Transport operators will soon have the option to replace their manual paper work diary with an electronic solution; but don’t wait to make the switch, getting ahead of the pack is important.
Fatigue management rules in Australia are complex, change often and even vary in some states. By implementing EWDs now, you’ll ensure your drivers are in the best position to comply with all fatigue laws from the get go. It also means you can get rid of inefficient paper processes as soon as the law allows.
Here are five benefits of making the change sooner rather than later:
The Work Health and Safety Act makes it clear that everybody in the chain of responsibility (CoR) needs to proactively manage driver fatigue. The challenge for transport operators is gaining visibility into driver compliance with fatigue laws. Using an EWD, your staff will gain insight into real-time fatigue information, making it easy to monitor driver behaviour. Using a driver’s current fatigue status and historical data, along with location and time details, the EWD calculates fatigue based on the driver’s assigned rule set. With an accurate prediction of work and rest hours, drivers can make better decisions and manage their rest breaks ahead of time. This automates the process, removing duplication and data-entry errors.
The excessive amount of time spent behind the wheel creates risk. To address this, drivers must comply with maximum work and minimum rest limits. An EWD makes it easier for drivers to remain compliant by automatically notifying them when a break is due ahead of time. Information is colour-coded to make the work/rest cycle easier to understand. The system will continue to work when a driver is out of communication range and relays information back to base once a connection is re-established.
3. Real-Time Data
You may not be made aware that your driver skipped a rest break three days prior until they hand in their paperwork at the end of the trip, your only recourse is to make sure it doesn’t happen again. An EWD provides real-time data, which enables you to respond immediately to actual breaches and monitor performance over time. If a driver ignores warnings to take a break, the back-office can instantly contact the driver to remedy the situation. More broadly, it’s easier to manage and adjust the roster of your entire fleet if you have current information of each driver’s fatigue, instead of having to wait for it to come in with each truck.
4. Cost Saving
Managing paper-based data often results in double-handling as drivers compile their own information and back-office staff enter it into the system. This is labour-intensive and expensive. Many large companies have resorted to shipping them offshore in search of a cheaper data entry solution. EWDs eliminate that cost as the driver’s information is automatically synced as it gets entered. Breaches can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for anyone in the CoR. A truck driver found to be in breach of regulations during a spot check risks losing their licence, income or even their job.
5. Audit Trail
With an EWD, you’re able to treat each day as if an audit is about to occur because you have real-time information at your fingertips. Complete audit reports are compiled in one click and easily exported, eliminating time spent combing through piles of paperwork that could be misfiled or damaged.
Compliance is extremely important to any transport & logistics operation, however it’s easier said than done. EWDs provide safety, cost and time-saving benefits as you no longer need to rely on an individual’s understanding and ability to calculate work and rest period requirements. Now is the right time to take advantage.