ALDI Australia today announced that following a successful trial, it will roll-out a new fleet management tool with plans to deploy Electronic Work Diaries (EWD), once approved by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR). The new tool will deployed across ALDI’s entire fleet.
“If you care about the safety of your team, have nothing to hide and want to drive meaningful safety improvements in the transport industry, then fleet management tools and electronic work diaries are a logical step forward. You cannot argue with the merits of this technology” said Kelly Wells, Director of Logistics at ALDI Australia.
An EWD is a device or system that once approved by the NHVR, can replace paper based logbooks as the authorised mechanism to monitor and record the work and rest times of drivers. In addition to replacing the functionality of logbooks, leading fleet management tools can provide operators with data that can be used to improve efficiency and safety by more clearly understanding the movement of their vehicles.
“Our move to electronic work diaries will assist our operators by reducing the complexity and administrative burden that the current paper based system presents. In-vehicle driver information will also allow our team to plan their work and rest breaks and act when alerted to imminent working hour limits,” said Wells.
As ALDI has outlined in its submission that will be submitted to the Inquiry into the Importance of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry, the retailer believes that technology will continue to play a key role in driving improved safety on our roads. The purchase and roll-out of this new fleet management tool is one of many ongoing safety programs led by ALDI to ensure it supports a safe work environment for its operators.
ALDI is confident that the move to EWDs will not reveal compliance issues as the company already requires all drivers to maintain log books, irrespective of distance travelled, and they run audits on all records. Schedulers are attuned to managing run allocations to give drivers an average shift that is well below the upper limit of hours under Basic Fatigue Management. Converting this data to digital files will simply improve the process and provide transparency for regulators and authorities if required.
“Our rostering arrangements support safe driving hours and fatigue management practices, and our policies and processes are strictly enforced to ensure driver and public safety. Each of our distribution centres has a qualified driver trainer whose role is to oversee and train all staff, as well as provide ongoing support for drivers. Our drivers conduct supervised exercises before commencing their shifts, and work diary pages are continuously monitored via software which helps ALDI ensure compliance with fatigue regulations under the HVNL. Moving to electronic work diaries is a logical next step to help us maintain a safety-first culture for our operators,” concluded Wells.
What is an Electronic Work Diary (EWD)?
An Electronic Work Diary (EWD) is an electronic device or system approved by the NHVR, to monitor and record the work and rest times of a driver and is a voluntary alternative to the written work diary.
EWDs will improve safety and significantly reduce the administrative burden for the Heavy Vehicle industry through:
- improved data accuracy and transparency for drivers, transport operators and authorised officers
- provision of real time data, enabling transport operators to respond immediately to actual breaches and monitor performance over time
- in-vehicle driver information, enabling drivers to plan their work and rest and take action when alerted to an imminent or actual breach.
EWDs will also:
- allow a simpler way for drivers of fatigue-regulated vehicles to record their work and rest information
- allow drivers, transport operators and authorised officers to more easily review past work and rest records to ensure compliance with fatigue laws
- automatically pre-populate some records to reduce the amount of time it takes for drivers to manually record work and rest information
- reduce the administrative burden for operators and drivers
- assist transport operators to monitor their business and improve their fatigue risk management.