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What is an Electronic Work Diary (EWD)?

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

An Electronic Work Diary (EWD) is a system used to record work and rest times of heavy vehicle drivers. They can be used alongside written work diaries to help transport operators track and maintain compliance with Chain of Responsibility and fatigue laws as well as reducing errors. An NHVR approved EWD solution is now available to be use as an alternative to paper work diaries.


EWDs improve data accuracy and transparency. It’s expected they’ll play a role in reducing heavy vehicle incidents by helping businesses better manage driver fatigue.

How does an EWD work?

Your drivers log in and simply press a button to start work or rest. The data is captured in real-time and calculated against fatigue rules, whether they’re operating under Standard Hours, Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) or Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM).

This is automatically synchronised to the back-office where staff can gain access to live data, alerts of breaches and historic reports. Drivers have a live view of their work and rest status so they know when to take a break. Teletrac Navman’s EWD solution, Sentinel, also operates independently of mobile coverage when drivers are in remote areas with little or no network connectivity.

Check out this infographic to see how an approved EWD solution works »

Can I use an EWD now, if I already have a device installed in my vehicle?

Yes, an EWD solution can be used to record work and rest diaries, but a written work diary is also legally required if the solution is not approved by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR). Transport operators are able to replace paper diaries with an electronic work diary altogether. Always refer to the NHVR website for a list of approved EWD systems. 

How does an EWD count time in comparison to a written work diary?

A written work diary allows drivers to manually record time in 15 minute blocks, while an EWD will count time by using real-time data. This is much more precise and eliminates rounding, manual errors or false entries.

What are the benefits of using an EWD rather than a written work diary?

Electronic work diaries will ensure that your drivers stay productive and legally compliant. Access to real-time data from in-vehicle devices helps to manage jobs and simplify workloads, so you can reduce costs associated with communication, routing and audits, as well as minimise the time spent on data entry. When a driver logs in and starts work, the relevant information is calculated and reported seamlessly back to the office. This makes it easier to comply with fatigue management obligations and ensure your drivers are taking sufficient breaks.

Will an EWD save my business time or money?

Electronic work diaries significantly can reduce inefficiencies and increase profitability by streamlining the entire fatigue compliance process. Your drivers and office staff will be free of manual data entry tasks, which eliminates duplication and lost paperwork. EWDs will also help you compile audit information with the click of the button, so your staff can focus on more strategic initiatives instead of chasing down missing work diary sheets.

Will a drivers’ maximum work and minimum rest times change with the introduction of EWDs?

No, these will remain the same, regardless of whether the driver is using an EWD or paper work diary.  

How will driver privacy be protected when using EWDs?

The EWD will only be used to monitor compliance with fatigue management regulations, calculating work and rest times. Strict privacy rules will ensure the data generated is not used for any other purpose, unless a court order or warrant is issued.

Who is responsible for EWD policies and regulations?

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) will be responsible for:

  • Operational policy setting and consistency
  • The ongoing roll-out strategy
  • Operational activities relating to transport operators and drivers
  • Compliance monitoring and enforcement of operational policy

If you're a transport operator and/or driver, the NHVR is best placed to provide further information.