Change can be daunting for anyone, regardless of the industry you work in, or what the change entails. While you’ve spent your time completing tasks a certain method, changing your habits to learn new processes and technology is important, now more than ever.
For drivers across Australia’s transport industry, adjusting to new ways of managing all-too-familiar yet constantly changing paper-based processes is still challenging. Whether it’s the complex fatigue laws and keeping a work diary, changes to permits or ongoing customer requirements, truck drivers spend a lot of their time sifting through and managing various pieces of paperwork. But the cabin of a heavy vehicle shouldn’t be a filing cabinet.
There’s been a steady shift towards digital technology for years, but COVID-19 sparked a more urgent transformation as businesses needed to manage remote workforces and adapt to new safety procedures almost overnight. Adjusting to this change provides new opportunities for the business - going paperless has huge benefits for every employee, no matter their role. You’ll see positive shifts in productivity, communication, job satisfaction and safety, and with the right technology, the shift can be a painless one.
Here’s how going paperless will make your job easier.
Access Info From Anywhere
Did you know that on average, you probably spend four weeks each year locating and tracking down paper documents? Relying on manual, paper-based processes chews up a lot of time for everyone, from the office staff you’re dealing with every day to contractors, suppliers and customers.
Switching to paperless operations means that you no longer have to spend ages searching for permits, work diary pages, checklists, and other relevant forms when you’re on the road and trying to focus on the job at hand.
All the info you need is right at your fingertips when you need it. Everything from work diaries to delivery requirements can be viewed via in-cabin devices, eliminating the need to manage physical documents in the driver cabin.
The entire journey, from logging on and entering work hours to pulling up journey navigation, job information and important customer forms, is condensed into a compact yet rugged device, making life on the road easier. Best of all, paperless operations streamline communication between you and your colleagues in the back office. Smarter job management means you can be allocated a job based on your work hours and location, so you’re not overworked or stretched thin trying to make it from one job to the other with no rest time. Customers are informed of your progress and the system captures proof of delivery so there’s a clear of record of completing the job on time and within requirements.
More Efficient Fatigue Practices
Imagine you’re driving through the outback on a long-haul job. You pull over to take a break, and as you go to write down your rest time, you can’t seem to find your pen. You spend ages searching the truck for it, so you decide that you’ll just try to remember your work and rest hours and jot them down later. But when you get around to it after a long day, you write down some rough estimates because you’ve forgotten the exact times.
We get it. When you’re out on the road for days, or weeks, at a time, manually recording job details is tricky. Unfortunately, incorrect diary entries can cost you and your business dearly when you’re balancing this with complex fatigue rulesets, potentially leading to infringement penalties.
By replacing outdated paper diaries with Electronic Work Diaries (EWDs), you don’t need to worry about capturing the wrong information. Your work and rest times are recorded with the tap of a screen.
These work hours are compared against your specific fatigue rulesets, taking the stress out of staying compliant. The system offers you a notification letting you know when it’s time to take a break, so you can stay safe and manage fatigue on the job effectively.
Digital fleet management software makes it easier for you to communicate effectively with staff and ensure a safer working environment.
If you’re involved in an incident or your vehicle rolls over in the middle of nowhere, it’s easy for your team to locate you (even in the most remote areas) and get in touch via your in-cabin device to send help.
Similarly, digital pre-trip checklists will alert the business of any vehicle faults immediately, before you get on the road. In comparison, paper-based checklists take time to be seen by staff and entered into the system. By this time, the fault could evolve into something more catastrophic. With a paperless, digital process, the vehicle in question can be immediately taken off the road and sent off for the necessary repairs. This ensures drivers aren’t being sent out in faulty vehicles and putting their lives at risk on the road.
Technology like multi-camera solutions and in-cabin devices also help businesses to keep their drivers safe. Designed to capture a complete 360-degree view of the driver cabin, camera capture other finer details like license plates. If an incident occurs on the road caused by another road user, the business can immediately refer back to the high-definition footage to see who is at fault and exonerate the truck driver.
If you encounter obstacles like road closures, an in-cabin device will alert the back office, and automatically redirect you back to the right route. You don’t need to worry about flicking through a street directory or frantically typing in an address into a GPS system – the platform keeps you safe by guiding you in real-time with turn-by-turn navigation while guaranteeing contractual requirements like designated routes for high-risk goods are met.
More than 75 per cent of digital transformation initiatives result in an improved employee experience. The change from your familiar day-to-day processes might be a daunting one, but in the long run it will make it easier for you to stay