Telematics is the catalyst for change
THE way Shannon Kyle sees it, not a lot is going to change at what he calls the coalface of the industry when the new Chain of Responsibility laws come into play from October 1.
Teletrac Navman's solutions specialist believes the biggest difference will be the shift from preventing the breach, to managing the task safely.
"And that's quite a big shift in the sense that under the old regs you had to have an on-road breach for any other party in the chain to be investigated,” said the former driver and long-time safety and compliance gun.
"Come October 1, while the onus of proof moves back to the prosecution, which I think is a great thing, I think that one of the things most people have missed, like Workcover, is that they can come in and assess whether you're meeting that primary duty at any time.
"You don't have to have had an on-road breach. It could be a public complaint, a disgruntled ex-employee, or just some intelligence that the agency's gathered.”
That's where a telematics system used correctly can take all the stress and guess-work out of the equation, said Shannon.
It's what the son of legendary compliance pioneer Dick Kyle - the founder of the Australian Transport Compliance Centres - likes to call The Fair Dinkum Department.
"You can have the best paper-based system policy and procedures in the world, but at the end of the day when the guy drives out the gate, you cross your fingers and hope he's going to use it all. It (telematics) takes that away from it,” he said.
"You know the daily checks have been done because you've got the alerts straight away. You can pro-actively manage driver non-performance so you're not waiting for the lag indicators anymore, and be on top of the issues as they arise. And it gives you depth of evidence of compliance on a consignment-by- consignment basis.”
But Shannon is also quick to point out that telematics on its own isn't the silver bullet; users have to be pro-active and use the tool as it was intended.
"Too often as an auditor in my previous roles I'd seen companies who had put in good solutions, whether they'd been Teletrac Navman, or other telematic solutions, and done nothing to update their polices and procedures to reflect that great new tool that they have,” he said.
"They've put in it because the customer wants it, or they want to say they've got their vehicles tracked. My role is to ensure that a business does use the tools and the technology and data to better manage their business.”
When you factor in the other many 'value-add' benefits of telematics, including the "icing on the cake” fuel tax credits, Shannon is adamant that the technology is the cornerstone to improving the industry.
"I think there's a whole world of productivity gains that can be linked to telematics into the future. That's the exciting part for me. We're on the cutting edge and I don't think we're too far away from tipping over that.”