4 Trends That Will Shape Fleet Management in 2021

The ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing interest in video telematics, and Joe Biden’s presidency are among the mega-trends impacting fleet management.

Heading into 2021, fleet managers will need to embrace more change than at almost any other point along the historical timeline of the profession. A global pandemic has transformed the American workplace with drivers now based at remote locations and social distancing in place.

Other mega-trends on the road ahead include the rise of video telematics, the end of legacy cellular networks, and Joe Biden’s more liberal presidency.

These are among the most impactful trends that will confront fleet managers once 2020 appears in the rearview mirror.

Ongoing Impact of the Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused meaningful changes to the way fleet managers do their jobs.

Most notably, fleet managers must now contend with a remote driver pool in the “working from home” economy.

More drivers are now deploying from their homes, which is blurring the line between business and personal use.

Here are several questions drivers may be asking:

Can I use my company vehicle to run errands?

How will my mileage be charged from a tax-reporting standpoint?

Can I use my personal vehicle to drive to a job site?

Should I unplug my telematics dongle when I’m off the clock?

Not only are drivers working from home, fleet managers are also working remotely. This makes fleet management technology even more crucial, especially for staying on top of preventive maintenance with dashboards, reminders, and texts to drivers.

These systems help optimize fuel use and can also help management have drivers sign off on policies and personal-use information without needing to see the driver face to face, according to Kathy Wellik, the director of transportation for Iowa State University.

Preventive maintenance schedules are based on mileage or time. With less driving, routine maintenance may get missed. On the other end of the spectrum, some essential businesses such as field service businesses, government, over-the-road trucking, and last-mile.

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