Even the Score

Tired drivers are in danger. Electronic work diaries are helping to solve the fatigue problem.
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Fatigue is a killer on our roads.

While the exact number of fatalities and serious injuries attributable to tired driving is hard to nail down, what’s clear is that factors like being awake continuously for 17 hours will impair a driver the same as if they had a blood alcohol reading of 0.05, or the legal limit for non-commercial drivers in Australia. 

Staying awake for an entire 24-hour stretch is even worse, being the equivalent of a blood alcohol reading of 0.10, or well in excess for what’s lawful in the country for any driver.

This is why the approach heavy vehicle drivers and their managers use for fatigue management is heavily regulated by the NHVR, with limits placed on how long a driver can continuously operate a truck before having a mandatory break. 

In the past, heavy vehicle operators had to manually fill in a diary covering how long they’d been on the road, when they took their breaks and for what length of time. The traditional use of paper diaries has also been a major problem. 

“It’s easy to make an error in an entry, or even to understand the rules which are complex too,” says Andrew Rossington, Teletrac Navman Chief Product Officer.

“Knowing when you should be resting instead of driving or even picking up violations is reactive, meaning the driver has already exceeded limits and you’re reacting to the fact you found out, that is if you even figure it out.”

Falsifying records can also happen, particularly if a driver is on a tight schedule and feels like they have no choice.

Electronic Work Diaries (EWDs) are helping transport operators solve the problem of fatigue. Developed over the past decade alongside telematics providers, regulators, industry specialists and professionals, EWDs provide a solution for fatigue management.

Using an in-cabin device, drivers can easily log their time on the road and be notified when they’re due ahead of time to pull over for a well-earned rest.

Real-time fatigue monitoring is crucial for ensuring driver safety, especially in an industry where fatigue-related accidents are all too common.

Drivers receive proactive alerts when rest breaks are required, helping them stay compliant with fatigue laws and regulations.

Back-office staff gain access to real-time data, allowing them to monitor driver fatigue levels, better allocate upcoming jobs, and take preventive action when necessary.

“By enhancing their fatigue management processes with the latest technology, companies can reduce the risk of incidents, improve compliance with regulations, and enhance overall productivity,” explains Andrew.

“When the time comes for an audit, with proactive management of compliance and fatigue, they’ll be better prepared for a healthy 100 per cent pass, showing that they are doing everything practically reasonable to ensure safety.” 

Teletrac Navman’s EWD is one of the original solutions to be NHVR-approved, and the first to offer AFM soon after. EWDs provide transport operators the opportunity for a central source of truth for fatigue information, eliminating the need to complete a written work diary. 

Even in remote areas with limited mobile network connectivity, EWDs can still be used to access fatigue information, regardless of their location.

All the calculations for a driver’s fatigue are completed on the device itself, meaning the driver always has accurate and real-time fatigue rule information at any point in time. Combined with the TN360 system, fleet managers receive advanced AI-based insights and analytics, allowing for a better understanding of fatigue patterns and compliance across the business.

EWDs provide drivers with the means to proactively manage their fatigue, including easy logging of driver start, stop, and rest times, advanced audio and visual alerts for rest breaks, and clear displays of work and rest events and fatigue rules.

Drivers are presented with a simple, informative, and real-time view of their own fatigue status, empowering them to make informed decisions about their work and rest schedules.

Port of Brisbane-based Jarratt Transport Solutions is one business to have had its operations positively transformed by the EWDs and fleet management software supplied by Teletrac Navman.

Drivers now have greater control over their work and rest schedules, enabling them to manage fatigue effectively.

“Using electronic work diaries means our drivers are always aware of their fatigue schedule and know when they must take a break,” says Jarratt Transport Solutions’ Managing Director, Phil Jarratt.

As Jarratt’s EWDs provide an irrefutable digital record of driver fatigue management, it’s easy for the company to demonstrate to authorities they’re in compliance with the relevant laws and regulations if they must undergo one of the regular audits members of the industry are subject to.

In fact, the business has been audited several times – there is no suggestion the company has behaved illegally – audits are simply part of doing business in the heavy transport sector. What’s more, the company has been granted a clean slate every time.

Fleet managers also benefit from real-time visibility into driver schedules, allowing for better allocation of resources and enhanced productivity. By digitally storing documents, the need for cumbersome paperwork for regulatory purposes is eliminated, and administrative processes are streamlined.

The whole team at Jarratt Transport Solutions receives valuable metrics that provide coaching opportunities for drivers, fostering continuous improvement. 

“We use Teletrac Navman’s EWDs and fleet management solutions to provide our drivers with a scoreboard about how well they’re driving,” says Phil. “The top-scoring driver every month gets a $500 bonus, but the reality is, that bonus is a drop in the bucket compared to the money we save from better driver behaviour and compliance.”

Comprehensive fatigue management solutions like EWDs help ensure drivers stay safe, compliant, and productive on the road.

Companies like Jarratt Transport Solutions can approach fatigue management armed with the latest technology by providing real-time fatigue monitoring, advanced analytics, and easy-to-use features. 

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