Did you know there are over 13,000 fuel dealers across the US?
That almost certainly means you have a few to choose from in your city or county alone. However, determining which company best suits your fuel delivery needs can be challenging.
Whether you’re a business looking for a diesel fuel delivery partner or a homeowner wanting reliable, before-you-need-it heating fuel delivery, selecting an exemplary fuel delivery service is imperative. Your company’s bottom line, or, even more importantly, your family’s safety in a winter storm, depends on it.
The key to finding a dependable fuel delivery company is doing your research. You need to know whether customers are happy with a provider’s service and that they can deliver on time, offer maintenance, and supply the types of fuel you need.
Read on to find out how.
Are They Reliable?
No matter the types of fuel you require, one of the most critical features of a good fuel delivery company is whether or not they deliver on time.
Fuel is an essential component of a home or company. From a business perspective, you need fuel to power fleets, run heating and cooling systems, and keep the machinery going. Homeowners also need fuel to heat and cool their homes and run gardening or power tools.
If you don’t get your fuel on time, it’s worse than an inconvenience. You could lose money or miss your own appointments due to vehicles or machines being out of commission. You could suffer health issues due to heat or cold exposure.
If a company has a reputation for missing delivery appointments and doesn’t offer a wide range of scheduled drop-off times and emergency delivery services, avoid working with them.
Do They Come Recommended?
Let’s say you head to Google maps and plug “DEF fluid near me” into the search field. As you scroll down the list of options, look at the stars next to each company. Pay attention to those stars!
These are honest reviews from past customers telling you whether or not the company is reputable. Only consider companies with 4 or 5-star ratings if you can.
Another way to find the best fuel delivery service is to ask family, friends, or others in your industry. First-hand experience trumps anything you read on the internet.
If you can only work with the companies that pop up in your Google search, check their rating in the Better Business Bureau before contacting them for a quote.
Are They Receptive?
Once you have a shortlist of local fuel delivery companies, it’s time to start calling or sending emails.
Questions you can ask include:
- What types of fuel do you specialize in?
- What’s your delivery schedule?
- Do you offer storage and machinery maintenance?
- How do you handle complaints?
- What happens if you can’t deliver on time?
- What payment plans do you offer?
Take note of how easy (or not easy) it is to get information from the company. If the customer service representative you speak with is amicable and answers your questions in detail, it’s a good sign the company is reliable.
Where Are They Located?
If you’re looking for the most affordable fuel possible, it’s best to work with a local fuel delivery provider. Why? Because you won’t get charged exorbitant fees for shipping your fuel halfway across the state!
Of course, this isn’t always an option for companies or homeowners in remote areas. Unfortunately, in this case, your options may be limited to whichever delivery company is closest to you—regardless of their charges or quality of service.
If you’re a business looking to refuel a fleet of transport trucks or other vehicles regularly, consider the delivery partner’s lot affiliations. Most fleets are stored on commercial lots, and the lot might have a contract with a fuel delivery company. This saves you a search.
Do They Offer Special Prices?
Most fuel delivery services have an array of discounts and special offers you can take advantage of. When choosing a partner, ask about what they offer.
It could be that if you order a certain amount of heating fuel each month, they give you a discount on the total price. Some providers might offer a subscription model, where you pay in advance for, say, twelve months of deliveries. You’ll usually get a lower price for this, too.
Also, keep an eye on fuel price fluctuation, and don’t be afraid to argue a quoted price if you think it’s too high.
Are They Safe?
It can be challenging to determine the safety standards of a fuel delivery company since you don’t usually visit their location.
However, one way to determine safety standards is by looking at the condition of the truck that turns up. Is it clean and well maintained? Does the driver seem professional?
You can, of course, also ask the company about their licenses and any health and safety protocols they practice. If they’re hesitant to provide this information, be wary.
What Does the Contract Look Like?
Like with any other service, review the contract with a fine-toothed comb. Check for how many months you’re signed into the delivery service and at what rates. Examine any clauses related to fuel price fluctuations, additional or hidden service charges, and contract cancellations.
Ideally, you want the contract to include a trial period. That way, if the service doesn’t suit you or turns out to be unreliable or low quality, you can part ways at no extra cost to you.
Finding the Right Fuel Delivery Service for Your Needs
At the end of the day, what you want is a reliable, fast, and communicative fuel delivery service. This is as essential for businesses with high fuel needs as it is for homeowners looking to top up their heating fuel storage.
It’s vital to do your research before picking a provider. Read reviews to find out more about a company, then interview them over the phone to get a feel for their customer service. Ask if they offer extras like maintenance and emergency delivery.
The more you find out upfront, the less likely you’ll have to change the company later.
For more advice on supplying your home or business, browse our other articles.