Truck drivers in Australia will finally be able to replace their paper work diary with an electronic work diary, as an EWD finally gets up through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s certification system.
This morning, Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Affairs said the rollout of EWDs from December 1 would mean drivers can put down the pen, paper and ruler when recording work and rest hours.
“Congratulations to local Australian companies Step Global and Teletrac Navman which have met the strict requirements to provide an alternative to a Written Work Diary,” said McCormack. “The work diary has been a requirement for fatigue-related heavy vehicles for more than half a century and today more than 200,000 Written Work Diaries are used by heavy vehicle drivers each year.”
After such a long certification period, well over two years, there is still some uncertainty about what is being certified. Two suppliers were mentioned by the Minister, but Smart eDriver has stated that it is the first and only system 100 per cent tested and certified to the full NHVR EWD standards and will be going live on the December 1 2020.
The platform is fully compliant with all NHVR standard and Basic Fatigue Management rules with the ability to integrate Advanced Fatigue Management solutions on request. Users can download the mobile application onto any compliant Android device from the Google Play store, sign up with one of Step Global’s distributors and get started.
Training is integrated into the app and it is claimed a driver can start using the electronic work diary in less than 30 minutes. For the operator, there is free access to the Smart eDriver portal and reports. Drivers will be able to download the app after November 23 and complete training ready for the December 1 launch.
Step Global is a Family owned and operated business based out of Melbourne and has developed the Smart eDriver platform completely in house. It is 100 per cent Australian owned, operated, developed and supported. Since 2009, the operation has grown both its product offering as well providing engineering know-how in the application of those products.
The EWD Policy Framework and Standards were developed in association with technology providers, transport operators and transport and police authorities in 2018 and subject to comprehensive review and consultation.
“This approval gives the providers the green light to work with their partners to use their products as an approved fatigue management system,” said Scott Buchholz, Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport. “We know both companies have a number of transport and logistics companies that are ready and eager to adopt the technology and we should see a good uptake across diverse industry sectors.
“Congratulations to Step Global and Teletrac Navman, who are delivering an historic moment for Australia’s heavy vehicle industry.”
NHVR Chair Duncan Gay pointed out that the trucking industry is managing 60 million pages of work diary paper per year, which equates to fourteen B-Double loads of red tape
“Today’s announcement will enable companies and drivers to more effectively focus on managing their fatigue, rather than managing the book – which is an important step forward in delivering improved fatigue safety outcomes,” said Duncan. “As well as reducing time checking written work records on the side of the road, it also delivers huge cost and time savings for heavy vehicle businesses with many operators spending multiple days every week reconciling the written work book with internal systems.
“I look forward to welcoming other technology providers also submitting systems for approval.”
Teletrac Navman introduced its first EWD solution, Sentinel, in 2008. Its customers have adopted Sentinel to check the accuracy of their written work diaries and gain a greater level of back office visibility into driver hours.
Continually updating the solution based on customer feedback has given Teletrac Navman a deep understanding of fatigue risks and challenges, creating a comprehensive EWD solution that meets the real day-to-day needs of transport operators, administrators and drivers.
Sentinel is already being used by over 40,000 drivers across Australia, and Teletrac Navman says that these customers will be able to move to the new NHVR-approved solution at no additional cost from December 1 2020. The new solution is also available now for all new clients of Teletrac Navman from this date.
A group of early adopters will be the first to install the technology in December, including prominent organisations such as Lindsay Australia and Aldi.
“Lindsay Australia strongly advocates improvements for the trucking industry in safety through innovation,” said Nick Lindsay, Fleet Quality and Efficiency Manager at Lindsay Australia. “We fully support the use of the Teletrac Navman Electronic Work Diary and look forward to our work force embracing technology and the many benefits it will provide.”
Kelly Wells, Logistics Director at ALDI Australia, said, “Since investing in technology to maintain our safety track-record, we are pleased to see that the Teletrac Navman EWDs have received approval. We truly believe that our Transport Operators will benefit from the efficiency and reliability that comes from a paperless logbook and we look forward to EWDs being made available to our entire national fleet.”