In August of this year, the amendment of the Act on road transport entered into effect which governs, among others, the work time of drivers, which is one of the most frequently broken provisions of the law in the transport sector. How is it possible to avoid penalties related to the improper working time of drivers in a large transport company and improve internal procedures?
The document that entered into effect on 16 August governs important aspects in road transport. The purpose of the Act is to implement European Union regulations in Polish law, starting with issues related to launching a business, the operation of bases of operations, and the working time of drivers. The Act clearly specifies the requirements that road transport companies should pay particular attention to. Lawmakers focused on:
- Driver working time
- Recording equipment
- The technical condition of vehicles
- The transport of dangerous goods
- Operating licenses
- Driving licenses
- Total vehicle weight
Time is money, but not always profit
All of the regulations in the amendment affect the quality of how a company operates. It is worth underlining that the owner of a well managed company need not worry about penalties as in accordance with Article 92b of the Act on road transport, a transport company cannot be fined if it ensured proper work organisation and discipline. If any irregularities are found, the employer taking steps aimed at correcting the situation may constitute mitigating circumstances.
Experience shows that penalties in road transport are mainly imposed for the violation of provisions of the law that govern driving time, required breaks, and the rest periods of drivers. Under the new provisions, the working time of drivers cannot exceed 48 hours per week. (Note – working time should not be confused with driving time) and the records should be kept for two years. In exceptional situations, working time can be extended to 60 hours, but only if the average weekly working time in the last 4 months does not exceed 48 hours. The procedures for recording the working time of drivers, especially in large transport companies, require a large amount of office work. However, today’s solutions help significantly improve this process.
One of the possibilities is to remotely control the work of drivers from the office. Existing telematic solutions that are currently available on the market and are offered by among others by Transics, allow for the activities of drivers, tachographs, and vehicles to be remotely checked and for all necessary information to be sent to the office in an easy to understand form.
The office platform developed by Transics constitutes a command centre for all operations related to transport management. TX-CONNECT guarantees real time access to all information that is needed to perform transport related tasks, from accepting an order to the delivery of the load to the client. Thanks to solutions that are tailored to each client, the forwarding agent may, among others, remotely manage the working time of drivers and their activities, send orders, manage routes, and report all key parameters. The TX-CONNECT office platform developed by Transics can also be easily integrated with applications developed by other transport software providers which significantly helps increase the effectiveness of a transport business.
Controlling working time is one of the basic duties of a transport company. Current solutions allow for the regular inspection of digital tachographs and the real time notification of both drivers and forwarding agents if working time is exceeded. A business can then have a strong argument in regard to control authorities, namely that the business ensured adequate supervision. The TX-Connect software also regularly calculates the remaining available working time of the driver, taking into account work and rest periods over the course of a day, week, and 2 weeks, in accordance with current provisions of the law. This allows for the effective planning of the working time of the drivers and the maximum utilisation of the available working times. Thanks to Transics’ telematics, office workers can also remotely access the driver card and the mass storage memory of the tachograph. This is very important in companies with long routes or whose vehicles never come back to their home country.
Caring for the quality of work and transport, it is worth investing in telematic software which will allow for the working time of drivers to be clearly recorded and monitored. Investments in fleet management systems are recouped by increasing efficiency and limiting operating costs, especially in large companies, where fleet development also leads to an increase in the amount of administrative work.