During Road Safety Week this year, The Road Transport Forum (RTF) publicly supported the introduction of electronic driver logbooks (EDLs) as a key tool for improving safety for truck drivers and road users. RTF chief executive Nick Leggett said: “the industry must stand up for measures that maximise and improve safety, and the gradual introduction of electronic logbooks with GPS will eliminate opportunities for logbook discrepancies of drivers’ hours”.
Fatigue is one of the biggest contributors to deaths on our roads, making it a serious risk for any transport business. According to the NZTA, if you drive after less than 6 hours sleep, your risk of a crash triples. Drivers working longer hours with fewer breaks than they should, compromise their safety, as well as the safety of other road users. Exceeding legal work times results in fatigue, and fatigue can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence.
Improve compliance and safety
Traditionally, drivers have used paper logbooks, but these run the risk of allowing errors, misunderstanding around work and rest time rules, a lack of visibility into driver hours for the operator, and in some cases falsified entries. That’s where top-quality, certified technology can make a big difference.
Digitising the logbook process not only reduces paperwork but helps to reduce infringement penalties caused by the complexities of complying with fatigue rules.
Teletrac Navman’s electronic logbook is approved by the NZTA for use in New Zealand, and it can be added to, and feed information into, your wider fleet management solution.
The lesser-known benefits of electronic logbooks
As well as ensuring compliance, there are wider, long-term benefits operators can get from an digital fatigue solution that integrates with the fleet management system employed through the wider business.
Work time rules are complex and can be miscalculated. Electronic driver logbooks have the rule sets built into them, so drivers don’t have to stress about compliance and managing cumulative hours.
For tech-savvy drivers, an EDL is a no-brainer, and much preferred over the paper versions. However, telematics can take a while to get used to for some drivers – many find that after a few goes, the technology is intuitive and saves them the time of filling out all the details on paper.
For fleet managers
With relevant data, such as a driver’s working hours, rest hours, and location, delivered in real-time, a fleet manager’s fatigue management can shift from reactive to proactive. This ensures compliance and safety for the driver, but it also gives peace of mind to those in the chain of responsibility for workplace safety.
An overview of all drivers – via an all-in-one dashboard – allows dispatch to better schedule tasks and new jobs, plus plan journeys across the available drivers and vehicles. Using an advanced journey planning tool combined with insight into driver hours, fleet managers can drive greater efficiency across the fleet operations.
For business owners
Digital fatigue management solutions offer a quick and easy touch screen interface with a range of data already pre-populated. They greatly reduce administration time for drivers, dispatch, and payroll, so the business owner can focus staff on more productive and strategic tasks.
Driver logbooks, when paired with an AI-based fleet management system, can help a business owner to better understand how much work is involved in jobs. This insight can help to provide more accurate quotes for customers, maximised invoices, and an understanding of the operations productivity and bottom line.
With multiple staff and contractors, electronic logbooks also provide fast validation of driver hours for payroll. Ultimately electronic logbooks help make transport operations not just safer, but more efficient at all levels of the business, which in turn grows the bottom-line.