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Take back control of the tachograph

By Holly Dempster April 6, 2020

Introduced over thirty years ago to track driving hours and break periods, the tachograph is now an integral part of the fleet manager’s day to day job.

But while tachograph technology has evolved, many fleet-reliant businesses are yet to catch up.

As uncovered in last year’s Fleet Manager Insight Report, just 19% of fleet managers download tacho data remotely. This leaves the rest relying on manual methods, downloading data from in-cab units or driver cards.

This manual approach can be incredibly time-consuming and is not always accurate. It is also reactive, meaning fleet managers are reviewing driving hours and break periods after the fact.

An error spotted in near real-time can be resolved in seconds. One spotted a week or month down the line is a different story. So much so that 37% of fleet managers admit to spending up to two hours per week fixing tacho errors – with 32% spending between two and eight hours on the same task.  

Mistakes not only take precious time to correct, they can also cause issues with compliance.

Failure to keep accurate tacho records can result in hefty fines – running into the hundreds of thousands – and in some cases, prosecution.

Despite these high penalties, fleet-reliant operators are still falling short of compliance in other areas too.

Under EU tachograph regulation, fleet operators must download tachograph data every 90 days. As the 2019 Fleet Manager Insight Report reveals, this is not always the case.

While an impressive 96% of operators are meeting this stipulation, that still leaves 4% falling short of compliance.

The same is true of data storage. Again, EU rules state that fleet operators must be able to produce accurate tacho records for up to 12 months. Some 72% of UK fleets are compliant with this regulation. That leaves 28% that are open to potential fines and prosecution – with some not downloading tachograph data at all.

Making the tacho work for you 

As fleet management technology evolves, a change of mindset is needed towards the tachograph.

While it may have been introduced simply to record driving hours and breaks, it now has the potential to do much more.

With digital tachograph technology, fleet managers can view tacho status in near real-time to help make faster, more-informed scheduling decisions.

Data collected by a GPS fleet management solution can also be cross-referenced with tacho data to help spot inconsistencies and mistakes.

Finally, remote downloads can be scheduled automatically, helping fleet managers maintain compliance with less effort.

The tachograph doesn’t have to be taxing. Discover the digital tachograph today.

Holly Dempster

Holly is the Marketing Specialist for UK & Ireland, Verizon Connect. With 5 years' experience in the IT Sector and a Journalism degree, her passion lies in the power of content. Holly's focus areas to date include, Digital, Channel and Consultative Marketing.

Tags: Compliance, Data & analytics, Productivity & efficiency, Safety, Team management

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