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Q&A


When Every Drop Counts A conversation with OPW Fuel Management Systems about the importance of fuel control today and tomorrow


A


mid budget cuts and economic uncertainties, strict manage- ment of operating costs in school districts has become


increasingly important. We sat down with Bobby Hayes, domestic sales manager at OPW Fuel Management Systems in Hodgk- ins, Illinois, to discuss how school districts can increase their fiscal transparency and protect their fuel assets by investing in fuel management equipment.


School Transportation News: How many school districts and school transportation companies is OPW currently working with? What experience does OPW bring to the school transportation market? Bobby Hayes: OPW has several generations of fuel


control systems installed at hundreds of school districts and school transportation companies across the United States and Canada. As a global leader in fully integrated fluid handling, management, monitoring and control solutions, we have assisted school districts — both large and small — manage not only their bus fuel but the fuel allocated for their entire vehicle fleet. OPW has developed a portfolio of fuel control equipment that has provided decades of reliable performance to school fleets — some school districts have been using our key-lock system since the 1960s.


STN: What type of equipment does OPW offer school districts and student transportation companies? Hayes: OPW’s Petro Vendfamily of unattended fuel


control systems — including fuel island terminals and site controllers — provide the hardware schools need to control their fuel whilefuel management software significantly simplifies reporting and reconciliation pro- cedures. Tank monitoring systems streamline compliance management, and we also deliver a variety of fueling activation solutions, including magnetic stripe, proximity cards and key fobs, electronic chip key and keypad entry. In some instances, we are able to utilize existing ID cards to activate the fuel system.


STN: What kind of benefits does this equipment


provide to school district’s or bus contractor’s bot- tom lines? Hayes: OPW fuel control systems provide authoriza- tion and accountability of fuel usage as well as complete


16 School Transportation News • APRIL 2016


STN: Why is now the time to invest in fuel manage- ment equipment? Hayes: Two reasons: Lower fuel prices reduce oper- ating costs and fuel theft increases as fuel prices rise. Transportation directors have an opportunity right now to invest savings generated by low fuel costs back into their equipment. Upgrading select components within an existing system — such as adding state-of-the-art Microsoft SQL-enabled fuel management software that offers advanced reporting capabilities — can signifi- cantly improve a school district’s fuel control practices. Schools that invest now in order to tighten their fleet and fuel management programs for the future will be better positioned to weather high fuel prices.


STN: Tank you. 


transparency into a school district’s fuel budget. Our equipment tracks every gallon of fuel that goes into every fleet vehicle in the system, helping fleet administrators identi- fy unauthorized fueling, prevent fuel theft and document fuel usage. Trough instant visibility into fuel volumes and anticipated usage, transportation managers are able to


optimize the timing and pricing of fuel deliveries. In addition, utilizing fuel management that can export vehicle mileage data to fleet management programs like RTA Fleet Management can optimize preventative maintenance programs.


Bobby Hayes, domestic sales manager at OPW Fuel Management Systems


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