A new fatigue management screen has been launched which helps operators and drivers comply with the new Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).
The screen launched by Trimble Transport and Logistics ANZ aims to help members of the road transport industry remain compliant with the new Heavy Vehicle National Law which was launched in February this year.
The HVNL was introduced on 10 February and replaces the previous laws governing heavy vehicle operation (over 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass) throughout Oz. At the moment the HVNL applies in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and The ACT.
The new national law was necessitated by the high death toll on Aussie roads. According to statistics 2851 truck drivers have lost their lives over the last 5 years on our roads and this doesn’t even take into account the number of other road users who have been injured or killed by truck related accidents.
It is hoped the screen will help by warning drivers when they reach their maximum driving time. The fatigue management screen is displayed on the dashboard of the heavy vehicle cab and uses both audio and visual signals to warn truck drivers and dispatchers when they are close to reaching the maximum authorised driving time allowed under the new laws.
It also warns drivers of when they need to take a break as mandated by the law. In this way the new screen will hopefully minimise risk of drivers breaching the new laws. It can be particularly useful as drivers familiarise themselves with the new laws.
The screen also keeps a record of truck drivers driving habits, history, breaches committed and unused time relating to the fatigue management scheme applicable to the specific driver.
According to the business development manager of the company responsible for the screen Tom Debeule from Trimble Transport and Logistics ANZ, truckies that drive for too long are a danger to themselves and others around them which is why this technology is designed to make driving safer by providing “real time information about excess driving times and dangerous driving practices”. He also said in a statement:
“The functionality of the fatigue management screen will increase fleet performance and improve the fleet safety profile by enabling the dispatcher to effectively plan, deploy and monitor their fleet while ensuring all drivers are complying with the company’s fatigue policies and national laws,” said Mr Debeule.
The fatigue management screen keeps track of when a truck is moving and drivers can register when the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded or when they are resting by pushing a button which will create an electronic record of their work day, making keeping track of the day much easier.
New App Provides Medical Attention for Drivers on the Road
It seems that numerous technological advancements have been taking place relating to long distance truck driving. Science is being used in innovative ways to combat the problems associated with long distance driving particularly fatigue.
Another technological development which will be of benefit to truck drivers on the road is the new GP2U app. The app allows drivers who need medical advice on the road to consult with medical professionals such as GPs, psychologists and other specialists.
This particular type of consultation with medical professionals via mobile smart phone or tablet has proven successful with mining workers in the past and now it is hoped that truck drivers will seek medical assistance more freely by downloading the new app.
With the technology of video conferencing, truck drivers can consult doctors or medical issues, sleep therapists for fatigue related issues, psychiatrists or psychologists for mental health issues, rather than wait until they can take time off work or put off going to the doctor altogether.
As long as drivers have phone coverage they simply log in to the app and make an appointment with a doctor or medical professional. They are then directed to the virtual waiting room where they wait until it is time for their appointment. Once its’ their time they click a button and begin conferencing with a doctor face to face, saving truck drivers and their employers time and money.
These apps and developments are particularly useful because long distance truck driving is one of the most stressful, and according to statistics “at risk” jobs in Oz – any help with compliance to the law and staying healthy is welcomed because it is just one less thing that truckies need to worry about.