Trailer Magazine

Tas Petroleum

  • Posted on Monday 30th, October 2017
Tas Petroleum

For Tasmania-based transport company, Tas Petroleum, measurement is the key to quality management. By collecting and comparing data across the business, the fuel hauler can track its success.

Management manuals have long touted the importance of measurability in creating business success, many using Peter Drucker’s ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it’ mantra as a focal point. The key to the oft-quoted theory is that it is impossible to know if a growth target has been achieved if there is no data to create a comparison – a concept taken to heart by companies across industries worldwide.

The transport companies among them infuse Drucker’s theory into everyday business practices by tracking and comparing data such as kilometres travelled, fuel usage, driver speed and braking habits, using the information to facilitate continuous improvements or provide training where possible.

Tasmania-based fuel haulage specialist, Tas Petroleum, is one of the many that embrace the philosophy in their daily transport task. 

Specialising in the delivery of petroleum and lubricants across the island state since 2005, Tas Petroleum’s fuel deliveries cover both large and small clients, from farming and agriculture customers to larger commercial operations such as Coles Express. In his efforts to measure as much of the fleet’s movements as possible, Operations Manager, Jim Macbeth, uses Navman on-board telematics systems to track Tas Petroleum’s ten prime movers and 12 tri-axle tankers. The data, he says, can indicate when his drivers require more training, or if they should be commended for exceptionally safe driving.
Ensuring Tas Petroleum has the highest driving standards is of the utmost importance to the Dangerous Goods carrier, which puts its staff through a low-risk driving course every two years with Smiths Training Services.

“Keeping the drivers up-to-date with regular driver training is something we track closely,” Jim says. “Having a skilled staff of drivers sets us apart and is integral to meeting the requirements for tenders with blue chip clients.”

Outside of the normal regulations, Jim says Tas Petroleum also runs under basic fatigue management and heavy mass compliance. “These systems are audited every two years and we have a number of compliance requirements in order to run heavy loads and longer hours,” he says. “Each truck runs a 14-hour shift, predominantly in a one-truck, one-driver set up, and we don’t double-shift the trucks. “

The variations in Tas Petroleum’s delivery sizes and frequencies make it particularly difficult to compare fuel consumption on a day-to-day basis, Jim says, with the variation in jobs potentially seeing a truck idling anywhere from one to eight hours in a single shift whilst pumping fuel.

“Many transport companies have set deliveries that provide comparable fuel consumption based on kilometres travelled, but when you have a truck travel 50km and idle for 10 hours one day, then travel 500km and idle for one hour the next, the daily fuel figures go out the window,” Jim says.

“There are parts of every business that can’t be controlled, like the weather or in our case, fuel consumption. But by focusing on the things that can be controlled, tracked and measured, we can ensure we find new ways to make improvements and continue to grow the business.”

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