It all seems to be e-this and e-that at the moment. The industry opinion seems divided as to whether this is good and natural progress following the wider trend to reduce time and space consuming paperwork, or whether it is in fact an infringement of privacy.

The RUC bill is out and many have a view on that, but it is also the e-RUC component of that which is attracting a lot of attention. Note that we are still talking about the draft legislation and that this hasn’t been passed yet. There is a clause which allows the RUC collector to request from the eRUC supplier “any specified traffic or transport information” and that information should “be supplied only in aggregate form and in a way that will not identify any specific transport operator or electronic system provider.”

To my mind, this does not leave the way open for the relevant authorities to go to your e-RUC provider and ask for data relating to a specific transport company including data that will show your levels of compliance with the various legal requirements such as RUC, driving hours or speeding. I will, however, leave it to those or are more inclined to wordsmithing to ensure that that is indeed the case.

A few weeks ago I participated in a session in Wellington which fell somewhere between a workshop and a seminar hosted by the NZTA and the CVIU. The subject of that meeting was electronic logbooks. The tone of the meeting was very much about following the wider trend to reduce time and space consuming paperwork, but most operators I have spoken to since are sceptical and are looking for the “real” reason – believing it is another way to make it easier for an operator to be “caught out.”

The truth about e-stuff

The truth is this; technology is constantly evolving and becoming more and more user friendly. It is the way business is now conducted and will permeate increasing parts of the way we work and live in the future. The challenge is not to stop it happening, but to ensure that it is used appropriately.

Are your drivers, vehicles and reputation worth less than your fear of The System?

The next truth is this; fatigue and speed are killers – both separately and in combination. Is your energy not better spent reducing the operational risks within your own business, rather than chasing an administrative risk?

By managing internal risks, you are investing in your own profitability, business longevity and reputation. If you look at the data from your systems in the same way that some are worried that the Authorities may look at it, you can increase your profitability and your ORS rating in one fell swoop. Didn’t you install your GPS system in the first place because you wanted to know what was going on in the fleet all day?

Your drivers want to get home safely at the end of their shift. By taking your responsibility in this regard seriously, you empower your drivers to look after themselves. If you would rather think about the financial benefit of this, try this list;

  1. Reduced fuel bill
  2. Reduced damage repairs
  3. Reduced management time spent redirecting speed fine notices to the appropriate driver
  4. Reduced driver Lost time injuries
  5. Reduced spend with relief driving agency, and the additional R&M that can mean
  6. Reduced vehicle hire time to replace a vehicle off the road for repairs
  7. Reduced tyre wear
  8. Reduced insurance premiums

You can also sleep easy at night because you know you are safe and efficient. Happily, you are also compliant and less attractive to those who seek to audit your operation.