The impact fuel probes have on fleets

Blog Articles

Fuel theft can have a devastating impact on businesses of all sizes, across all industry sectors. With fuel prices fluctuating considerably, and generally not in the consumers’ favour, having to fork out more money towards fuel that has been stolen, is just another financial hit some businesses can’t afford to take.

Having a fuel probe and fuel management system in place can help organisations route out instances of fuel theft, identity vehicles that require maintenance, and discover more efficient ways to do business. It is through this modern management system that allows fleet managers and business owners to save where it matters most, while optimising and improving systems that are costing the company money.

But what is a fuel probe, and how does it work with a fuel management system to improve business operations? Let us dive into fuel probes, explore how they work, and what their primary purpose is.

What are fuel probes, and how do they work?

Landmark FuelSecure uses technically advanced fuel probes that are capacitive probes. A capacitive fuel probe is a type of sensor used to measure the level of fuel in a tank. It works by detecting changes in capacitance (the ability of a material to store electric charge) caused by the presence of fuel.

How does a capacitive fuel probe work?

  • The probe consists of two or more electrodes (usually metal rods or plates) inserted into the fuel tank.
  • The electrodes are insulated from each other and the tank.
  • When the tank is empty, the electrodes have a certain capacitance value.
  • As fuel enters the tank, it acts as a dielectric material, changing the capacitance between the electrodes.
  • The change in capacitance is directly proportional to the level of fuel in the tank.
  • The sensor measures this change in capacitance and converts it into an electrical signal.
  • The signal is then sent to a platform that interprets the data and generates reports, which shows the fuel level, warns of theft, reports on fill-ups and is combined with GPS tracking so it also works out consumption.

Capacitive fuel probes are commonly used in aircraft, vehicles, and industrial applications due to their high accuracy, reliability, and resistance to corrosion and contamination. They are also relatively simple and cost-effective compared to other fuel level sensing technologies.

What are fuel probes used for?

As the name would suggest, fuel probes are primarily used for monitoring fuel levels inside various tank types. However, due to the versatility of the device, some industries have been known to utilise fuel probes to measure the levels are various liquids, not just fuel.

Let us take a look at some of those industries and their uses of fuel probes:

  • Agriculture sector: Farmers have been known to use fuel probe technology to monitor water levels in their ponds, reservoirs, canals, or irrigation ditches to stay abreast of their water levels at any given time.
  • Mining sector: Mines can use and modify fuel probe technology to monitor lubricant levels in gearboxes, differentials, and other critical equipment across the mine. This reduces equipment breakdown and helps mines avoid potential safety hazards.
  • Construction sector: Similarly to farming, construction experts have used fuel probe technology to monitor water levels within storage tanks to ensure a steady supply throughout construction projects.
  • Oil and petroleum sector: This sector has modified fuel probe technology to monitor the liquid levels of crude oil or refined products stored in aboveground storage tanks to detect potential leaks or possible theft at any given time.

How do fuel probes work with a fuel management system?

We all now know what a fuel probe is, however, what we don’t often think of, is that the fuel probe is a part of a fuel management system. A fuel management system is a technological solution designed to track, analyse, and provide real-time insights into fuel consumption within a fleet. This fleet can consist of static or mobile tanks of various shapes and sizes.

The data gathered by the fuel probe and various other sensory elements is transmitted to a central dashboard and translated to reveal user-friendly information. Here’s a quick breakdown of a fuel management system:

  • Fuel probes: These are installed into a fuel tank and act as sensors to continually measure the fuel levels inside the tank.
  • Data transmission: The data received from the sensor is transmitted wirelessly to the central dashboard or cloud platform.
  • Software: The software receives, analyses and translates the raw data from the sensor into various reports set up by the user. The reports can include but are not limited to real-time fuel monitoring from any fuel tank at any given location, fuel usage reports to show fuel consumption over a select period for any tank, and fuel theft detection by identifying sudden drops or more than usual consumption per tip.

What are the benefits of a fuel management system?

There are thousands of articles and videos that go into detail as to why you need a fuel management system and how it can benefit your business. In fact, we’ve written a few of them ourselves “How Do Fuel Management Systems Improve Efficiency and Reduce Costs?”, “Why Fuel Management Systems Are Essential”, and “A Few Tips for Preventing Fuel Theft in Your Fleet”.

At the end of the day, there are 4 key takeaways that showcase why any business owner or fleet manager should opt for a fuel management system, and they are:

  • Better fuel economy: Through real-time reporting and tracking, fleet managers can monitor the performance of the vehicle and determine whether poor driving is contributing towards increased fuel costs. Fleet managers can use this data to set up fuel conservation practices and improve driver behaviour, thus ensuring a long-term improved fuel economy.
  • Fewer losses due to theft and waste: A fuel management system can provide a fleet manager with real-time reports, which they can use to compare results from previous trips to identify possible fuel loss. Furthermore, a fleet manager can set alerts for unscheduled fuels stops, fuel dispensed, fuel added, and rapid fuel level drops etc. These reports can help fleet managers with optimised vehicle maintenance schedules and discourage would-be fuel thieves from targeting your fleet.
  • Sustainability and the environment: A fuel management system can help fleet managers establish a more efficient way to manage their fuel consumption and subsequent CO2 levels, which in turn will help lower their impact on the environment.
  • Making fuel tax reporting simpler: A fuel management system can make it much easier to regulate and monitor the petrol a fleet uses over the course of a fiscal year. Therefore, filing returns and compiling reports for tax purposes are made easier.


Fuel probes, although a smaller part of a larger more complex system, plays a vital role in providing fleet managers with the insights they need in order to improve their efficiency and cut back on costs.

If your business is looking for a fuel management and monitoring partner, look no further than Landmark FuelSecure! We provide state-of-the-art fuel tracking and monitoring solutions that will help you make every drop count.