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Fleet Diesel Pricing


SuiteSuccess

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RandyA's junkyard post got me to thinking. I know Pilot/Flying J is located in Knoxville near where I live. I also know they give fleet pricing on diesel. Wonder if enough of us got together across the U.S. if we could broker a deal to get discounted pricing on fuel like the fleets? If enough people are interested, I don't mind giving their corporate office a call to see what could be arranged. Think we would probably have to buy either a fixed volume per month or a yearly volume. Thoughts?

On edit do you think it must be a taxable entity to qualify?

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That's an interesting question. Given that Pilot/Flying J is known for rebates (including sometimes failing to give them...), I wonder if there would be a way to put together a deal where you basically pay the pump price, and as the volume hits certain thresholds in a given period you qualify for a rebate. Maybe that's already how they do it?

 

I wonder if there's something that exists already for independent drivers--sort of along the lines of the NAPA discount for OOIDA members (and in that case non-members too).

 

If you were to assume 50 participants at 10,000 miles and 7 mpg each, that would be over $200K/year even at currently pretty low prices. What kind of discounts do you think might be possible?

 

It would seem like doing what you're talking about with a loosely-coupled group had been done before, albeit with quite a few more trucks.

 

Good idea!

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David,

 

Where do you find those links :). You're amazing pulling up data! I was thinking there have to be at least a hundred or more of us HDTers across the nation. If we could get a consistent 5% discount that would be a big savings. I know with their RV discount you get cash price which is usually 5 cents or so. I'm looking bigger than that but we might just be tiny fish in a large pond cause I'm sure some fleets spend millions. But it never hurts to try.

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The worst they can do is say no. Al mentioned on another thread that they're often more expensive. To some extent, I think truck stops will often be more expensive than a normal station with one or two diesel pumps, which means either they have larger margins because there's less competition, or they have more overhead, or some of both. It may mean that they have more room to deal on pricing, and who knows what fraction of trucks pay the price on the sign.

 

One thing I do know--as much as I'll go out of my way to get a good deal, I'm not nearly as maneuverable as some of you, especially towing. It has to be a pretty big difference to skip the truck stop when you consider what I'd burn snaking in and out and turning around to reach the other side. I do find that there tend to be more "perks" at non-chain or smaller stations--everything from free drinks to coupons for a free waffle and hash browns at the Waffle House next door--but I always know what to expect at FJ or a Pilot Travel Center.

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I'm with you Dave. Before I hook up I go to our super Walmart buy a gift card which gets you 3 - 10 cents off depending on the specials. Today's price as I said $2.88. But on the road I'll rarely go out of the way to get a cheaper price with the full rig. If there seems to be an interest, I'll call them.

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Wow. This exchange got me wondering, so I checked Gasbuddy for the Cincinnati area. I found diesel for $2.75 about 20 miles away, and $3.69 locally. $105 savings on 125 gallons, minus the fuel to drive 40 miles, nets approx. a $90 savings, plus it gives me a reason to get the Vital Bodily Fluids all warm and happy.

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At this moment, diesel is $2.49 at Sam's Club in Easley,SC. Most of the truck stops around here are considerably more. I know that the price spread between smaller stations and truck stops is often much less than it is now. As far as talking to Pilot/Flying J...nothing ventured, nothing gained. The truck stops are usually more conveinent and entrance/egress is better. If we were offered a discount, it would be nice. Charlie

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Some may already know about the Good Sam / Pilot / Flying J discount charge card but for those that don't.....

 

It provides a discount when purchasing fuel. http://www.goodsamclub.com/faq.aspx?faqcat=10&category=Pilot-Flying-J-Plus-Card

 

I'm with you Dave. Before I hook up I go to our super Walmart buy a gift card which gets you 3 - 10 cents off depending on the specials. Today's price as I said $2.88. But on the road I'll rarely go out of the way to get a cheaper price with the full rig. If there seems to be an interest, I'll call them.

 

I'm familiar with both of those deals--but there's an even better deal out there when prices are high enough if you're willing to do just a little bit of up-front setup: https://penfed.org/Platinum-Cash-Rewards/ -- this card gets you 5% back on purchases at the pump, no annual limits, automatically credited to your account each month. While the info sheet says gas purchases, I get the discount for all fuel purchases at the pump. Eligibility used to be tied to Pentagon employees, but anyone can join now.

 

Of course, $0.10/gal and 5% of $2 and change are getting awfully close together.

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Hi Guys,

 

I was out this morning and these are some prices I found in Canton,Oh on 12/29/2014. The Flying J, $3.45 credit, $3.39 cash, for diesel and gas was $2.05. At the Speedway in my neighborhood diesel is $3.29 and gas at $1.99. The BP station on the east side of town, diesel at $3.13 and gas at $1.93. The BP usually has the best price in town. This will give you some idea of the prices in Canton. The funny thing about the prices is that there is a refinery in town. So the location of a refinery has no being on prices. This is my opinion.

 

Why does Flying J charge two different prices for diesel ? Who is going to carry large amounts of cash to pay for fuel ? Maybe this is Jimmy H. way to pay for the Cleveland Browns. (lol) Who knows what it takes to run a pro team.

 

I can understand about using Flying J when you are traveling. Because they are convenient. They are the only station that I know that has two different prices for diesel.

 

Al

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Al,

 

It's been my experience that most of the truck stop chains have 2 diesel prices--Love's, TA/Petro and Pilot/FlyingJ for sure. At least in the case of Pilot/FJ, you can get the cash price with one of their free rewards cards and start the pump without going inside.

 

The price difference for credit is pretty simple--they're having to pay a processing fee for each transaction, which they're passing on to some extent. Usually, there's a fixed transaction fee and a percentage added on. For a big fuel retailer, I'd expect they're below 2%, but on $2 diesel that's still $0.04/gal. One of the ways the chains deal with this is to offer their own charge card.

 

Ohio has had weird pricing behavior for some time--even as prices are dropping sharply, the Akron and Columbus markets still see a weekly price hike, but in my experience a $0.10/gal premium for a truck stop isn't abnormal.

 

Jimmy's going to have to raise his prices and do that rebate thing quite a bit more if the difference is going to get the Browns to the playoffs! :)

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Hi Guys,

 

Why does Flying J charge two different prices for diesel ? Who is going to carry large amounts of cash to pay for fuel ? Maybe this is Jimmy H. way to pay for the Cleveland Browns. (lol) Who knows what it takes to run a pro team.

 

Al

 

In addition to what Nuke said, it's to cover the "awards" cards. Do people really believe credit companies are giving away money? Uhhhh, no. They pass it on to the retailer, who must then pass it on to the customers. There are no free rides.

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There are discounts in the fleet diesel business and then there are discounts.

 

1st, the Marque price on the sign bears absolutely no relationship to the actual cost of the product in the ground at any particular chain(for this discussion we will use the biggies- Love's, Pilot Flying J, Travelcenters of America-Petro.)

My own personal example: My company has 250 units. We negotiated for years trying to get a true discount program, which is a cost + price, and finally got it with TA-Petro. Flying J/Pilot told us to take a hike, as did Love's. Our drivers preferred TA anyway. We get a list every morning of all the TA-Petro locations, which ones give us a cost plus discount, and the ones that will only knock off $.04 off the marquis price. About 2/3 rds of the locations give us the real thing. Here are some examples from this mornings list:

 

Location marquis price cost plus $.04 we pay

TA Big Spring TX $3.25 $2.42

TA Knoxville West $3.15 $3.13(Franchise location, doesn't give discounts)

TA Knoxville $3.17 $2.29 (8 miles away, same brand, same services )

TA Harrisburg PA $3.19 $2.90

TA Troy IL $3.27 $2.49

Petro Kingsland GA $3.19 $2.63

Petro Atlanta $3.28 $2.44

 

Note the $.19 difference in 2 locations in GA that are about 200 miles apart. In other words, almost anyone will give you $.10 off the marquis price, because it is like the MSRP on a new car. Most of the larger freight companies getting fuel at the bigs ones is fuel they purchased at the tank farm on a futures contract, dropped into the tank at a given Loves, Pilot or TA and just paid a few cents for the administration-book keeping-pumping and allowing the drivers to use the showers. That is why you see certain truckstop locations jammed to the gills with trucks at the island of certain large carriers.

 

Use this site to determine the price up to the last transaction at any truckstop that accepts Comdata. They list them all, independents, chains, foreign owned, you name it. When you are perusing the site, note the huge difference between prices in any given market.

 

http://www.gocomchek.com/

 

Don't bother with the discount arrangement with any particular organization, the oil business is way too smart for that.

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Jeff, I figured that fleets got a discount but didn't realize how big the discount could be. Thanks for the info from an "insider". It seems that organizations such as AITA, etc, would have the clout to geat a decent discount but I haven't heard about it if they do. I imagine the discounts large fleets get on tires and parts would be sizeable, too. Too bad that Carl and I can't get the discounts for driving old U.S. Express trucks........... BTW, I really like your COE. Charlie

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The national account pricing for tires and related services is another huge difference between "retail", what RVer's would pay and what the big trucking companies. There is an ad on the back of last years Rand McNally Truck atlas from Bridgestone/Firestone pointing to 2 different points on a map, "Your tires/road service at 2AM cost the same here in Albany NY as they do in Albany GA with National Account Pricing. " Can you imagine the difference in local costs between those two places?

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Hi Everyone,

 

When it comes to diesel fuel prices it is always interesting the difference between diesel verse gasoline. Before crude oil prices started coming down the difference for most of the summer in my area was about $0.60 a gallon. Diesel being more expensive. Why ? Now the difference is about $1.20 to $1.40 per gallon more. Who is getting ripped off ? I like how the news makes a big deal about gas prices going down but diesel prices don't follow the same line. Enough said.

 

Thanks for listening,

Al

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It's my understanding that a lot of diesel gets shipped to Europe, where it's higher still.

 

Given the physics of oil and it's by products, there are more BTUs in diesel, per gallon, than in gasoline, so it makes sense that diesel would be higher per gallon. Diesel also weighs a bit more, roughly 1/2# more per gallon, so the BTUs per pound might be nearly equal.

 

And then there's the fact that a lot of diesel is used as heating oil, so the highest demand of the year is about now.

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As for me, I don't use Flying J or Pilot because they tend to be the most expensive retailers AND they have a fairly high (and variable) level of "bio" components. Our local Marathon mini truck stop is consistently .10 to .20 cents per gallon cheaper. On the road I use Marathon when I think I can get in the lot, TA or Petro if I can find one, and as a last resort, BP, who treat their folks like crap, have high prices, but don't add goo to their product. (Worked in their refineries quiet a while)

 

The higher cost of diesel relative to gasoline is due mostly to the sulfur reduction requirement imposed by your friendly EPA . They went from "low sulfur" at 500 ppm to "ultra low sulfur" at 15 ppm, That required huge expenditures of cash at the refineries. For most over the road vehicles, that change was implemented in 2007. Prior to that, diesel was consistently about 20 cents cheaper than gas and figured prominently into my decision to buy a diesel truck. And while diesel and heating oil are very similar, heating oil flows off at 1 to 2 trays below the diesel trays in the tower and consequently uses less energy to produce an equal amount of product.

 

Paul & Paula

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So Paul do you know if TA or Petro have a charge card option like Pilot which discounts off the cash price? (As discussed above by Dave). BTW my local Walmart is Marathon and that's where I fill up before a long trip. Small fill hoses but cheap price. I assume their product doesn't have a lot of "goo"?

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Sorry Suite, I don't know much about their credit card programs (read: nothing at all). To this point, one fill up on the road, at most, has sufficed for each of our trips so haven't given it much consideration. Since the DW is still working can't get too far away from the brix & stix.

 

And yes, typically much less goo.

 

Paul

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When we travel we use the stations at the Walmart's we load a Walmart gift card then get diesel at their station and save 10 cents a gallon, usually have to make sure we are bobtailing as the stations are not large rv friendly, plus only a small nozzle so longer to fill, but doable. As was pointed out when looking for a HDT large tanks means you can price shop so that's what we do.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As for me, I don't use Flying J or Pilot because they tend to be the most expensive retailers AND they have a fairly high (and variable) level of "bio" components.

 

If I am correctly informed, veg based bio-diesel has a higher BTU than petro-diesel so if the price is the same for either then the bio would give a bigger bang for your buck.

 

Usually the places that have straight bio-diesel exist to make folks feel good about saving the planet so the price is higher.

 

When they add ethanol or any other kind of alcohol to gasoline, the bang for the buck goes down because there is not as many BTU's in alcohol so your fuel economy goes down. Of course often you are stuck with what you can get so the free market doesn't get to vote. (But ADM and the other AG middlemen laugh all the way to the bank.)

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