Did you know that fatigue can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence? It’s one of the three biggest contributors to deaths on our roads, making it a serious risk for any business who has their workforce of drivers and vehicles on the road as part of their job.
According to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR), managing fatigue is everyone’s responsibility – from fleet and operations managers right down to the allocators and drivers. Thanks to the NHVR’s recent approval of our Electronic Work Diary (EWD) solution, businesses can now ditch outdated paper work diaries and make it easier for everyone in the business to stay compliant with an electronic work diary.
Powered by a managed environment and available through an AI-powered fleet management system, you can create a safer environment for drivers, reduce the administrative burden for back-office staff and achieve greater visibility across all levels of the business. Here’s how.
The ROI Of No More Manual Data Entry
As Australia’s domestic freight task grows, transport operators face increasing demand. But your number one priority is still ensuring that employees stay safe on the road. Traditional paper-based fatigue management processes just don’t cut it. Businesses typically either ship their work diary pages offshore to have the information entered into a log checker system, which can take anywhere from one to two weeks to complete, or they have full-time staff on hand to collect and calculate fatigue from the sheets.
With an EWD, all these manual tasks are digital. No more admin costs for archiving dozens of physical work diaries. Audits are done instantly, without the need to sort through stacks of pages to find the most relevant data for each driver. The information you need is right at your fingertips.
Having this data delivered in real-time means your fatigue management strategy will shift from reactive to proactive. You can effectively manage violations instantly, rather than after the fact. By viewing each driver’s fatigue status instantly via an all-in-one dashboard, you’ll save hours of admin while ensuring all drivers are safe and compliant.
EWDs, especially when paired with AI-based fleet management systems, improve data transparency and simplify compliance across your entire operations by arming you with real-time insights as they come in.
All relevant information, like a driver’s working hours, rest hours, location and more, are all available around the clock through the dedicated EWD system within TN360. Having all this live and historical driver data in the one interface helps you to ensure your drivers are taking regular breaks and staying compliant with CoR responsibilities.
AI-based systems also enable you to stay compliant with your customers’ unique requirements. For example, if you’re transporting dangerous goods, there are strict terms in place to ensure the safety of all road users. Even breaking these terms, whether accidental or not, can cost your business severely – fines, loss of contracts, negative reputation. You can lose out in multiple ways.
Let’s say it’s specified in your contract that your drivers can only use routes that your customer has personally approved. The smart fleet management system automatically detects when drivers deviate from their prescribed route, while it redirects them safely back onto that route not to the destination. This allows you to quickly take action and keep your entire fleet fully compliant.
Tackling Driver Concerns
For many drivers, the uncertainty around reporting is tiresome. Having to wade through permits and contract conditions is not only time-consuming but can lead to some important details falling through the cracks. Digitising the work diary process not only reduces paperwork but helps to reduce infringement penalties caused by the complexities of complying with fatigue rulesets.
EWDs take the stress out of monitoring, allowing drivers to get on with the job. EWDs accurately record all working hours so they can stay informed of driver wellbeing and compliance. All fatigue-related data is available for admin staff to view in the back office via the smart fleet management system.
Rupert Smith, Director at ERH Refrigerated Transport, says the introduction of a digital fatigue management system eliminates the uncertainty of reporting. “They log in and log off and the hours are automatically recorded and uploaded. The system gives them warnings when they need to take a break or approach a speed limit, so they can stay in control of their compliance.”
Job Management Made Easy
When a driver is out on the road, it’s common to ask them to pick up an extra job or two along the way. While this seems harmless, it’s difficult for operators to anticipate and manage their drivers’ workloads, and one extra job could put them at risk of exceeding their maximum working hours.
Fleet management systems that use AI and machine learning offer operators full visibility of a driver’s current workload. You can view all scheduled jobs for the day, including special conditions and requirements for each task. While written work diaries require time-consuming manual data entry to make sense of it all, EWDs capture this information in real-time.
If a task comes through requiring urgent action, the smart system will use this data to predict and analyse which driver would be best for taking on the job. Not only will your job scheduling improve, but you can complete jobs more efficiently and rest assured you’re staying within fatigue management rules.
The effects of fatigue are dire – it can slow down your reaction time, decrease your alertness and put you and other road users at risk. Managing fatigue across your entire fleet can be tricky, but thankfully, EWDs coupled with AI-based fleet management systems ensure everyone in the business is empowered and enabled to stay fully compliant.