Fuel for thought
Fuel is the single biggest variable cost to a transport company and significantly affects business activities and profit margins. Although fuel costs vary depending on the age, features and condition of the vehicle and changing wholesale and retail prices, a typical bogie drive prime mover typically costs around 63.83 cents per km, or 56% of total variable costs for that vehicle; for an 8-tonne rigid they are around 23.49 cents or 64%, respectively. [Figures courtesy of Business Victoria].
TigerFleet Management tracks vehicle costs over the course of its lifetime, displaying them on the vehicle’s main info screen, and are remarkably similar to the above figures [See Figure 1 (Prime Mover) and Figure 2 (Rigid Truck) below]
Figure 1. Sample costs breakdown for Prime Mover from TigerFleet Management
Figure 2. Sample costs breakdown for a Rigid Truck from TigerFleet Management
While Australia enjoys comparatively lower diesel fuel costs than most other countries [See Figure 3], there is an upward trend in the current calendar year (see Figures 4 and 5) and the longer 40 year term averages that are placing increasing pressure on transport operators (see Figure 6).
The average value for diesel in Australia during the past month was 1.48 with a minimum of 1.47 on 19-Aug-2019 and a maximum of 1.54 Australian Dollar on 07-Oct-2019. For comparison, the average price of diesel in the world for this period is 1.95 Australian Dollar.
Figure 3 – Official statistics from the Bureau of Resource & Energy Economics (Australian Petroleum Statistics) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) show that Australia has among the lowest petrol and diesel prices of all OECD countries. The charts below show the price of petrol and diesel in Australia compared to other countries on both a pre-tax and post-tax basis. [Courtesy of AIP]
Figure 4. National diesel fuel average prices for the 2019 calendar year
Figure 5. Regional diesel fuel average prices for the 2019 calendar year
Figure 6. Although Australia’s highest petrol prices were prior to the introduction of bulk fuel shipping, recent current and real value prices are climbing towards them. Both petrol and diesel prices are seeing a rising trend, despite the welcome low in late 2018.
Fuel Management System
With the ever increasing cost of fuel, it is more important than ever to build a fuel management system to monitor and manage your company’s fuel usage. TigerFleet’s all-in-one system makes monitoring, measuring and analysing fuel usage easier than it has ever been.
Maintaining accurate fuel records is the key building block of a fuel management system. The TigerFleet Management software allows you to enter fuel transactions as single records or bulk fuel transaction imports via a csv file. This data can come from any source, be it an onsite bowser or a transaction report from a fuel card supplier.
Using TigerFleet’s powerful reporting features, a variety of issues can easily be identified that would otherwise go unnoticed. Check real time performance against established performance benchmarks for your vehicles to help you identify aberrations, the causes of which could range from an inefficient vehicle to cases of skimming or theft.
A drivers handling of his vehicle has now become recognised as a major contributor to the vehicle’s fuel performance. TigerFleet’s vehicle tracking allows you to monitor key indicators of poor driver performance including excessive idling, poor route selection, harsh braking and harsh acceleration to make sure you’re getting the most out of your fuel dollar.
Are you claiming the right fuel tax credit?
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) allows eligible operators to claim fuel tax credits (Eligibilty tool can be accessed here). These credits are claimed during your normal BAS reporting, which can be monthly or quarterly, and should be done in dollars – not litres.
TigerFleet Management software enables you to bulk upload via csv or individually enter fuel data for your vehicles. If you create a ‘Fuel Tax Credit’ accreditation scheme (or a ‘Fuel Tax Credit – xxx’ for each different fuel type you are eligible to claim for) and add each eligible vehicle and plant to whichever scheme you set up. You can then easily run a monthly or quarterly report with the total number of litres purchased so you can accurately complete your fuel tax claim. Simply multiply the litres by the ATO rate. The current rate for 5 August 2019 to 31 January 2020 appears in Table 1 (below).
The ATO also has a fuel tax credit calculator where you can enter the litre values of the various fuel types and it will calculate the claimable dollar amount. This can be accessed on their website, and is a handy way to confirm that you are claiming the right rate, as rates change periodically during the year.
Note: The ATO changes these credit rates periodically during the year. These rates are announced by the ATO prior to them coming into force, so it is good practice to subscribe to the ATO Small Business Newsroom email list or check the regular RSS feed from them on TigerFleet Management’s Facebook page
Disclaimer: TigerFleet has taken due care and diligence in researching the information contained above, using only reliable sources, however cannot be responsible for inaccuracies contained within source data.