bp In-Truck Pay (3)

Wren Kitchens’ HGV drivers have been testing a new app which makes refuelling quick and easy and removes the need for fuel cards.

The trial is part of a collaboration also involving BP and Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK to test digital in-truck fuel payment system bp In-Truck Pay.

The app aims to speed up fuel purchasing and management as well as make it more efficient and secure for truck drivers and fleet managers.

Developed for use in the latest-generation Mercedes-Benz Actros, the app automatically relays purchases, mileage and other data back to base, providing accurate information to managers and removing the need for drivers to enter mileage.

To use the app, drivers have to follow three simple steps – confirm the site, unlock the pump and refuel. The truck directly logs the fuel transaction, paying for the fuel itself. Drivers don’t need to pay in the shop or to enter data.

The app also removes the need for fuel cards, which eliminates the problems of managing lost or damaged cards and the risk of fraudulent card use.

During the pilot trial Wren Kitchens, winner of five MT Awards this year, used the app with 11 vehicles from its fleet - six tractor units used to distribute quartz worktops from its headquarters in Barton-upon-Humber, and five 18-tonners, based at a depot in Tipton in the West Midlands, that deliver kitchens to customers’ homes.

Wren Kitchens buys the bulk of its fuel from BP to run its fleet of 300 trucks, which operate from a network of seven locations nationwide. Approximately 100 of these vehicles are Mercedes-Benz trucks.

Wren Kitchens national fleet manager Lee Thompson-Halls said: “Going card-less has saved us so much time and trouble, not only at the fuel station but also on the admin side. It has ensured that we’re working with clear, accurate data, and is also where we need to be from a security perspective.

“Our team of drivers do a challenging job, so anything we can do to make their lives easier and less stressful has to be a good thing, not least because it will help to make them that bit safer at the wheel.”

He added that one driver particularly appreciated being able to remain close to his truck throughout the process of refuelling late at night and in the early hours of the morning, rather than having to walk across to the kiosk to pay, then check round the tractor unit and its trailer on his return.

“Our drivers have found the app very straightforward and easy to use, and they like the idea of being at the forefront of new technology. A lot of them are looking at the bigger picture and see this as a development that will help drivers of the future, as well as themselves.”

He added: “We strive to always be ahead of the game, and trialling innovative initiatives like this means we can potentially drive progress within our business, and, ultimately, the logistics sector as a whole.

“The trials have shown an increase in efficiency, with savings of approximately five minutes per transaction. When you add that up over time, it will have a hugely positive impact on our business, which delivers over 100,000 kitchens per year across the UK. Not only that, but it will also be beneficial for our drivers, by creating a safer and quicker way to pay for fuel.”

Richard Skidmore, Mercedes Benz UK head of customer service delivery, commented: “Connectivity is integral to the strategy of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. The app demonstrates perfectly how the Truck App Portal can amplify the benefit of running Mercedes-Benz trucks by helping customers to save money, increase efficiency and retain drivers.

“We are proud of the part our connectivity team has played in the development of this app that has the potential to transform the way in which operators may purchase their fuel.”

Alexandru Eftimiu, BP VP fleet Europe, added: “We aim to provide innovative digital solutions to make customers’ lives easier. bp In-Truck Pay shifts how we connect with our customers through digital and online platforms.

“It makes life easier and more convenient for both managers and drivers of commercial fleets. We’ve already received fantastic feedback from Wren Kitchens and look forward to bringing bp In-Truck Pay to other customers and countries in due course.”