Our website uses cookies to give you a better browsing experience, and by using our site you accept our cookies policy


Employer Obligations for Tachograph Compliance

Employers have an obligation to ensure tachograph compliance so that their trucks and vans operate safely and within the law. As such, it’s not the sole responsibility of the driver to make sure they’re following tachograph rules. Here we shine a light on the various obligations employers have in this area.

Understanding Tachographs

The purpose of Tachographs in HGVs is to record driving time, as well as rest periods, and the speed at which the vehicle is driven. The constant monitoring they carry out is crucial in ensuring that drivers and employers abide by UK and EU drivers’ hours rules.

Key Employer Obligations

Employers have many obligations relating to tachograph compliance. Let’s take a look at a breakdown of the main points.

  • Providing Tachographs: Employers must ensure that their vehicles are equipped with tachographs if they fall under the EU or AETR rules.
  • Maintenance & Calibration: This equipment must be regularly maintained and calibrated so that accurate data recording occurs.
  • Training: Employers need also to provide training on how to use tachographs, whether talking about digital or older analogue devices.
  • Record Keeping: Driver hours must be kept for at least 12 months, including all tachograph data and manually taken records if necessary.
  • Ensuring Adequate Rest: Employers must also make sure that drivers are able to take sufficient rest in line with Health & Safety regulations.
  • Inspections and Audits: Employers should always be ready for audits and assessments by authorities, with all necessary data and compliance documents at hand.

Fines for Non-Compliance, Levels 1-5

When an employer fails to ensure tachograph compliance, fines can be incurred on a scale from 1 to 5 that break down as follows:

  • Level 1 – £100
  • Level 2 – £500
  • Level 3 – £1,000
  • Level 4 – £2,500
  • Level 5 – Unlimited

The severity of the fine will depend on the infringement, and the guidelines differentiate between three types of offenders; the driver, the owner, and the owner-company. As an owner-driver, it’s the same starting point as for a driver, although the court may consider an uplift of a minimum of 25%.

Legal Liabilities

Failure to adhere to tachograph compliance can result in serious legal repercussions. Some of these include:

  • Failure to Install a Tachograph: If a vehicle requires a tachograph and it’s not been installed, employers can face a Level 5 fine.
  • Failure to Use a Tachograph: If a tachograph has been installed but is not being used, it can also lead to a Level 5 fine.
  • Failure to Keep or Provide Records: Not keeping or providing tachograph records when requested by the authorities can result in a Level 4 fine.
  • Failure to observe driving time, break, or rest period rules: Not adhering to driver hours/rest period rules could incur in a Level 4 fine.

Recommendations for Employers

  • Stay Informed: Staying current with the latest regulations and technological advancements in tachograph systems can aid in better compliance.
  • Regular Training: Offering regular training to drivers and other relevant staff on tachograph usage and compliance rules can make things easier for everyone.
  • Prompt Action: In case of any discrepancies or issues related to tachograph data, it’s always a good idea to take prompt action to rectify them.

In Conclusion

Adhering to tachograph compliance is a shared responsibility between drivers and employers and by understanding and fulfilling these obligations, you remain on the right side of the law while also contributing to safer roads.

About the author

Jonathan Gilder

Jonathan Gilder

Head of Training and Transport
Jonathan is a distinguished NRI HGV Instructor accredited by RTITB, with certifications in IOSH Managing Safely, RTITB Lift Truck Instruction, and ROSPA Assured PAT Testing. His expertise extends to EdI Level 3 NVQ Assessing, Btec Level 2 in Transportation of Goods by Road, and he is a skilled Trainer in Driver CPC and Incident Investigation from GH Safety.

Want to find out more?

Click “Get in touch” or give us a call on 0330 818 8888
and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions.