driver fatigue, transport company

Australia’s incredible land mass, partnered with the vast distance between capital cities, means that long distance freight is an essential part of life. 

Transport companies in Perth and across Australia are vital to services such as pallet courier delivery and machine transport, and at the heart of every long-distance freight service are the drivers, whose skills and wellbeing are fundamental to the success of every trip. 

At Shaw’s Darwin Transport, we are specialised providers of road freight services to and from Darwin – connecting customers from all corners of Australia – so we understand how long-distance transport can impact our drivers and create driver fatigue if not managed correctly.

What is Driver Fatigue? 

Fatigue refers to that overwhelming feeling of being tired, drained or exhausted, which can influence a person’s mental, emotional and physical state. 

People can become fatigued due to a range of issues, from poor sleeping patterns as a result of shift work, through to long periods of time spent awake.


On the road, fatigue can be deadly. Fatigue impacts a driver’s alertness, their ability to make quick, sound judgements and can put the life of the driver, and those of other road users, at risk of serious harm. 

Operating any kind of vehicle or machinery while fatigued can have fatal consequences, but the risks are exacerbated when the driver is operating a vehicle potentially weighing around 24,000kg.

Managing Driver Fatigue

To effectively manage driver fatigue and support our staff to continue their jobs in the safest possible manner, it is important for transport companies in Perth and across Australia to have a comprehensive Driver Fatigue Management Plan.

This plan outlines a commitment to appropriately addressing the issue of fatigue within a transport company and involves a number of policies and procedures to help drivers to better understand the risks of their role and provide safety practices that can be implemented.

A Driver Fatigue Management Plan must address each of these key areas: 

  • Trip schedules and driver rosters
  • Management practices
  • Work environment and amenities 
  • Training and information provided to drivers regarding fatigue 
  • Loading and unloading schedules
  • Accident and mechanical failures

How Shaw’s Adheres to Driver Fatigue Management 

We take driver safety incredibly seriously, as our drivers at Shaw’s are not just employees, but part of our extended family across Australia.

Some of the ways we manage driver fatigue include:

  • Providing adequate training and information to drivers
  • Developing of trip schedules and driver rosters that allow for rest periods and breaks
  • Taking into account how time of day or night can impact fatigue and scheduling appropriately. 
  • Ensuring we have easy-to-follow management systems that allow and encourage our drivers to report hazards and incidents
  • Efficient monitoring of driver safety and health

Seeing Machines to Monitor In-Cab Safety

At Shaw’s Darwin Transport, we are also trialling ‘Seeing Machines’ in the cabs of a few of our trucks. 

This advanced system is installed inside the cab of the truck and is used to constantly monitor the driver to make sure they are not only awake, but also keeping their eyes on the road, and not using a phone. 

This kind of technology not just ensures driver safety, but also helps to protect the driver’s load and other road users. 

Contact Shaw’s for Machine Transport and More

At Shaw’s Darwin Transport, our team of highly skilled and experienced drivers and staff ensure your goods get to their destination securely every time.

We take great pride in delivering interstate freight services for pallet courier delivery and machine transport, with online freight tracking and local customer service guaranteeing you have a smooth experience with us. 

If your freight can’t wait, contact Shaw’s Darwin Transport today for competitively priced freight services between Perth, Darwin, Brisbane and Sydney.

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