Tachograph Data Ltd (TDL).

Professional Tachograph Analysis.

Tachograph Rules

  1. Description and Use.
  2. Responsibilities.
  3. Additional Rules.
Driver's Hours Rules.
1. Description and Use
The tachograph is an instrument which automatically records:
  • distance travelled by the vehicle,
  • the speed of the vehicle,
  • driving time,
  • periods of work of drivers,
  • breaks from work and daily rest periods, and
  • opening the case containing the record, it must further:
    1. allow the driver to check that the trace on the chart is being produced without having to open the case,
    2. enable the last 9 hours to be visable on the chart to an authorised examiner without the need for any action by him other than opening the case, and
    3. be capable of recording 4 modes of driver time under the symbols.

For vehicles used by 2 drivers, the instrument must allow the recording of time referred to under points 3, 4 and 5 above simultaneously and in different way for 2 drivers on separate sheets. Employers and drivers must ensure that the equipment functions correctly.

If the instrument develops a fault or breaks down, it must be repaired at an approved centre as soon as circumstances permit. If the vehicle is not likely to return to its depot within a week, repairs must be carried out en route.   [ Top ]

2. Responsibilities
The Employer must ensure that:
  • sufficient charts are supplied to the employee to cover the operation involved, bearing in mind that the charts are personal to that employee and that charts may be damaged, become dirty or be removed by an authorised examiner, etc,
  • the charts issued are of an approved type and suitable for the instrument installed in the vehicle (charts may not be interchangeable with different makes of instrument),
  • the employee returns completed charts within 28 days,
  • completed charts are retained in good order for at least 12 months and are available for inspection by an authorised examiner if required.
Furthermore, employers are required to give drivers copies of their charts if they request them.

Note - operators must check tachograph charts periodically to ensure that drivers are observing the hours of work rules, as heavy fines on both the driver and employer can be imposed. In the event of any irregularities coming to light, steps must be taken immediately to eradicate them. Details of the proceedings should be placed on file so that if records are inspected by the authorities at a later date, it can be shown that action has been taken. (This type of operation should already be included in an operator's checking system in view of the undertaking given at the time of applying for an Operator's Licence.)

The driver must:
  • complete the centre field of each chart as follows:
    1. surname and first name,
    2. date and place of commencement and finish of chart,
    3. registration number of each vehicle used,
    4. the odometer reading at:

      • the start of the first journey,
      • the end of the last journey,
      • if more than 1 vehicle is used during the working day, the respective readings on each vehicle.
    5. the time of any changes of vehicle.

  • keep the instrument running continuously whilst he is responsible for the vehicle and ensure that the trace is recording the various activities. Anytime spent away from the vehicle must also be recorded either automatically or manually.

  • ensure that the time recorded on the chart agrees with the official time in the country of registration for the vehicle,

  • be able to produce to an authorised examiner completed charts for the current week and for the last day of the previous week on which he drove. (The examiner may enter the vehicle, inspect the instrument, inspect and copy or remove any charts found therein.)

  • return completed charts to his employer within 28 days (failure to return completed charts within the time limit without a reasonable excuse can incur a fine of up to £2,500 on summary conviction),

  • if the tachograph develops a fault or becomes inoperative, mark on the chart or a temporary chart attached to it all the relevant information required by the regulations. Dirty or damaged charts must not be used.
All the foregoing requirements apply equally to owner drivers.   [ Top ]

3. Additional Rules
Chart Entries - it is most important that all particulars required to be shown in the centre field of the chart are completed accurately, firstly at the beginning of a working period and again at the end or when a change of vehicle takes place. Also, where a driver changes vehicles during his working period and the new vehicle has a different make of tachograph, it will not be possible to complete all the entries on the first chart. In such cases, a chart compatible with the particular instrument must be used with the centre field being completed and this should be attached to the first chart at the end of the working period so that a complete record is shown.

Driver Mode Selector - the driver must ensure that the mode selector is positioned against the symbol relating to the operation it is performing at the particular time. Failure to operate the selector properly will result in incorrect recordings being made on the chart which is an offence.

Working and Rest Periods - at the end of a working period it is advisable for the driver to remove the chart from the instrument (unless he is certain that the vehicle will not be moved during his absence), to draw a line across the face of the chart and to write in "daily/weekly rest (DR/WR*) begins". At the commencement of a new working period he should draw a line across the new chart and write in "DR/WR* ends" before placing it in the tachograph, making sure that no markings made by the styli are defaced as this is an offence and leaves the driver open to prosecution. Alternatively, this information can be given on the back of the chart (a number of charts make provision for written information). Similarly, if he is likely to be absent from the vehicle during a working period and there is the possibility of it being driven by some other person, he should remove the chart from the tachograph and manually record his working time and any breaks taken during this period.

* - whichever is applicable.

Removal of Charts by the Authorities - the driver must have with him in the cab charts for the current week and for the last day of the previous week on which he drove. If a chart is removed by an authorised person for checking, etc. and is retained by him, a receipt should be obtained showing date, time and name of the person. He should also be asked to record the circumstances on any replacement chart in case further checks take place during the driver's working period. The driver should report any incidents of this nature to his employer as soon as possible and the employer should retain the receipt for reference at a later date if required.

Two Driver Operations - if the vehicle is double-manned, a 2-man tachograph must be used and each driver must insert his own chart, making sure that the first driver's chart is in the correct position for recording driving time. When he is relieved by the second driver the chart must be changed over. In the event of a third driver being carried, he will have to make manual entries on his chart until he takes over driving when one of the other charts will have to be removed and that person continues to record manually his working time.

Faulty Instrument - if the instrument develops a fault, the driver must continue to record his hours of work manually, either on the chart, a temporary chart or a sheet of paper. Steps must be taken to have the instrument repaired as soon as possible or, if the driver is on a journey which is expected to take more than 7 days, repairs must be carried out en route. Repairs, recalibration and sealing can only be done at an "approved centre". Therefore, if a delay is likely to occur, the driver should carry with him some written evidence, e.g the name of the centre and date vehicle booked in, etc. which should satisfy an examiner or the police if he is involved in a roadside check.

Examination of Records - a Department of Transport examiner or uniformed police officer can inspect the tachograph and employee's record charts and detain a vehicle for as long as it is necessary for this purpose. He may also remove charts for further examination if he suspects them of being false or having been tampered with.

Premises in which vehicles and records, etc are kept may be entered, at any time which is reasonable, for inspection purposes. Records suspected of being false may be removed and can be held by the authorities for a period of up to 6 months.

Obstructing an examiner carrying out his duties is an offence and a fine can be imposed on summary conviction.

Records used in Evidence - records produced by tachographs and manual entries made on the chart by drivers may be evidence, and in Scotland sufficient evidence, of the matters appearing from them as they affect driver's hours and record-keeping. Other records which show on the chart, e.g a vehicle exceeding the speed limit, will not normally be accepted as evidence unless it is corroborated by other evidence such as police patrol or radar check.    [ Top ]

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