New work diaries coming soon

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) announced that a new design for the truck driver's National Driver Work Diary will be introduced once the new National Heavy Vehicle law comes into effect.

According to NHVR CEO Richard Hancock, the new work diary developed in partnership with the National Transport Commission (NTC), is easier to fill out and includes more detailed advice on fatigue laws and guidance on how to count time.

“The new diary is a complete package, which should help to ensure that a driver’s focus is on managing their fatigue,” he said.

Specific changes mean drivers will only have to record their vehicle registration once a day or if their vehicle changes, rather than at every break. They will only have to record the location and odometer reading at the start of a rest break, unless the location or odometer reading has changed during the break.

Truck drivers will only be required to record their operator’s Basic Fatigue Management or Advanced Fatigue Management accreditation number once in the diary (or again if it changes), rather than on every daily sheet.

Solo drivers are no longer required to record the state or territory where their licence was issued. A new optional comments section is included to allow recording of information such as delays and notes made by authorised officers.

According to the NHVR, the changes are the result of  a consultation with industry and reflect the new requirements in the Heavy Vehicle (Fatigue Management) National Regulation 2013. 

“In redeveloping the driver work diary, the NTC and NHVR have not just met the requirements of the new national law, they have listened to industry, streamlined the process and still captured all necessary information about work and rest times.,” said road safety advocate and owner-operator, Jan Pattison, in an NHVR press release.

“Once the HVNL commences, all drivers of regulated vehicles who drive 100km or more from their home base or are operating under Basic Fatigue Management or Advanced Fatigue Management, must complete a work diary to record their work and rest times,” said Hancock.

More Queensland drivers will soon be using a work diary. Currently in Queensland, drivers operating under standard hours must use a work diary when they operate outside a 200km radius from their base. Under the HVNL, those same drivers must record their work and rest time in a work diary when they operate outside of a 100km radius.

“These changes bring Queensland into line with other states and territories which already have been operating with the 100km radius for some time,” said Hancock.

The NHVR says the start date for the new national law and regulations will be confirmed shortly, but when the HVNL rolls out, new fatigue laws relating to work diaries will apply in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Tasmania will commence the national law, but provisions dealing with fatigue and work diaries will not commence until six months later.

“Drivers in those four states, however, don’t need to rush out and buy the new work diary straight away,” said Hancock. “We want to give industry time to make the change. Drivers can still use their old work diary for up to six months after the new national law commences in their state. After that period, though, they will have to pick up a copy of the new work diary.”

The updated work diary will be available for $20 from the same places where the current work diary is sold. For more information and details of work diary sale points, visit the NHVR website or call 1300 MYNHVR (1300 696 487).

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