Some Great Questions

Recently AFM received some very complex questions regarding work time. While the legislation was able to provide answers for some, others required more research and in some cases referral to the NHVR. With the questioners kind permission, we have reprinted these because they raise some interesting scenarios. Please note, the questions and answers below only relate to persons who are employed as truck drivers, not receiver, despatchers, etc.

1. When you complete a diary and you enter details of base should that be dated when you started work with that employer or the date that you got that diary. Also if you work for employer “a” mon-fri then employer “b” Saturday would you each week re-enter the base or once is enough.

No, when you get your diary, you may not be working for anyone, so – When you commence work for an employer you write the base and record location for that employer into page 33 of the work diary. If you then change employer to employer B on the Saturday, you write the base and records location on the next line. On Monday when you work for employer A again, you rewrite the base and records location for employer A into line three. You keep rewriting as you change employer – the law says the record must be current – that’s why there are two pages (33 & 34) for recording base and records location.

2. As we share a truck we might start our shift at 2pm but truck runs late and gets back at 3pm. Should we start our diary at 2pm or 3pm. We are waiting and may be doing paperwork or other truck related activities but how do you enter this. Under what rego.

The law requires you to record your work/driving time for the entire shift for that day, you start the record at the beginning of the shift, not when you start driving. When you begin driving (i.e. two hours later) you then enter the rego No for the vehicle you are driving onto the work diary page, if the rego changes during the shift the new rego is noted in the comments section including the time the change occurred.

3. If I was training a driver ( instructing load/unload ) and in passenger seat do i have to fill out the work diary ? Or do we enter as 2 up driving. In which case when i am in passenger seat is that rest or would rest only be allowed if I was in an approved sleeper. Would our diary page be identical as in work rest hrs? What if I was just a passenger for the day. Do i have to fill out diary?

If you are instructing and not driving as per the definition above, it is considered work – you both use your work diary and record your entire shift – it is not considered two up because you are not driving.

4. If I dropped a truck off at the mechanics and drove a car back to the depot would that be work time or finish diary at the mechanic. Do i record the car rego?

If you are paid for driving the truck to the depot and driving the car back, you record this time as work until you return to the depot and complete the shift, you do not record the car rego as it is not a fatigue regulated heavy vehicle, however you must record the rego for the truck and the entire shift time in your work diary.

5. Does my pay sheet have to match my work diary with above scenarios?

Yes your pay sheet hours should match (or be close to- depending whether you are paid for breaks) the recorded work times in your diary, unless you have agreed to work gratis, also remember that working for free when driving a fatigue regulated heavy vehicle still requires you to complete a work diary.

6. I do half a day driving then jump in the ute and do pick-ups or other tasks do i show this or not? It is work related to a heavy vehicle but isn’t directly.

As per the definition, this is related to loading/unloading things into or out of a heavy vehicle – you record the entire shift in the work diary, if you do not, then you cannot demonstrate you had your required rest if you are scheduled to drive the following day and rest of the week.

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