GPS tracking systems with fuel consumption monitoring are widely used nowadays and surely can be named as effective innovations.
The main requirements for fuel consumption monitoring solutions are:
- Reliability : fuel monitoring system must work 24h/day without “bugs”.
- Confidence : Results of fuel monitoring (reports) must be clear and GPS tracking system must provide proven data for customer.
Most GPS tracking providers offer fuel level monitoring option – with installed fuel level sensor in the fuel tank or CAN Bus data. We think that there must be selective approach.
Nuances of fuel monitoring systems at dump trucks and special machinery:
A. Fuel tanks have irregular, non-symmetric shape.
Sometimes, you need to install at least 2 fuel level sensors in one tank with irregular shape.
In a combination with rough terrain you will receive fuel volume data like this.
Confidence provided by fuel monitoring system is very important for owner. When we fight against fuel thefts we must reach an authority of system amoung drivers and other personnel. Authority can be low if system can be hacked or become not reliable. Even worse if you based at incorrect (or unclear data) will ban innocent driver.
As you can see from sample of fuel level data chart we can’t see small fuel thefts from fuel tank directly, and expecially drains from return fuel line.
B. Intensive use of vehicles. Big fuel consumption.
When driver can steal fuel in small quantities (<5%) at powerful engines with large fuel consumption, with daily use you can have a losses at 100+ liters of fuel per month.
C. Analysis of driving style can be based at instant fuel consumption rate. It is very important and cost-effective solution for big trucks and machinery.
Instant fuel consumption data chart can be build only based on fuel flow meter data. Formally, you can use data from fuel level sensor but due to data averaging ( 1- 10 minutes averaging constant) it is a very hard to use these data for analysis.
That’s why we recommend to use differential fuel flow meters in cases when
- Fuel consumption per month at this vehicle (tractor, special machinery) is more than 1000 liters.
- Fuel tanks have irregular shape
- You are really interested in precise fuel consumption measurement and fuel thefts prevention.
Differential fuel flow meter advantages:
- Simplicity of installation. Differential meter measures fuel rate at 2 lines : supply and return flow. Fuel consumption is calculated inside flow meter based on this data. You can install this flow meter by yourself, only basic experience in diesel fuel system design is needed.
- You can install fuel meter at any kind of diesel vehicle. Tank shape, specific of operation don’t affects at result.
- Precise results. Error compared to real fuel consumption is 1-3%. Unlike fuel level data, flowmeter provide results, that you can use with confidence without analytics. It is simple engine fuel consumption in liters. With fuel level sensors sometimes you will have to investigate fuel level data, because in GPS tracking reports always will be several “fake” refuelings and fuel thefts (expecially at tanks with irregular shape).
- Though GPS tracking system is very useful, you can save some money and use only stand-alone fuel flow meter with display.
- Unlike fuel level sensors you can re-install fuel flowmeter at other vehicle without any calibrations. It doesn’t require any settings after installation.
- If your GPS tracking system supports instant fuel flow rate data chart – you can diagnose fuel system based on this data. You can also compare drivers instant fuel consumption rate at different operations and develop economic style of operation.