What is a digital tachograph?
A digital tachograph is a device fitted to a vehicle (normally a large commercial vehicle carrying goods or passengers) that allows insertion of a driver card and is connected to the gearbox. The purpose of a tachograph (also called a tacho) is to help enforce maximum daily and fortnightly driving hours, as well as daily and weekly minimum rest periods, for commercial drivers.
Fleet owners need to install tachographs on all relevant vehicles, and regularly download and file the digital data recorded. Aside from meeting their obligations under EU law, fleet owners can also use this data to make sure their drivers are staying compliant and that the tachograph is working correctly.
Fleet managers must download driver data at least once every 28 days, and vehicle data every 56 days. This information can be used by fleet managers and dispatchers to help drivers stay within legal driving limits and assign new jobs based on available hours.
Do I need a digital tachograph?
A digital tachograph is legally required under EU law (and even in a post-Brexit world) for most drivers of commercial vehicles (carrying goods or passengers) that meet specific criteria including having a GVW over 3.5 tonnes.
You may be exempt if any of the following situations apply:
- Vehicles restricted to under 40kmph
- Emergency aid vehicles
- Breakdown vehicles
- Non-commercial vehicles under 7.5 tonnes
- Vehicles manufactured more than 25 years ago.
There are other possible exemptions, however if you are operating passenger or goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, you will most likely need a tachograph. Failure to do so can lead to large fines.
How can I view current driver data?
With a connected digital tachograph from Verizon Connect you can log in to your web-based fleet management software and see the current readings for any of your drivers. The software can also be setup to alert you if drivers are not compliant.
Driver ID functionality (using a key fob) makes it easy to determine who was driving when, allowing fleet managers to coach drivers based on individual performance and compliance requirements.
Knowing the current compliance status of drivers can also help dispatchers assign jobs faster and more efficiently, based on up-to-date information available through the web-based dashboard.
What are the legal driving hours?
For vehicle requiring a tachograph driving periods must not exceed nine hours – except for twice a week when 10 hours is permitted.
Drivers must also take a rest break of at least 45 minutes after every four and a half (4.5) hours of driving.
Total weekly driving time must not exceed 56 hours, and fortnightly driving time must not exceed 90 hours.
During this time, drivers must take a daily rest period of at least 11 hours. A reduced daily rest period of nine hours is allowable up to a maximum of three times a week.
Verizon Connect tachograph software can help both drivers and fleet managers with driving restrictions and limitations, and easily view available time remaining as well as rests or breaks that need to be taken.
How do I report on individual drivers?
Tachographs record vehicle and driver data separately. When starting a shift, a driver will use a key fob with the tachograph so it knows which driver ID to assign data to, including driving time, speed, distance and rest periods.
You can use this information to help improve safety, promote compliance and enhance overall productivity of your fleet.
Using Verizon Connect tachograph software you can reduce the time you’re spending processing data and tachograph for compliance reporting. Remote downloading of data also means you can reduce any downtime or disruption for your trucks and drivers when accessing this information.