Streets Ahead

Electronic Work Diaries and Advanced Fatigue Management are paving the way for better rest breaks.
Fulton Hogan uses Teletrac Navman for fatigue management.

Fatigue is one of the most highly regulated aspects of the transport industry, and for good reason.

It has a huge impact on drivers’ on-road decision making. When fatigued, drivers have delayed reaction time to hazards it’s because their focus and concentration are impaired, rivalling the effects of excessive speed and driving under the influence.

It’s easy to understand why compliance with Chain of Responsibility and fatigue management policies is essential to protecting drivers and keeping our roads safe for all users.

There’s a high price to pay for breaking the rules. But it can be challenging for operators to monitor drivers’ work diaries according to Leigh Farrow, Teletrac Navman Transport Solutions Specialist.

“Paper logbooks aren’t timely, which means operators are often reacting to issues after they’ve already happened,” he says. “Which isn’t very practical and safe.”

Electronic Work Diaries (EWDs) and the newly available Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) rulesets within EWDs make creating and complying with flexible work and rest arrangements, according to Farrow, a whole lot easier.

EWDs are a voluntary digital alternative to written, paper-based work diaries. Teletrac Navman EWDs are NHVR-approved.

In fact, it was one of the first to be approved in Australia. Leigh outlines how Teletrac Navman’s EWD can work for transport businesses.

“With a real-time dashboard of fatigue information and driver hours, powered by the AI delivered in TN360, Teletrac Navman’s software platform, connects with multiple applications and digital tools for a streamlined fleet,” he says.

“EWDs save time, help your business remain compliant with complex fatigue management laws, and empower the driver to understand their capacity and manage their own rest breaks – without the risk of losing or damaging written diaries.”

The device in each vehicle lets drivers view their current status, rest break calculations and available work hours on an in-cabin device.

They receive real-time notifications before a rest break is required, making it easy to stay safe and plan rest as needed. By making it easier for the driver and management to see when drivers need a break, they help to reduce injuries and incidents that result from driving while fatigued.

“They also let back-office staff monitor journey progression to get everyone home safely at night,” says Leigh. EWDs are a helpful tool now recognised for Advanced Fatigue Management. Their benefits, what’s more, have been taken up a few notches. The NHVR recently approved the inclusion of AFM rulesets within the Teletrac Navman EWD solution.

“AFM rulesets allow you to propose your own hours as long as the fatigue risks of those hours are offset by sleep, rest and other management practices in a compliant fatigue risk management system,” says Leigh.

“What does this mean for you and your drivers? Increased flexibility to meet your individual business needs and added empowerment for drivers, giving them more room to decide to rest when they’re tired and drive when they’re fit.”

It’s easy to comply with these new rulesets because EWDs allow drivers to record exactly what they do — meaning managers can step in if a driver isn’t taking their compliance rest breaks.

Not only does this improve driver safety, but it also gives businesses an efficient, competitive edge.

The upshot? Operators can better use the driving hours available to cover new routes or complete routes more effectively than their competitors.

“You can attract and retain experienced drivers and simplify processes, reducing confusion and compliance stress for you and your drivers,” says Leigh.

To that end, an EWD can set fleets up for success by providing better support of its drivers.

Teletrac Navman provides training guides to help drivers and managers like those at Fulton Hogan.
Teletrac Navman provides training guides to help drivers and managers like those at Fulton Hogan.

While fatigue management technology can transform a fleet into a safe, compliant, and efficient operation, the question remains: how do you get drivers on board?

Drivers should feel confident using the application from the beginning, so creating space for training before EWDs are rolled out is important according to Leigh.

“This ensures drivers have the best experience possible while out on the road,” he says. “Change can be hard to approach, but our team can help make the transition easier.”

A common concern shared with Teletrac Navman from drivers is that someone will tap into the EWD system and access their records.

They need not worry according to Leigh who explains the platform is secure, with only authorised officers able to see the last 28 days’ worth of data once the driver has passed over the device in enforcement mode.

“We have numerous training and information guides that can help managers and drivers answer concerns like these and navigate the platform to help ensure your success,” Leigh notes.

“In these guides, we work through how to log in, identify the work and rest screens, monitor compliance and more, along with a driving checklist.”

For any driver who needs a little extra support, Teletrac Navman can organise on-site training to work through any issues. To make life even easier for drivers on the road, Teletrac Navman is in the process of developing a mobile app for the EWDs.

It will likely be available in the second half of 2023 and will be compatible with both iOS and Android. Rest breaks might be another thing to think about while trying to get deliveries ticked off and operations moving, but they’re essential to keeping our roads safe says Leigh.

“EWDs make it easier for everyone, especially with new AFM rulesets,” he says. “Drivers have more control over their rest and active hours, and as a manager, you can easily oversee your whole team and receive alerts when the next rest breaks are due.”

Leigh adds, “It’s a proactive and efficient solution that enables you to stay compliant and stay ahead of the competition while giving you the peace of mind that your team is safe.”

Send this to a friend