New fuel theft detection solution introduced

March 6, 2012

KISSIMMEE, FL. PeopleNet and Vusion, part of Trimble’s International Transportation and Logistics Division, chose the Truckload Carriers Assn. (TCA) Annual Convention, being held here in Kissimmee, FL, this week, to announce that they are nearing completion of a fuel theft detection solution.

With Vusion’s new fuel theft detection capability and a PeopleNet onboard computer connected to the vehicle’s J1939 bus, fleets will be able to track pre- and post-transaction fuel tank levels without the cost of additional hardware. The tank data is integrated with fuel purchase data for verification that the entire fuel purchase was pumped into the authorized truck’s tanks.

After the driver pulls up to the fuel pump and turns off the tractor, the PeopleNet system detects the “Ignition Off” event and immediately captures and stores the pre-fill tank level. When the driver restarts the tractor after fueling is complete, PeopleNet records the “Ignition On” tank level and transmits the tank-level readings for each event. Then Vusion receives, processes and aligns electronic fuel-purchase data with the tank size and calculates tank-level changes.

For immediate notification of fuel theft, the Vusion system creates an “Excess Fuel” alert when the volume of fuel purchased (reported in gallons) exceeds the net change in fuel recorded by the onboard computer. The system is designed to also detect tank-level changes due to siphoning and, through continuous monitoring, capture tank level changes even when the driver fails to turn off the truck prior to fueling.

Phase one of the new fuel theft detection release will provide customers with post-authorization tank level information, Vusion president, Thomas Fansler, told Fleet Owner. Phase two of the release, which incorporates constant monitoring of fuel levels, will allow users to know in advance how much fuel should be authorized for purchase at any given time.

“To help mitigate the negative effect that the recent quick rise in fuel costs is having on fleets, we have accelerated enhancements to our fuel theft detection processes,” Fansler said. “Fleets need a solution that maintains their flexibility in choosing fuel providers and which provides coverage at all fueling locations.”

About the Author

Wendy Leavitt

Wendy Leavitt joined Fleet Owner in 1998 after serving as editor-in-chief of Trucking Technology magazine for four years.

She began her career in the trucking industry at Kenworth Truck Company in Kirkland, WA where she spent 16 years—the first five years as safety and compliance manager in the engineering department and more than a decade as the company’s manager of advertising and public relations. She has also worked as a book editor, guided authors through the self-publishing process and operated her own marketing and public relations business.

Wendy has a Masters Degree in English and Art History from Western Washington University, where, as a graduate student, she also taught writing.  

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