In-vehicle cameras that detect a truck driver’s eyelid movements are helping Toll Mining Services manage fatigue in its workforce.
The company is using what it calls driver state sensor (DSS) system in its trucks to address driver fatigue in real-time.
Toll Mining Services regional health, safety and environment manager Geoff Massey detailed the technology and its benefits at this year’s Trucking Australia conference.
"Basically these cameras look at the length of blink of an eyelid and when you get really fatigued you start to have what we call micro sleeps and these can be two to three seconds," Massey says.
"When he [the truck driver] has a micro sleep the sensor detects that and the seat vibrates to wake him up.
"There’s also an audio alert [that] goes out and emails go out to our supervisors at site so at a business unit level there is information travelling to our supervisors who then ring up the driver so that they can talk to him and say, ‘take a break, get out of the cab, walk around your vehicle’."
Massey says Toll monitors all fatigue events and produces weekly reports on the number of incidents to ensure driver fatigue remains under control.
DSS has helped avert potentially serious fatigue-related crashes, with Massey saying drivers are mostly unaware they are having micro sleeps.
"What is very telling though is when we see the driver have a micro sleep and we’ve talked to him and said please step out of the cab, he complies but nine times out of 10 he says, 'I don’t feel fatigued, there is nothing wrong with me'," he says.
"It is not until we take him back into the office and replay the video of him blinking that he’s absolutely stunned.
"So to me, fatigue is one of those deadly killers like electricity or gas. It’s unseen and unheard."
DSS is one of a number of safety initiatives Toll Mining Services uses, with the company also limiting the speed of its trucks to 90km/h and installing ABS and EBS braking to prevent rollovers.
Toll Mining Services last year won the Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) Training Excellence Award for its approach to safety.
It decided to limit truck speed and install ABS and EBS after a 2012 review found that rollover prevention training for drivers was not enough.
See the original article here http://www.fullyloaded.com.au/industry-news/1503/ata-2015-in-vehicle-cameras-help-toll-manage-driver-fatigue/
Certain terms agreed to during contract negotiations have the potential to cripple unsuspecting trucking firms, this year’s Trucking Australia conference has heard.
Border Express director Jon Luff’s address to the conference touched on areas that he believes can ruin a company if they are ignored.
Luff says ongoing financial stability and safety are the main priorities for trucking firms, but issues that arise during contract negotiations like contingent liability, extended payment terms and taking on risks that customers should bear are important.
"I think while you’re looking at the day to day financials, you’ve got to be aware of the one-off events that can effectively become company killers," he says.
"When we sit down with our customers we tend to be at a reasonably weak position at the bargaining table. We tend to be clinging desperately on to our margins and there is an inclination, I guess, to give up space or give up ground in other areas and I think there is a tendency in our industry to take on risk that belongs to the customers and take it on our as our own to protect our margin.
"I think about things in contract negotiations like taking on contingent liability and the inherent risk with contingent liability not knowing what there is, not knowing what you’re really possibly liable for."
Luff highlighted issues companies should consider before agreeing to extended payment terms in a contract.
"If you agree to extended payment terms that’s a commercial decision, but are you factoring in the sustainability of your business in the event the customer can’t or ultimately won’t pay the outstanding amount?" Luff says.
"And I think another one that has poked up its head recently is around customers looking for us to take on risk around chain of responsibility.
"I think it is one we might give ground in because obviously people here are very aware of their compliance responsibilities and may think they’re taking all reasonable steps, but the reality of it is taking reasonable steps doesn’t protect you from a chain of responsibility case and that can be extremely damaging to your business."
Luff made the comments during a panel discussion on business viability, which also featured former Mountain Industries boss Mike Almond and Simon National Carriers managing director David Simon.
Almond warned trucking operators against becoming hostages to debt, while Simon spoke of the need for the industry to sell itself better.
You can see the original article here http://www.fullyloaded.com.au/industry-news/1503/ata-2015-one-off-events-have-the-potential-to-kill-trucking-companies/