New-look work diary on the way


Proposed new work diary seeks to ease the administrative burden on truck drivers

New-look work diary on the way
New-look work diary on the way
April 26, 2013

A new-look work diary with simplified reporting requirements is slated to be rolled out in the coming months to make it quicker and easier for drivers to fill out daily work sheets.

The National Transport Commission (NTC), in partnership with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), has tinkered with the existing diary in the wake of industry calls for change.

The changes, which include a reduction in how much information drivers need to record on a daily sheet, are due to take effect alongside new national heavy vehicle regulations from July 1.

"The new changes will have simplified daily sheets and will also be accompanied by advice on the fatigue laws so drivers can easily reference information most relevant to their duties," NTC Acting CEO George Konstandakos says.

"These changes will make it simpler, quicker and clearer for drivers to fill out the daily sheets as there is less information required and not as much duplication."

Under the proposed changes, drivers will only need to record their vehicle registration once a day or if their vehicle changes. Drivers currently need to record the registration at every break.

Drivers will only need to record the location and odometer reading at the start of a rest break, and not when finishing their break as well.

The changes also mean drivers will only need to record their operator’s basic fatigue management (BFM) or advanced fatigue management (AFM) accreditation once in the diary instead of listing it on every daily sheet.

The NTC says solo drivers will no longer need to write the state or territory where their licence was issued, while the new diary will come with an optional comments section to allow drivers to include information such as delays and for authorised officers to make notes.

NHVR CEO Richard Hancock says the changes will make "a real on-the-road difference" to truck drivers, adding that the NHVR will work with the states and territories to make the sale of the new diary available nationwide.

"The new diary will reduce any possibility that a ‘paperwork error’ could lead to a fine, while still ensuring that critical information regarding fatigue management and rest breaks is clearly recorded," he says.

"Over the past two years, one of the most consistent pieces of feedback we’ve had from industry has been the desire to see a simpler work diary, and more flexible and practical fatigue management regulations."

Transition periods and phase-in arrangements are due to be announced later this year.

The NHVR, which will oversee fatigue regulations when it assumes full responsibilities in July, is currently trialling a new streamlined AFM module similar to the Western Australian system.

The industry has been given until May 20 to provide feedback on the NTC’s proposals. It says the NHVR board will consider a final version of the diary at the end of May.

Policy makers made a concerted effort to include industry in the discussion on changes to the work diary.

The Queensland Trucking Association, NatRoad, the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters' Association and the National Road Freighters Association were among representative groups brought in to help the NTC revise the work diary.

Click here to check out the proposed new work diary.

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