Rising to the challenge of tacho compliance

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Navigating tachograph regulation can be a complex task. To help keep your fleet safe and compliant with EU law, it’s imperative that you understand exactly what is expected of you as a business owner and that your drivers know exactly what is expected of them when out on the road.

With so much regulation covering the tachograph, this is not always an easy undertaking. As a fleet-reliant business owner, your responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring that tachographs are correctly installed, calibrated and inspected.
  • Making drivers aware of all rules that apply to them and their vehicles.
  • Ensuring tachograph charts meet EU regulations.
  • Scheduling all routes in line with EU driver hours and rest period rules.
  • Downloading driver card data at least every 28 days.
  • Downloading all vehicle unit data at least every 56 days.
  • Taking reasonable steps to prevent any falsifying or loss of records.

On top of this, your drivers must also ensure:

  • The tachograph is correctly set to record their activities.
  • Tachograph charts are used to record data across multiple vehicles if necessary.
  • The driver card is correctly installed at the start of every shift.
  • All work is recorded – rest, breaks, other work etc.

With so many additional tasks to contend with, on top of an already busy working day, it is perhaps unsurprising that so many drivers and business owners fall foul of tachograph regulation. A recent Verizon Connect survey found that many drivers make common tachograph errors including incorrectly recording time or failing to insert the driver card. Similarly, 32% of fleet-reliant business owners admit that they do not download driver data at least every 28 days.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of these mistakes is the fact that they are so commonplace and yet can carry such severe penalties.

The are several offences that can be committed when it comes to the tachograph, each carrying penalties that range from fines of up £5,000, through to prosecution and possible imprisonment. These include:

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  • Failure to record driving time correctly or at all.
  • Failure to keep to keep accurate records.
  • Failure to install a tachograph in any vehicle that requires one.
  • Failure to use the tachograph.
  • Failure to hand over records or equipment to the relevant authorities.
  • Failure to take steps to ensure that all drivers are adhering to EU tachograph regulation.

As a business owner, it can be difficult to protect yourself from these mistakes and the associated penalties for making them. After all, you can’t monitor every driver’s tacho status and activity all day, every day. Or can you?

Digital tachograph software could hold the answer. Connecting a digital tachograph solution to your GPS system allows you to monitor your drivers’ tacho status in near-real time. You can receive alerts when breaks are imminent and warnings when driving hours have been exceeded.

It is also possible to download tacho data remotely without the need for the vehicle to be present. You can schedule this data to be downloaded automatically, making it easy to stay compliant with EU regulation.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a digital tacho system is that in transforms the tachograph from a simple legal requirement to a useful tool that can deliver valuable insight. Integrating your tachograph data with that collected by your GPS solution can give you a full picture of your fleet’s status, performance and location, helping your to make smarter, more-informed decisions throughout your business.

For more information on the many benefits of a digital tachograph solution, click here.  

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