Digital Tachographs
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Digital Tachographs have replaced the analogue system, in the future all new vehicles that are regulated by a tachograph unit will have to be fitted with this type of unit.

Tachograph Unit

It is a completely new way of recording drivers' hours as information is stored in the memory of the vehicle unit (VU) and also on the drivers smart card rather than being scribed onto a wax coated chart. the information held is more secure, the system has a number of security features that can record any attempt of being tampered with. It is illegal to drive a vehicle fitted with a digital tachograph unless the driver is in possession of a valid driver smart card.


A Tachograph is required for:

  • All vehicles that are used for carrying goods with a maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) that exceeds 3.5 tonnes.
  • All vehicles that are used for carrying goods with a maximum gross train weight (GTW) that exceeds 3.5 tonnes.
  • All vehicles that are used for carrying goods with trailer also used for carrying goods with a combined maximum gross train weight (GTW) that exceeds 3.5 tonne gross carrying weight (GCW)
  • Passenger vehicles designed to carry more than 9 people (EC) or 17 people (UK)
A Tachograph is required for

A Tachograph will automatically record:

  • The distance travelled by the vehicle
  • The speed of the vehicle
  • The amount of driving time
  • Periods of work by the driver(s)
  • Breaks from work & daily rest periods
  • The tampering of the unit

For vehicles that are manned by two drivers, the driving time, periods of work, breaks from work & daily rest periods must be recorded seperatley & simultaneously for each driver

Employers responsibilities:

  • The Tachograph must be calibrated & sealed by an approved centre before the vehicle is put into service
  • The Tachograph unit must be checked every two years & recalibrated every six years
  • Employers must ensure drivers are aware of their responsibilities
  • Drivers must have sufficient paper to produce printouts for their journey
  • Information from the drivers card must be given to the employer within 21 days
  • Information must be kept for 1 year and be made available for inspection by police or traffic examiners

Drivers responsibilities:

  • A driver must use the tachograph unit as soon as their take over a vehicle
  • Drivers must record information if transferring to another vehicle during their daily working period
  • Drivers are required to make handwritten entries in the event that the tachograph. if the unit is defective or when information on the card does not reflect accurate information in respect of shift time or activities. driver must carry sufficient paper, ensuring that it incorporates the correct approval number for the tachograph. if in use
  • Printouts should be stored effectively so they do not sustain damage, as the thermal paper is sensitive to various everyday elements, such as heat, water, oil & grease

 

Legislation - Tachograph Card Regulations:

  1. A person commits an offence:
  • If,...., he uses, attempts to use or is in possession of, more than one driver card on which he is identified as the holder -  £5000 fine;
  • if he uses or attempts to use a driver card on which he is not identified as the holder -  £5000 fine;
  • If, with intent to deceive, he makes a false statement, or forges or alters a document, for the purpose or obtaining a driver card  - £5000 fine + 3 months or 2 years imprisonment;
  • if he uses, or is in possession of, a driver card issued in consequence of an application which included, with intent to deceive  a false statement or forged or altered document -  £5000 fine or £5000 fine + 2 year imprisonment.

or

  • if he use, or is in possession of, a driver card which has been forged or altered - £5000 fine or £5000 fine + 2 year imprisonment.

2.  A person commits an offence if he causes or permits

  • Any use or possession of a driver card;
  • Makes a false statement or forgery or alteration of a document as specified in section 1.

Transport Act 1968:

Section 99ZE - 1 (d)

A person commits an offence:-

  • If he fails without reasonable excuses to make a relevant record or entry, or causes or permits such a failure - £5000 fine

Section 99ZE - 3 (f)

A person commits an offence:-

  • If he fails without reasonable excuses to record any data on recording equipment or on a driver card, or causes or permits such a failure - £5000 fine

Do I require a Tachograph in my 4x4 or van?

Any 4x4 vehicle or van towing a trailer used for the carriage of goods (except those exempt under the drivers' hours rules) requires a tachograph to be installed & used in accordance with the EU regulations, if the combined maximum permissible weight of the vehicle trailer exceeds 3,500kg.

Do I require a Tachograph in a 4x4 vehicle if a trailer is never attached to the vehicle?

No, unless the vehicle exceeds 3,500kg maximum permissible weight and then a tachograph would need to be installed and used in accordance with EU & UK regulations.