, has an electric fence or barbed wire, this makes your truck yard less appealing to thieves.


Ways You Can Stop Fuel Theft in Your Fleet


5. Use a Fuel Theft Alarm

These work by making note of the fuel tank level once the vehicle has stopped and been turned off. Should this level be reduced due to stealing fuel, an alarm will be activated, and a text message can be sent to the vehicle- or fleet-owner in real time.

Your tracking system or fleet management system can help you address the scourge of fuel theft by alerting you if a possible theft is occurring and helping you find discrepancies in fuel usage and fuel expenses by vehicle. You can identify fraudulent fuel purchases, excessive fuel consumption, and other suspicious activity with this powerful technology.


Finding the Right Fuel Management System for Your Fleet

It would be little surprise if you wanted to install a system for your fleet that would protect it from potential thieves. That’s why we offer you the opportunity to find the right fleet management software from one of our partners. All you need to do is fill in the form on any of our pages and one of them will get back to you with a quote that’s tailored to your needs. Whether you need to protect your fleet from fuel thieves or you need more holistic vehicle telematics, we can help you find the right solution for your fleet.