Case History: Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

The Davyfield Road depot is a central resource for council departments and was equipped in the 1980’s with fuel storage tanks and a basic fuel management system.  Due to the age of the system, the original fuel management equipment supplier was no longer able to provide service. In addition, the protective catchment (bunding) which was open to the elements had deteriorated and there was a danger of tank leakage that could lead to environmental damage. Diesel was housed in a different part of the depot to the gas oil used for mobile plant, making it time consuming for vehicles requiring both diesel and plant fuel.

Five companies tendered for the work and Fueltek, based in Blackburn and a major national supplier of fuel management and infrastructure systems, was the successful contractor.  The company offered a complete fuel storage and management package and undertook to complete the new system with minimal disruption to the busy depot.

The fuel storage package installed comprises dual tanks of 50,000 litres for diesel and a compartment of 10,000 litres for gas oil.  This is a complete unit, allowing drivers who need diesel and gas oil to access both from a single location.  Both tanks are housed within a single totally-enclosed steel bund. Fueltek’s Tankwatch fuel gauging system is fitted to constantly monitor tank contents, provide accurate recording of deliveries and give early warning of primary tank leakage.

Fuel access and dispensing is under the control of two FT4000 fuel management units, each activated by presenting a pre-programmed datatag to the reader on the unit.  There are 145 authorised drivers who have each been issued with data tags specifying their individual fuel drawing rights.  In addition, 24 tags have been issued to those drivers who use portable plant and need to draw gas oil.  The driver must enter vehicle mileage readings before diesel is drawn so that the system captures this essential information.



Software from Fueltek provides detailed analysis and reporting.  Using these reports it is easy to pinpoint where vehicle or driver performance differs from the norm.  This could then trigger technical investigation of the vehicles in the workshop or driver training to improve performance.

Blackburn with Darwen’s executive member for Environmental Improvement and Sustainability, councillor Faryad Hussain said. “We are constantly striving to improve the efficiency of operations and reduce cost.  The fuel management reports provide essential information for both immediate action and for long term strategic planning of the fleet.  For example, we can produce reports on the comparative performance of vehicles in the same class assisting the council in future vehicle choice and in meeting goals for carbon reduction.”

The complete system was installed during one day in May.  “The Council were keen that the installation caused minimal outage and disruption to the busy depot.  We arranged for the removal and dismantling of existing tanks and ancillary equipment, fitting the new tanks and control equipment and for fuelling and commissioning all in one day,” explained Fueltek managing director Martin Devine.

“We were impressed with the speed of the exercise, not least because we were able to fuel the first vehicle at 4PM on the same day as the installation,” added councillor Hussain.

Fueltek is the most experienced fuel management company in the UK serving local authorities and any organisation – from companies with small fleets to multi-site transport operations.  They undertake complete turnkey systems or will upgrade existing installations, integrating their equipment with existing tanks and equipment where this is sound and suitable for purpose.