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Top Rental Industry Tech Trends to Watch in 2021

Clair David Urbain
Editor, Publisher
____
Pro Contractor Rentals Magazine

Access 101

Top Rental Industry Tech Trends to Watch in 2021

Expert Q&A - Dec 20

What are some of the biggest benefits that advanced technologies, like augmented reality and BIM, bring to rental organizations?

The advanced technologies give rental center managers more tools to help their customers select the right equipment for the job and then use augmented reality to help users fully understand the operating characteristics of the machine before they take the equipment in the field. Rental centers can be more confident their equipment will be able to complete the jobs at hand and know that workers operating the equipment will be able to do so safely and productively.

Further, telematics systems will be able to track how equipment is used and assure rental centers that the customer is not over-, under- or misusing the equipment.

What categories of equipment do you predict will undergo the most transformation in 2021? What do you expect to see?

Alternative power technologies will be at the forefront in the coming years. Just as Li-ion battery technology has revolutionized the portable power tool industry, it has entered the automotive and equipment arenas as battery systems are being developed to power much larger pieces of equipment for longer periods between charges. The relative simplicity of an electric or electrically powered hydraulic system means greater reliability and the elimination of a diesel or spark-ignited engine, which virtually eliminates exhaust issues, so this equipment can be used anywhere.

Remote operation will become more common using 5G wireless technologies that allow real-time transfer of data. Some systems already exist that can be operated from a handheld tablet or cell phone. These systems also can be used to set up very specific fences that could be used to protect underground utilities or above-ground hazards. Finally, rental centers may be able to turn on or off equipment features and charge accordingly for them. That means one piece of equipment on the inventory could be configured to match the customer’s job and allow a rental rate to be charged accordingly.

What's the top trend rental companies should keep their eye on next year? 

The increasing ability to monitor equipment in real time and how they can best integrate that data into their daily operation. From there, it is going to take a change in culture in how to leverage that data in their operations to increase equipment ROI. Which could result from greater usage and uptime and lower maintenance and operating costs.

 

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