When the idea of Electronic Work Diaries (EWDs) was first proposed, many in the industry were sceptical, and some staunchly opposed them. Many drivers thought they would be forced on them by the regulator or their employer.
“Fast forward a few years and a lot has changed,” said Hubfleet EWD founder James Doherty. “When we developed the product, we expected it would be rolled out from the top down and fleet managers would require drivers to move from paper to EWDs for all the benefits they offer in the office. This has certainly been the case for some businesses, but what has surprised us is how often it is the other way around.”
So many drivers now understand the benefits of EWDs. Working to the nearest minute, rather than rounding time into 15-minute blocks can save a driver 30 to 40 minutes on a typical day. Then there is the time it takes to fill in an EWD which is so much less.
“The feedback we are getting from drivers about the Hubfleet app has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Doherty. “They love the fact that it’s very fast and smooth and works even if there’s no network connection. They also love the way their work hours are displayed with respect to each period in their ruleset, so there is no more stressing about counting time or trying to work out when their next seven- or 24-hour break is due. It is all laid out clearly in the app.”
Hubfleet has adapted the app to suit a driver-led rollout by introducing a new lower cost single driver plan for $14 per month.
“This plan includes the same EWD but doesn’t have the more advanced reporting features in the web portal. We found single drivers weren’t using them, so we didn’t think they should have to pay for them,” Doherty said.
Hubfleet has also introduced a new feature that makes it simple and easy for drivers to send an electronic copy of their diary directly to their employer. Drivers save their employer as a contact, choose a specific date range and simply hit the send button. The app takes care of the rest by automatically sending an email with a PDF attachment of the driver’s records.
For some companies that are still dealing with the old yellow sheets, it can be disruptive to have to deal with PDF records as well as the yellow sheets.
“This is a good reason for companies to get on the front foot and roll out EWDs in their business sooner rather than later. Looking ahead, we are very much continuing to cater for our big customers,” said Doherty. “One of our most requested features has been a Loads/Trips module, which we are currently putting the finishing touches on. This will include mass verification, customisable checklists for things like load dimensions and restraints, as well as capturing customer and supplier details for each load/trip. Our aim is to develop a complete safety management system covering fatigue, maintenance, mass, and general safety and compliance. We will do this either through features within our system or where it makes sense through integrations with other established products, like we currently do with Gearbox for maintenance.”
As drivers and managers reap the benefits of the game-changing app, Hubfleet continues to evolve its product to better serve the heavy vehicle industry.