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Driving and rest times: Safety for drivers and freight

Mobile apps help logistics companies to plan and control tours

Strict legal regulations apply to the driving and rest times of professional drivers. However, these allow for a range of flexible break models and distribution options. The use of mobile IT systems ensures clarity and safe tours.

If you look at the legal regulations on driving and rest times for truck drivers, your head will quickly spin. The daily driving time is nine hours. After four and a half hours, the first break is mandatory. Twice a week it is possible to increase the driving time to ten hours a day. However, the weekly driving time may not exceed 56 hours. Really clear guidelines look different. The rest period is just as complex:

  • The daily rest period must be at least 11 hours.
  • Truck drivers can divide it into two blocks of three and nine hours, increasing the rest period to twelve hours.
  • Interruptions to the journey, for example during loading and unloading or on a ferry, do not count. Rest periods must be for recuperation.

This list could be continued for a long time. So it is anything but trivial to meet the legal requirements and provide high-quality logistics services at the same time. Above all, driver fatigue must be prevented, as it is a high risk for traffic accidents. Haulage companies are faced with the challenging task of reconciling the safety of their drivers and the expectations of their customers.

Route planning and control

Optimal results by means of a mobile app

The means of choice is optimal route planning by means of modern IT, which ensures the legal driving and rest times. In doing so, hauliers face the following questions:

  • What is the best way to organise driving and rest times?
  • For example, where is the driver after four and a half hours?
  • Can he or she take a break there?
  • Does it make sense to divide the rest period into two blocks?
  • Will the ramp be reached when it is free or will there be waiting time?
  • What breaks in driving are to be expected but do not count as rest time?
  • How many hours will the weekly driving time ultimately be?

With the help of intelligent telematics systems, it is possible to answer all these questions and more, to define them in the route planning and to control them accordingly. A mobile app, for example, reminds the driver of breaks and rest periods and calculates the current and expected driving time. Via the GPS module, the dispatcher or the fleet management receive the exact location of the truck at any time. The employees can see how many hours the driver has left until they reach the legally permitted maximum number of driving hours. The app makes all information available to the head office in real time and thus creates the prerequisite for controlling driving and rest times remotely.

Excellent customer service

Mobile systems meet high demands

Thus, these high-quality IT systems optimally support hauliers with regard to compliance with driving and rest times: Those responsible can react quickly to deviations and thus avoid high fines and possible breakdowns of their vehicles. The app consistently informs whether the driving and rest times comply with the legal requirements or whether further measures are necessary. The driver can leave this task to the technology and concentrate fully on driving. In this way, mobile apps contribute to a high-quality and safe logistics service from start to finish and enable excellent customer service. In this respect, they also serve to strengthen customer loyalty to the company.

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