For many drivers, Electronic Work Diaries (EWDs) are not high on the list of necessities. Why let a piece of technology tell you to rest when you can just wait until you’re actually tired? But since so much of the industry works under contracts now, jobs can be easy to lose track and tire yourself out unnecessarily. Especially considering that changes to the chain of responsibility due later this year will make driver wellbeing more of a priority than ever. You may not even be aware that it’s possible to get an EWD if you’re not part of a companywide system.
The good news is that EWDs are accessible to anyone. The technology makes it easy to stay compliant, manage fatigue and keep paperwork from getting out of hand. With the ability to use EWDs instead of paper work diaries expected later this year, now is the best time to consider how they can help you. Compliance isn’t something you can contract out, so staying on top of your fatigue, even as a subbie, is important.
Here are some reasons why an EWD is a must-have tool for any driver.
Manage Fatigue Effectively
Fatigue management is a major concern for drivers but it can be difficult to manage. Many drivers cite fear of missing a deadline, not feeling able to refuse a job, struggling to find a suitable rest area or not feeling tired at the designated rest time as reasons why fatigue gets out of hand. With an EWD system, you can track your current and previous journeys instead of having to calculate work hours on your own. By simply indicating when you start work or rest, the technology handles all the complex calculations for you. It then displays it to you in multiple easy to read and understand formats depending on what information you’re after. The EWD also alerts you multiple times before a required rest break, so you can plan ahead and find a suitable place to pull over. With your assigned rule set, you can rest easily knowing your work hours are accurate and compliance obligations taken care of, so you can get on with the job.
Accurate Timesheet Entry
Knowing how long you’ve been working is just as important as knowing how long you’ve rested. An EWD solution not only ensures that you can timesheet correctly, but allows you to prove (and get paid for) the hours you’ve put in. Nobody wants to be underpaid, and customers can also request documentation for what they’re being charged. When you’re relying on manual processes this becomes difficult. EWDs automatically track work hours along with the locations, and are able to be exported into a report that you can show to management and clients. With a number of ways to view information, the fatigue management system can help you manage your compliance. Need to fill in your logbook? Easy, view the work diary view. Need to find out how many hours you have left? Simple, get to the detailed summary view. It also makes proving your regulatory compliance an easy task. No more headaches and hours of poring over old paperwork to figure out how much to charge.
Concentrate On The Road Ahead
You can’t keep one eye on the road and the other on the paperwork. Handling a heavy vehicle requires concentration and being prepared for unexpected challenges faced. So after a long trip, remembering all the details and interactions with suppliers, warehouse staff loading your vehicle, management, other drivers and clients isn’t easy. Keeping paper logbooks up to date as you go, especially during long haul shifts, can lead you to skim over important details. A messy or inaccurate diary only makes it more difficult when it comes time for auditing, and can make it hard for allocators to review. Not only can EWDs help ensure your paper diary is up to date and accurate, they help fill in the blanks to ensure both your diary is complete and accurate as well as ensure you’re meeting your fatigue compliance requirements.
Going electronic for your fatigue management and getting on-board with an EWD for your day-to-day compliance is a simple and an effective way to complete tasks and manage your obligations to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR). When you’re stopped by enforcement for a safety check, you’ll be able to show you’re proactive with compliance. As a driver, being able to manage this yourself provides a greater understanding of fatigue – giving you complete control and visibility.