Fuel recycling pays back for Arnold Clark’s Car & Van Rental operations
Ledbury Welding & Engineering (LWE) has supplied the Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental branch on South Street in Glasgow with a fuel recycling unit. The equipment was designed to provide a safe method for recovering petrol and diesel from used hire vehicles, which were being taken out of service, for distribution through the Group’s used sales outlets.
The contract was awarded against competitive tenders from three fuel storage specialist companies.
‘While Ledbury was not the cheapest option, we decided that this solution met the highest standards for safety of our staff in decanting fuel from vehicles,’ explains Branch Manager, Marlene Stevenson.
‘Ledbury understood our requirement and we found them to be proficient and reassuring in their interpretation of our needs. The installation at Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental’s Glasgow South Street branch is the first of its type within the Arnold Clark Group.
Marlene Stevenson continues, ‘By recycling our fuel, we can reduce our operating costs and this of course helps us to pass on the savings to our customers by offering competitive rates and marketing incentives. These are important benefits and we shall be looking at the possibility of installing similar facilities at other hire branches within the Group.’
The installation comprises separate channels for unleaded petrol and diesel, each of which has a storage tank of 3,750 and 5,000 litres respectively. Each channel has two fuel pumps – one equipped for decanting fuel and the other for dispensing.
All transactions are monitored by a central control panel which is linked to the office computer. Staff can view current stock levels and all fuelling activities. At the panel, a proximity fob is used to select the channel and pump function. The vehicle registration must be entered to authenticate and confirm the correct fuel channel. The amount either drawn or decanted, from the vehicle is then recorded automatically by the management system.
Traditionally car and van hire operations run on full tanks. Customers agree to either top up the vehicle tank on return, or accept a charge for the fuel used during their hire period, according to the rental company.
For Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental, with a fleet of 600 vehicles at its branch at South Street in Glasgow, this fuel in vehicle tanks amounts to a significant amount of business capital, which is effectively locked into stock.
Furthermore, as each fleet vehicle reaches the end of its hire service life, it is usually resold through the Group’s national used sales outlets with each vehicle taking out a full tank of fuel.
Then of course, as replacement vehicles were purchased they have to be fuelled before entering the hire fleet. The recycling unit not only provides a local depot fuelling point, but also a safe means of transferring the fuel stock to the replacement vehicles.
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