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What You Need to Know About Tachograph Calibration

Tachograph calibration for HGVs is essential, as it ensures the devices work properly and measure data accurately. It checks that all technical measurements recorded by the tachograph – such as driving times, speed, and distance – are correct.

In this article, we aim to provide you with a better understanding of what tachograph calibration entails, and its significance, as well as covering the related employer and driver requirements as per UK regulations.

The Importance of Tachograph Calibration

Tachograph calibration is important for a whole host of reasons, which include:

  • Accuracy: Calibration ensures that the data recorded by the tachograph is accurate, which is and essential part of complying with driver hours regulations.
  • Abiding By The Law: It also helps in adhering to the legal obligations as per UK and EU driver’s hours and rest period regulations.
  • Safety: It promotes road safety by ensuring that drivers are sticking to the stipulated driving and rest hours.
  • Operational Efficiency: Regulation compliance provides accurate data that can be used for operational planning and efficiency improvements.

The Calibration Process

The calibration process involves checking the tachograph’s accuracy and adjusting it to ensure that it records data correctly. It can be carried out during preventive maintenance inspections, where a mechanic should calibrate the analogue or digital tachograph device to ensure it complies with the relevant rules​​.

Calibration Requirements

According to the UK government, all tachographs used for recording drivers’ hours, whether analogue, digital, or smart, must be properly installed, calibrated, and sealed​​. Also, calibration must be performed either by a vehicle manufacturer or an approved tachograph calibration centre.

Analogue tachographs must be inspected every 2 years and recalibrated every 6 years. On the other hand, digital and smart tachographs must be recalibrated every 2 years, and in any of the following cases:

  • After an alteration to the circumference of the tyres or characteristic coefficient​​
  • After any tachograph equipment repair
  • If the vehicle registration number changes
  • If the UTC is out by more than 20 minutes

Documentation and Certification

After calibration has been completed, you’ll receive a certificate detailing the inspection conducted by the tachograph calibration centre. This certificate, along with the calibration and inspection dates shown on a plaque fixed near the tachograph, serves as proof that you’re compliant with the tachograph regulations​​.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with the calibration requirements can lead to serious penalties. The specifics of these penalties can be obtained from relevant authorities or regulatory bodies.

Recommendations for Employers and Drivers

  • Regular Checks: Employers and drivers should ensure regular checks and calibrations of tachographs to remain compliant.
  • Training: Training on the proper use and maintenance of tachographs, including calibration, is crucial for both employers and drivers.
  • Documentation: Keeping well-organised and up-to-date documentation of tachograph calibrations can help in avoiding legal complications.


Tachograph calibration is a fundamental aspect of ensuring compliance with drivers’ hours regulations, promoting road safety, and improving operational efficiency. Being well-informed and adhering to the calibration requirements is beneficial for both employers and drivers, contributing to a safer and more efficient road transport environment.

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.

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