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After decades of manual paper record keeping, Australian heavy vehicle drivers now have the option to track their work and rest hours using an electronic work diaries (EWD).

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) approved the use of EWDs from 01 December 2020.

For truckies around the country, this news comes as a relief. It will save the cumbersome task of writing and keeping manual logbooks.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack said, “This announcement will cut this red tape enabling drivers to record their work and rest hours by simply pressing a button, rather than spending time ruling lines and counting multiple time periods on multiple pieces of paper.”

the benefits of electronic work diaries for truckersWhat is an electronic work diary?

An electronic work diary is a touchscreen digital log book. When drivers input the data, it is automatically sent and backed up on a remote cloud server in real-time. For drivers in remote locations with no signal, an EWD will also store, sync and backup the data once a connection is restored. 

Note: Truck drivers in Australia must ensure their EWD provider is registered and approved by the NHVR.

What are the benefits of using an electronic work diary (EWD)?

The key benefits of switching over to an EWD include:

  1. Increased productivity
  2. Better management of fatigue
  3. Reporting and alerts 
  4. Compliance with road safety law and regulations

1. Increased productivity 

Using an EWD significantly reduces the amount of time you need to spend manually recording work and rest hours. In turn, this frees up your time to complete your primary work. 

2. Better management of fatigue

EWDs automatically calculate your fatigue. This real-time feedback is a huge step in the right direction of monitoring and managing fatigue-related risks and accidents. 

3. Reporting and alerts 

A reliable digital device backed up with a server means easy access to historic data and reporting functions. This can help drivers identify areas and processes that could be improved.

4. Compliance with road safety law and industry regulations 

It can be tricky trying to keep on top of fatigue management with paper systems. What’s more, paper log books are easy to damage or misplace. However, fatigue management is one of the most important and closely-regulated things in the transport industry. Around 20% of fatal road accidents involve driver fatigue – it’s something truckers can’t afford to not prioritise. And EWDs make things much easier, safer and more reliable.

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