So what the heck is “Open Roads”?
So to keep this as simple as possible, because “Open Roads” has evolved over time. But here is how I like to explain it to friends, it is a direct payment card that is attached directly to your bank account similar to a “Debit Card”. There are numerous stations on the program and the discount varies from station to station and from brand to brand.
It is a fuel purchasing group of RVer’s, that can provide very large saving for purchasing diesel fuel. I have spoke about this program before, and it is worthy of another few words.
This screenshot shows the “Open Roads” app opened up to the fuel map, I have mine set to a 100 mile radius from my location. The app has brought up 14 fuel stations, now I can adjust the map size to find the station closest to my projected route.
This screenshot shows the closest station to my route.
With this screenshot I can check the present station discount.
There are a number of things to watch on these screenshots, first is the price that is going to show up on the fuel pump ($6.599), then the price that will actually be charged ($5.260). So that is a savings of $1.339 per gallon, but before you count all your savings there are some other cost’s involved, so always check the transaction fee, in this case it is $0.65, then the logistics company that does all the work behind the scenes takes 1% of the savings, that does not show up on this screen, but it is the same percentage for every transaction. And always check the date in the bottom corner, as to when the price was last confirmed, looks like a great savings so we will be fueling there tomorrow as we pull out of Bakersfield.
A couple of things to remember, this for diesel only at this point, to get the savings you must go through the big truck lanes out back, and they are not a clean and as pretty as are most of the pumps out front. Depending on your coach or truck you may need to use the satellite fuel pump, all truck stops have pumps on both sides of the fuel lane. You might wonder why? It is quite simple most highway transports have fuel tanks on both sides, and they carry a lot of fuel, so a driver can fill both tanks at the same time on the same transaction, and lots of these trucks carry 3 to 5 hundred gallons so tanks on both sides, keeps the truck balanced. With our coach the filler is on the passenger side, which requires the use of satellite pump, but to get the satellite pump to dispense fuel you must start the main pump. I just lay the nozzle down at the pump and carry on. Oh yea by the way there is no information on the satellite pump, that’s all on the main pump. The bonus is the pump does not kick off at a set amount so you can put three of four hundred dollars of fuel in on one transaction.
I have learnt that there is never any paper in any of the truck pumps, so if you want a receipt your going to need to go in and wait in the line with all the rest. I have started just snapping photos of the pump price, and the total amount of dollars and gallons. Also remember these are high volume pumps so there can be some splash back, there will be diesel fuel on everything in the fuel lanes, so I recommend gloves, and be careful not to track spilt fuel into your unit.
The Savings and the Benefits out way the inconvenience, you finish up and get back on the road and now the logistics company does their thing and the next day you get a transaction receipt with the pump cost for fuel, the transaction fee, the 1% sur charge, and finally the debit from your bank account. I have blown up the transaction report to show what has transpired from our fuel purchase.
This screenshot shows the price on the pump this morning when I stopped to fuel the coach. But behind all that dust the price per gallon is $6.599 just as indicated on app from the above screen shot.
This screenshot shows the total amount of fuel I purchased today with the gallons. Again not a pretty photo but it shows $315.60 total purchase for 47.825 gallons
Now you can see by the photos, that when I said the truck fuel lanes were not pretty, I was not kidding, but this is all about the savings, and the proof is in the final charge for the purchase.
This screen shot is of the PDF that I received by email the next day, and it has a lot of numbers that seem to repeat. But the line you need to be aware of is the actual amount of the draft from your account.
So the net pay line shows:
Pump price: $315.60
Transaction Fee: $0.65
1% Surcharge: $6.22
Bank Draft: $260.25
The bottom line is that I saved $55.35 from the actual pump price. And yes the logistics company made a few dollars on the way through, but my true cost per gallon for this purchase was $5.33 which is a savings of $1.2687 per gallon. I watch people rush in to pay cash to save 10¢ per gallon from the credit/debit price, this is so much better and easier, I have been asked how can there be savings like this, and my answer is I don’t know or care as long as I can enjoy the savings!
But I’m sure much of it is from volume, lets face it did you expect those big transportation companies were paying the same price as you and me? I just feel that this levels the playing field and if the logistics company is willing to offer and provide this service, I will continue take advantage of it.