A recent study, “The State of Fleet Management: Insights on Priorities for Today’s Fleet Managers,” by the J. J. Keller Center for Market Insights, shows that fleet managers in the transport industry face many challenges. A survey conducted in February 2023 revealed significant shifts in fleet managers’ priorities over time.
The study revealed a notable 39% increase in the number of fleet managers prioritizing the safe and correct operation of specific vehicle types by their drivers compared to the previous year. When it comes to identifying vehicle damage and non-compliance, fleet managers seem to be more focused on quickly identifying vehicle or trailer damage and non-compliance, compared to the previous year, which saw a 24% increase.
Additionally, the value placed on having all driver files consolidated in one place has increased by 13%, enabling fleet managers to easily demonstrate compliance. In 2022, this was at 22% rising to 35% in 2023.
Focus on Regulatory Awareness
The study highlighted the growing importance of regulatory awareness for fleet managers. Approximately 42% of fleet managers consider staying informed about regulatory changes to be a key element of compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Fleet managers encounter various challenges in their role, including:
- Many people say that managing compliance and staying up to date with rule changes are big challenges. Navigating the complex regulatory landscape, which includes OSHA, FMCSA requirements, and various state, city, and county guidelines, is particularly demanding.
- Continuous Compliance with Vehicles: Maintaining continuous compliance with all vehicles poses a significant challenge for fleet managers.
The driver’s knowledge and skills are a priority
It is a top priority for fleet managers to improve the knowledge and skills of drivers. The study identifies key areas for improvement, including:
- 62% of respondents consider the safe and correct operation of specific vehicle types to be the highest priority, marking a substantial 39% increase compared to the previous year.
- Safety: Other important driver knowledge and skills include preventing injuries while working and driving (28%), knowing what to do in the event of an accident (27%), and avoiding distracted driving (26%).
Fleet managers believe their companies emphasize continuous learning, but 37% of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the level of support they receive.
As the risk of “nuclear verdicts” and FMCSA audits continues to increase, fleet managers are expected to prioritize staying up-to-date with regulatory requirements and enhancing driver knowledge and skills. The insights provided in the study can help industry stakeholders understand fleet managers’ priorities and constraints while offering support for their ongoing success.