The cabin of a truck is one of the deadliest workplaces in Australia, with a report by the National Transport Insurance company finding that 53 truck drivers died in 2019, and truck driver deaths rose by 65 per cent from 2018, so it is important to look at how technology is fighting the battle against fatigue. A major contributor to these sobering numbers is fatigue.
According to statistics from Macquarie University, 80 per cent of truck drivers work more than 50 hours a week and 20 per cent of transport workers admit to breaking safety rules to meet deadlines. As a result, fatigue is playing a huge role in making Australia’s roads less safe and endangering lives.
The time of manually managing fatigue via logbooks is coming to an end, as Electronic Work Diaries (EWD) give managers and drivers the ability to monitor fatigue levels in real-time and provide visibility of compliance with state fatigue regulations. By adopting EWDs, road transport businesses across a range of industries are seeking to manage fatigue and make our roads safer for motorists and truck drivers alike.
Finding the formula for safety
Formula Chemicals is one of Australia’s largest privately-owned chemical companies and has been using Teletrac Navman’s electronic fatigue solution for several years. By adopting technology, Formula Chemicals has ensured driver compliance with fatigue management protocols in real time across its fleet of vehicles.
Formula Chemicals frequently runs routes that take drivers and their trucks into areas with poor mobile reception. The EWD continues to operate even when out of mobile network range, communicating information when it reaches an area with reception. The solution provides peace-of-mind to back office staff that drivers are looking after themselves on the road.
Rocking EWDs to manage fatigue
Likewise, Rocktrans, an agent on the Atherton Tablelands for the Toll Group, uses EWDs to improve driver safety and combat fatigue. Since adopting EWDs, it’s seen a massive reduction in non-compliant driver behaviour.
Neal Rockley, Managing Director for Rocktrans, says, “The fatigue management system has been one of the biggest benefits to our business. Systems like Teletrac Navman’s are essential in today’s highly regulated safety and compliance related environment.”
The EWD helps drivers fill out their work diaries and take the complexities out of calculating their fatigue hours. “It provides real-time alerts, which get the drivers thinking about rests, and identifies poor behaviour quickly. Drivers get alerts based on hours worked and the relevant fatigue laws, signalling them ahead of time for when a rest break is due,” explains Rockley.
Technology to the fore
In the fight against fatigue, EWDs are allowing businesses to proactively manage compliance, and ensure the safety of their staff and all Australian road users.
The technology is transforming the way road transport businesses and drivers are managing fatigue.