4 Ways To Keep Your Digital Work-Time Logbook Accurate
Ensuring the recording of your work time is accurate is really important. Not only to make sure you are getting enough rest and preventing fatigue but also because in New Zealand as a commercial driver it’s the law.
We have found that a majority of violations popping up in drivers logbooks aren’t because they are actually working more or resting less than allowed. It simply comes down to not knowing how to use their Digital Logbook in the way it was designed.
So I wanted to personally give you some top tips to help you learn how to keep your logbook accurate and error-free.
1. Make All Entries In Real-Time
The benefit of using a digital logbook is that most of the information for your entries is generated automatically. The time, date and location are all auto-populated into your logbook entry from data available on your device. So when you make an entry in your digital logbook in real-time it means the information being auto-filled is more likely to be correct. Making entries in real-time is also an NZTA requirement so not doing so could result in a hefty fine.
2. Check Twice, Save Once
As the saying goes, measure twice cut once. Well in this case double check your entries before pressing the save button! Keeping a logbook is a legal requirement and there are penalties for having inaccurate entries. While it is very convenient that a majority of the information auto-fills for you, it is still your responsibility as a driver to ensure that each entry is correct.
But don’t worry, if you do happen to make a mistake you can still edit an entry prior to locking the shift. However, once that shift is locked there is no going back. This is because once it is locked copies are sent to your TSL holders and become a part of your permanent record.
3. Assign The Correct TSL Holder To Your Vehicle
When you complete a shift in your Digital Logbook your shift record is sent to the TSL Holders assigned to the vehicles used during that shift. If you have left the TSL Holder on your vehicle as Owner Operator but you actually drive under someone else’s TSL then you are not fulfilling your legal requirement to supply them with a copy of your logbook. Go in and double-check who is the TSL holder of your vehicle and update it if it is not correct.
4. If In Doubt, Take A Break
Think about the start and end shift button as clocking in and out of work. You can only start your shift once and finish it once within your workday, but you can have a mixture of on-duty and rest breaks throughout your work shift. So if you are finishing up your on-duty time work but aren’t 100% sure you are completely finished for the day just click the Break button. This will essentially “push pause” on your work shift.
- That way if you do get a surprise and go back on shift it is possible to do so (without a violation being recorded in your logbook) and you will simply be recording an in-shift rest break
- If you do not end up returning to work and end your work shift later in the day, the duration of time that has passed since you started the in-shift rest break will be counted towards your required 10-hour rest break before starting a new work shift.
Just remember any rest breaks less than 30min in duration will not count as a rest-break and instead be counted towards your on-duty time.
I hope these tips and tricks will help you keep your violations to a minimum and increase the accuracy of your Digital Logbook entries. I would love to hear what tip you found the most helpful.
Also published on medium.com