Electronic Work Diaries and their many applications in modern transport and logistics operations.

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Driver fatigue is a factor that can affect any transport company. As part of the Chain of Responsibility (CoR), it’s something that needs to be addressed by each and every transport operator.

Fatigue can quickly become an issue when not managed properly, but conversely, managing the process can lead to a great number of opportunities when successfully implemented in a transport and logistics operation.

Did you know that 20% of fatal accidents involve driver fatigue

Did you know that 20% of fatal accidents involve driver fatigue.
Source: TAC Fatigue Statistics

Fatigue management laws are complex. Calculating fatigue work and rest hours in the paper work diary for drivers adds to the already mounting daily pressures; stress on top of the rigours of driving a heavy vehicle. Legislation surrounding fatigue has become consistent with OH&S laws, dictating that everyone in the transport chain is responsible in assisting to prevent a driver from violating fatigue rule sets.

Companies need to alter the focus from regulating hours to managing fatigue. It has long been considered that fighting your body clock and working long hours is dangerous; the question then is, “How can operators help their drivers become better prepared? How can drivers better manage their own fatigue?”

Technology can empower drivers to manage their own fatigue whilst providing the insight to back-office staff to ensure fatigue is effectively handled in the operation.

How can Transtech help? With Sentinel.

Sentinel is Transtech’s tried and proven Electronic Work Diary (EWD) utilised by some of Australia’s most progressive transport operators. It can help provide assurance to operators that driver’s comply to fatigue law.

Sentinel at a glance

Sentinel fatigue management fatigue compliance electronic work diary ewd

Sentinel provides information in real-time, to both the driver in the vehicle and the staff in the back-office. But what does this real-time information mean?

It means that at any given moment, operators and back-office staff are able to ensure that driver’s fatigue hours are within regulated hours to meet fatigue law.

Sentinel allows for alerts to be set up to warn staff before, during or after a violation occurs; allowing for proactive management. Sentinel on the iFace warns a driver before a fatigue breach occurs.

Sentinel provides real-time and historical tracking of fatigue information along with the ability to create trip plans for upcoming jobs. Back-office staff can produce detailed reports, allowing them to create driver rosters calculated from real-time driver fatigue hours against rule sets.


There is more to Sentinel then meets the eye

There are numerous ways operators, management, back-office staff and drivers can utilise Sentinel’s functionality. From discovering real-time driver information through to allocating, rostering and reporting, there are features to suit any operation.

education - Sentinel makes fatigue management easy to understand.

Educational. Sentinel makes fatigue management easy to understand.

Management and their team of back-office staff can see any given driver’s fatigue in real-time. It provides an entirely new window into fatigue management, allowing for instant calculation of work and rest hours against rule sets. See when a driver’s next rest break is due, when the driver would begin to violate if no action is taken and what rule would be broken and so forth.

Sentinel is live – it displays up-to-date driver fatigue information in an easy to understand visual format.

Sentinel Fatigue Management Alerts
alerts - Sentinel has a built-in advanced alerting system.

Alerts. Sentinel has a built-in advanced alerting system.

The back-office is able to set up notifications to be received prior to violations occur, as violations occur and/or after the violations continue to occur to both the driver and the back-office.

The driver also gains insight into upcoming violations with alerts generated on the iFace, a 7” in-vehicle touchscreen tool. These alerts warn the driver before a violation occurs, allowing for preventative action to be taken.

proactivity - Preventative action rather then reactive management.

Proactivity. Preventative action rather then reactive management.

Sentinel provides the operator and their management team with the ability to take a proactive approach to managing fatigue. The traditional paper work diary only allows for reactive management – operators may not discover if a driver is in violation until the driver’s work sheet is returned and calculated or worse, after an audit, which can be overlooked due to the complexity in calculating rules.

Sentinel’s real-time information flow allows for operators to combat fatigue issues head on. The alerts set up prior to violations that occur allow for fatigue issues to be tackled before breaches can even occur.

Did you know that 20% of fatal accidents involve driver fatigue

Did you know that in NSW alone, on-road enforcement and heavy vehicle checking stations completed over 117,000 logbook checks during the 2011-12 period.
Source: NSW Roads & Maritime 2011/12 Compliance Information

Historical Tracking - Sentinel records driver fatigue information.

Historical Tracking. Sentinel records driver fatigue information..

It doesn’t just display the driver’s current status. The back-office is able to view the entire recorded history of work and rest hours at any time for any of their drivers.

Fatigue information is stored and used to calculate fatigue hours against a fatigue rule set. Those hard to calculate rules such as the 36 or 84-hour rules, hours worked in the last 14-day period and so forth, are available to view with a few simple clicks. Compliance managers no longer have to spend hours, even days, pouring over their driver’s paper work diaries to calculate whether they have violated or can complete future trips safely within fatigue laws.

Sentinel can show staff any given driver’s history over any time period.

Did you know that 20% of fatal accidents involve driver fatigue

Did you know that paper-based work diaries must be kept with the driver for at least 28 days, even if a new diary is used, the old paper diary must be retained.
Source: NHVR National Driver Work Diary for drivers of fatigue-related heavy vehicles. 2013, Version 1

Automation - Sentinel helps systemise an entire operation's fatigue processes.

Automation. Sentinel helps systemise an entire operation’s fatigue processes.

Operators and their back-office staff know each of their driver’s fatigue information from a quick glance, available 24/7. They don’t have to wait for the driver to return to the depot to see their work diary sheets.

The driver’s task of keeping a paper work diary true and accurate is considerably reduced as Sentinel provides rule and event summary information for the driver.

Sentinel Fatigue Management Reports
Advanced Reports - Find out anything or everything all within a few simple clicks.

Advanced Reports. Find out anything or everything all within a few simple clicks.

Within Sentinel, a variety of reports serving different purposes are available to the back-office that can help provide further insight driver fatigue. From a fatigue management report that provides a 14-day overview of any selected number of drivers through to a violations report, there is a report to suit any operation.

Rostering - Provide a new window of ability into driver rostering.

Rostering. Provide a new window of ability into driver rostering.

The above mentioned reports can help with another facet within the operation, rostering. The fatigue management report allows operators to choose drivers and get a complete view into their fatigue information for the past 14 days, displaying the driver’s availability to complete future trips factored from their fatigue history.

It calculates a number of important metrics; total time worked and the remaining time allowed to work. This means from a simple view, staff are able to roster drivers accurately and safely.

Safe Driving Plans - Ensure a driver's trip is well planned.

Safe Driving Plans. Ensure a driver’s trip is well planned.

With its powerful rostering abilities, Sentinel allows operators to take the next step by providing the ability to create safe driving plans. These are based on a driver’s ability to complete the job safely within their available fatigue hours.

Staff are able to create trips and schedule against drivers. Past, current and future trip information is kept within the one environment. Best of all, it uses driver’s real fatigue information. Staff are able to instantly see if a driver can complete the trip – no more wasting time chasing up drivers for their paper work diaries and calculating if they are able to complete the trip.

Accounts & Payroll - Accurate driver hours for accurate account information.

Accounts & Payroll. Accurate driver hours for accurate account information.

Utilising reports and driver historical tracking is a crucial benefit of Sentinel for the accounts and payroll staff in an operation. With these powerful functions, staff are able to accurately compare timesheets with fatigue information to confirm work hours. Sentinel can ultimately replace timesheets allowing account staff to use Sentinel as the method of capturing driver-working hours.

Offline Mode - Electronic Work Diaries anywhere, at any time.

Offline Mode. Electronic Work Diaries anywhere, at any time.

Last but not least is one of Sentinel’s newest features, offline mode. This allows the application on the iFace to calculate the fatigue rules locally. The driver can be out of communications range and the application will continue to calculate their fatigue. Once back in communications range, the iFace transmits the information to the back-office module within NextGen. Operators can maintain compliance for weeks on end.

Sentinel as an Electronic Work Diary

Sentinel is an EWD that currently augments the legally required paper work diary. Current progress on the EWD legislation suggests implementation in 2015. However, don’t wait as the benefits are here now.

Transtech has been and continues to be involved in the electronic work diary program since its inception, working closely with all involved industry bodies.

Sentinel is designed to ensure that when EWDs become legislation, the solution will comply with the specification, giving the operator the simple option to upgrade into an EWD environment.

For more information, contact Transtech’s professional customer service team on 1300 427 123 or via email at info@transtech.net.au.