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Why trucks prefer BP, IOCL & HP fuel stations over Shell & Nayara

What are these pumps (HP & BP) pumps offering that Nayara and Shell guys are not.

BHPian SideView recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi folks,

I was out of Bangalore for a couple of years (covid WFH) and just recently moved back to see my whole locality has changed a bit. I have seen new road constructions in progress, the traffic density increase as well as seen new fuel stations pop up. (Nayara, Shell, HP to name a few)

Me owning the Terrano, am very picky with the fuel stations that I refuel due to the “injector” issue that my 110 PS Duster/Terrano brothers keep reporting.

Now coming to the reason behind me starting this thread, I see a huge number of trucks and long-distance Volvos filling up from HP and Indian Oil pumps but rarely from Nayara and Shell.

Take similarities with us selecting restaurants, if we see a huge crowd we assume it could be due to either great food or good offers.

What are these pumps (HP & BP) pumps offering that Nayara and Shell guys are not (I know shell can be a couple of Rs expensive) but if the fuel quality is better shouldn't the trucks and Volvos also select the same? As it would be better in the long run? (My other guess is they are giving better repayment terms like fill now, pay at end of month etc., which the private companies might not entertain)

Or

Is it that the whole Shell > BP, HP for fuel quality is just hogwash.

Or

Do they dispense better fuel to these trucks via dedicated lanes and give the sub-standard products to us gullible folks.

Or

They bribe drivers and give some kickbacks, as they don't own the trucks and maintenance headache is up to the owner and not the driver.

Maybe I should stop being paranoid and fill from a nearby HP /Indian Oil / BP pump rather than hunting for Shell bunks (on top pay Rs 10 premium this month that I found out)

Is anyone else in the same conundrum as me?

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

I don't think Shell is worth 10 bucks more at all (or even 5). There is no Shell outlet close to where I live, so have been happily filling up at trusted PSU-brand pumps for all our cars, including the Germans & some high-performance test-drive machines we get from time to time. No issues at all. You indeed need to stop being paranoid .

COCO (company-owned & company-operated) pumps are the best; if not available, use local intelligence to find trustworthy pumps in your area. From what I have seen, it is very difficult for any petrol pump to indulge in adulteration in crowded urban areas - law enforcement is strict & word spreads quickly. Adulteration is most rampant on highways where one-time-fills (you never return there) is the norm.

Here's what BHPian condor had to say on the matter:

HP, BCPL and IOCL do sometimes have offers for the larger quantities that truckers fill up.

While Shell is expensive - and for truckers, they can save a few 100 rupees on each fill if they don't go there.

Nayara/Essar is a bit of a question. One reason can be old habits of filling at the IOCL/BPCL/HP, but another reason -from personal experience is - the FE can be lower with diesel from Nayara/Essar. I have noticed this with all my 3 Tata's over the years.

Truckers fill in larger quantities - they won't get extra diesel per litre. Hence your theory of a gullible public won't hold. While Shell fuel is clean, again my personal experience is lower FE as compared to the PSU Oil Co's

But yes, when in unfamiliar locations, getting diesel from bunks where truckers fill in, is a safe option.

Here's what BHPian ashis89 had to say on the matter:

Truckers frequenting certain fuel bunks can be due to several reasons:

  • They get a discount for bulk purchases (usually 75 paise per litre upon purchase of more than 100 litres.)
  • Due to frequent travel and information from other truckers, they know the bunk is reliable (in terms of quantity and quality of fuel). For someone consuming 100s of litres, even a small quantity will make a difference.
  • Sometimes fleet owners have tie-ups with a few bunks on regular routes. The bunk will collect a 'token' from the driver and give them the fuel. At the end of the week/month, the fleet owner will clear all the dues with the bunk based on the amount consumed.
  • Fuel bunks might have tie-ups with nearby "Dhaba" and give some discount for regular truckers. A truck can gulp 100 lt of diesel in a go. 100 bikers (in rural areas) might not be able to match that. For a fuel bunk owner who earns a commission per litre of fuel sold, a frequent trucker is good revenue. Fuel bunks try to attract truckers with such discounts or a place to rest, clean washrooms, cold water, etc.
  • Most important - Shell regular diesel costs Rs.17 more than IOCL/HP/BP. Bangalore prices are 105.58 vs 87.89 respectively. No trucker will pay that premium.

Out on the highway, looking for a big fuel bunk which is frequented by trucks, is a good approach to follow.

Here's what BHPian Kosfactor had to say on the matter:

For truck drivers, it isn't just about the fuel.

As far as I know, petroleum products come from the same regional refinery regardless of the brand they are sold under. For example, MRPL (Mangalore) would supply all brands around that state.

Truck drivers look for various other things - parking spaces, washrooms, a place to cook and eat, a place to sleep etc. Brands like BP has a concept called 'Ghar' wherein there is a secured parking facility, affordable food, dormitories,fleet-card etc in their COCO outlets.

I used to fill from anywhere the truck drivers used to fill from but these days we look for BP to use the smart fleet card or even otherwise due to being used to visiting BP fuel stations.

There is one more type of outlet that is called LOA (Lorry Owners Association) bunks, diesel is cheaper here. It would make some difference while filling 300 litres.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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