image of a moving car (blurry) in a winter landscape

BP Diesel – formulated for the winter months ahead

Did you know that to help keep vehicles moving throughout the cold season, diesel fuels are specially formulated for the winter from the middle of November right through to the middle of March?

Naturally, you want your vehicle to be reliable at all times and never more so than during cold winter weather. But that’s when it can let you down.

Picture the scene – you jump into your vehicle first thing and find it won’t start. Or you travel just a short distance before it begins to splutter and maybe even comes to a standstill.

This is due to a phenomenon known as diesel waxing and that’s why fuel suppliers are required to change their diesel fuels from summer to winter quality between November and March each year – to help keep vehicles on the road as the temperature drops.

Diesel waxing

To understand the problem, consider the composition of diesel fuel. It’s not a single substance but a complex mixture of hundreds of components that ‘freeze’ over a range of temperatures.

That mixture includes components called paraffins and as the temperature falls some of these species come out of solution as wax crystals. As the temperature drops further a network of crystals can form and grow unchecked, eventually preventing the fuel from flowing.

The problems you can encounter in harsh winter conditions are due to these wax crystals clogging the lines and filters in your vehicle’s fuel system. That’s why refineries add a special flow-improving ingredient to diesel fuel in the coldest months to boost its low temperature performance.

With treatment, the size and shape of the crystals are modified so they are less likely to block the fuel system, and so helping your vehicle to start and run reliably in cold winter weather.

 

Winter driving tips

Besides ensuring you have winter quality fuel in your tank, winter driving is also about being prepared in other ways – and staying safe.

For your vehicle

  • Help protect your vehicle against diesel waxing by taking some simple precautions such as garaging it or parking in a sheltered spot overnight.
  • Regular vehicle servicing and maintenance are particularly important during winter months, making sure that fuel filters are changed at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals.
  • Regularly check lights, wipers and tyre condition and pressures. Depending upon your location, consider fitting winter tyres.

For your drivers

Do your driver carry an emergency kit at all times?

The average call out time for breakdowns in the UK at this time of year is 90 minutes! Often the time taken for recovery is greater – particularly in severe weather.

Ask yourself – would you be happy for your drivers to be waiting for 90 minutes at the side of the road with the current contents of their vehicle at the moment?

Below is a list of things that may help you should drivers be in this situation.

  • Warm clothing – hats, gloves, blanket
  • First Aid kit
  • Water
  • Torch
  • Something to eat! Biscuits bars, chocolate
  • Snow shovel or something similar
  • High viz clothing
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Warning triangle
  • Sunglasses

If you want to start saving your diesel & petrol bills, then look no further than our own BP fuelcard, for more information, click here: https://www.fuelcardservices.com/brand-bp/

photo of a truck driving on a motorway with a large city in the background

Get ahead of the grit: the benefits of truck washing

Everyone knows a dirty truck doesn’t look great but dirt can do more than just damage a driver’s pride.

Safety first – the most important part of a fleet managers role is making sure drivers are kept safe and out of harm. Winter driving throws up a range of safety considerations and simple changes can make a big difference. With low sun during winter, dirty windscreens can increase glare and drastically impair drivers’ vision. Keeping on top of truck cleaning helps keep windows clear and contributes to avoiding incidents on the road.

Beautiful branding – your fleet acts as travelling advertisements for your company and sparkling clean vehicles can support a strong brand. After all what does a dirty fleet say about a company?

Damaging dirt – salt used for gritting can build up, particularly on fleet vehicles doing significant mileage on major roads. Left unchallenged this can lead to possible corrosion, meaning keeping your trucks clean goes beyond the simple aesthetics of a bright clean fleet.

As part of the BP Drive Britain offer you can get access to the wide network of SNAP truck wash sites across the UK, with the added benefit of seamless payment through your existing BP fuel cards. Drivers can easily locate their nearest site, with the ability to filter for sites offering truck wash and secure truck parking facilities.

You can find out more here, or speak to your account manager to discuss how BP Drive Britain can help your business.

If you want to start saving your diesel & petrol bills, then look no further than our own BP fuelcard, for more information, click here: https://www.fuelcardservices.com/brand-bp/

photo of a BP garage with a green silhouette of a fuel pump

AdBlue from pump to BP Fuel Card

BP is rolling out AdBlue pumps for commercial vehicles across the UK this summer. The dedicated dispensers will be available in HGV lanes at more than 40 sites by the end of June.

Fitted with a nozzle specifically designed for use with AdBlue tanks on HGVs, the new pumps mean drivers of commercial vehicles can fill up with AdBlue when they refuel without moving their truck. And for even more convenience it can also be purchased using BP Fuel Cards.

The sites with the AdBlue dispensers have been chosen based on how are popular and convenient they are for fuel card and business drivers, with many on key routes and motorways. This means your drivers won’t need to travel out of their way – saving time and money.

Andy Allen, UK Fuel Card Manager, BP Fuel Cards, said: “Commercial vehicles use around five litres of AdBlue per 100 litres of diesel. But large HGVs able to load up with 1,400 litres of fuel, so it’s simply not practical or convenient for the driver to use 5 litre or 2.5 litres bottles of AdBlue.

“By installing these pumps directly into the refuelling lanes used by commercial vehicles, we believe this will make our customers’ lives easier.”

If you want to start saving your diesel & petrol bills, then look no further than our own BP fuelcard, for more information, click here: https://www.fuelcardservices.com/brand-bp/

photo of a hand holding a green drawn clock, BP filling station in the background

Minimising vehicle downtime

VOR can cause major disruptions to your fleet’s operations, affecting revenue targets, and can be quite costly, especially during recalls and other time-consuming procedures. According to a recent survey, some firms believe VOR can cost them between £3,000 and £4,000 per day, with some registering an average of three VOR days per year.

Although it’s inevitable that your fleet will experience some unplanned VOR from time to time, there are a number of steps you can take to minimise disruption.

Robust routine checks

Vehicle breakdowns are often caused by damaged or faulty equipment which could have been easily spotted during a routine maintenance check. By making these compulsory, your drivers can identify and report any benign issues before they worsen and being to interfere with the performance of the vehicle.

Driving style

While you may consider your employees to be experienced and proficient drivers, regular training can only help build their knowledge and awareness of potential road risks — and how to cope with them. Confident and well-trained drivers are less likely to be involved in an accident – one of the most common causes of VOR – while smooth and controlled driving is easier on the vehicle itself, reducing the likelihood of wear and tear – another contributing factor to vehicle off-road time. Telematics can be a great tool here to provide actionable insights on how each driver is performing – from plug in and go to advanced solutions see how telematics from BP can help you assess and address your employees driving style.

If you want to start saving your diesel & petrol bills, then look no further than our own BP fuelcard, for more information, click here: https://www.fuelcardservices.com/brand-bp/ 

Photo of a man on a laptop, whilst a green drawing of a book, a car and a van are placed on top of the image

Driver education

Educating drivers correctly is essential to managing a successful and efficient fleet; saving both time and fuel. While you may consider your employees to be experienced and proficient drivers, regular training can only help build their knowledge and awareness of potential risks, and how best to cope with them.

Fleet managers should be educating their car and van fleet drivers on two major things: utilising telematics tools and minimising fleet downtime.

Utilising telematics is also imperative when managing an economical fleet. Last year, BP launched a new driver and fuel management platform called BP FleetMove. Designed in partnership with TomTom Telematics, the enhanced driver and fuel management product has been designed to improve fleet efficiency. The telematics tool allows drivers to access accurate vehicle data from a central dashboard showing fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and driver efficiency scores. It also allows drivers to keep on top of maintenance and servicing with a clear centralised view of in-car diagnostics.

One of the greatest sources of frustration for fleet managers is unplanned vehicle downtime, sometimes known as ‘vehicle off-road time’ (VOR) and the time that it loses your business due to unscheduled repairs and servicing. It goes without saying that VOR can cause huge disruptions to your fleet’s operations and can add to your operational costs. Research suggests that many operators put the cost of having a vehicle off road between £3,000 and £4,000 per day and some register an average of three VOR days per year.

Therefore, it is crucial to educate your drivers about carrying out robust routine checks. Regular preventative maintenance and servicing is fundamental to keep your vehicles in good working order, but you should try to schedule such work for a time that will cause least impact for your fleet’s operations, such as the weekend. By making this compulsory, your drivers can identify and report any minor issues before they worsen and begin to interfere with the performance of the vehicle.

If you want to start saving your diesel & petrol bills, then look no further than our own BP fuelcard, for more information, click here: https://www.fuelcardservices.com/brand-bp/