How companies can optimise their fleet management costs with the digital driver card

A DS Group subsidiary uses the data derived from the official driver card even more efficiently in what is a logical step towards greater digitisation

Truck drivers always carry their official driver card with them. In addition, most logistics companies have hitherto used a fuel card so that drivers do not have to pay in cash. DS card + drive GmbH sees the digital driver card as a virtual interface between the official driver card and the fuel terminals operated by DS card + drive GmbH. It is a digital extension of the official driver card which makes it possible to use it for truck refuels. This offers logistics companies new possibilities for collecting valuable statistics. Here you can find out what these possibilities are and how the system works.
By Moritz Schröder, Head of Sales Germany, DS card + drive GmbH

The problem: many fuel cards cause confusion in truck fleet management

Let’s take a logistics company with 100 trucks and 120 drivers for example. In order to be able to trace exactly when what driver filled up where with what truck, a 2-card system is required: one card each for every vehicle and driver. As a result, the company needs at least 100 fuel cards, each of which is linked to the trucks, and 120 fuel cards for the active drivers. The company must therefore apply for and manage 220 cards. At least 100 of these are in constant circulation within the company, as many drivers change vehicles at irregular intervals. The high personnel turnover in the logistics sector aggravates the situation. And the larger the logistics company’s fleet is, the more fuel card management becomes necessary. This administrative work is a cost factor for logistics companies that should not be underestimated.

The solution is to integrate the fuel card functions into the driver card

DS card + drive GmbH, a company founded by DS Group, has virtualised the fuel card and integrated it into the official driver card. This results in fewer manual operations and more comprehensive data.

A man holds his gascard into the camera

Logistics companies can simplify their fuel card management significantly with the digitised fuel card because each driver needs only a single card.

The digital driver card as a virtual extension of the official driver card is already in the truck. DS card + drive GmbH uses this data and combines it with the information about the truck and driver in the system. This gives rise to a valuable data set. DS card + drive GmbH collects and reads the data from the official driver card via its vending machines and the corresponding software and makes this data available to logistics companies. The system does not track driving and rest times. Instead, the following useful data is collected:

  • Driver number in accordance with point 5b of the official driver card
  • Driver’s surname
  • Validity of the driver card
  • The vehicle’s registration number
  • The vehicle mileage
  • Date and time of removal of the driver card from the digital tachograph

The DS card + drive GmbH system then consolidates this data with the following information:

  • Refuelling place
  • Time and date of refuelling
  • Amount refuelled

The fleet manager can save himself a great deal of administrative work, as he can conveniently order, block, process and evaluate the cards via the customer portal. It is then no longer necessary to send out fuel cards and distribute them to the drivers.

You can find more information about the digital driver card on the DS card + drive GmbH website

Using the official driver card, companies can easily analyse and manage large quantities of data

The official driver card records exactly what happens to the truck. Although most logistics companies already collect various types of relevant data, this often involves a great deal of effort and manually updated tables. However, because the official driver card is always present in the truck, the data that it holds is complete and can be retrieved at any time. DS card + drive GmbH customers also have access to a detailed but clearly laid-out customer portal, where it is possible to analyse the data, ensuring that logistics companies have instantaneous access to a large volume of data

Using the digital driver card, companies can plan the deployment of their vehicle fleets more efficiently

Administrative users – such as at the forwarding company – can immediately see in detail how much fuel a driver has consumed – even if he has been driving five different trucks. Conversely, logistics companies can also instantaneously see how much fuel a truck has consumed, even if five different drivers have been at the wheel. You can block and unblock cards, allocate quotas, order new ones or register new driver profiles and vehicles, all digitally with just a few clicks of the mouse. In addition, our customers have individual evaluation options at their disposal at the vehicle and fleet level.

We provide our clients with a broad database for detailed analyses.

Logistics companies can compare consumption or efficiency on different routes and optimize processes and orders accordingly. Obviously, this can also be achieved without the digital driver card by using expensive software. However, the card gives logistics companies new scope for optimisation, allowing them to save administration costs and offer their customers better prices.

You can find more information on the digital driver card at the DS card + drive GmbH website

Fuel terminal to which someone is using a fuel card

The digital driver card prevents the risk of erroneous refuelling data being collected.

The vending machines in our petrol station network use software to check whether the card has been in a truck registered in the system in the last 15 minutes. Only then may the driver refuel. That means that

  • the driver cannot refuel if he is at a petrol station with the wrong truck or if he tries to buy fuel at the weekend without the truck: the driver must be using a truck from his own transport company.
  • The driver cannot enter an incorrect mileage and thus distort the internal statistics or disguise actual consumption.
  • It is convenient for drivers as they do not have to always enter the mileage. This is because refuelling frequently involves three different processes: diesel for two different tanks, usually on both sides of the vehicle, plus AdBlue®.

The digital driver card is a systematic step forward in digitalised transportation. It makes life easier for drivers and allows fleet managers to handle their fleets more efficiently.

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