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What You Need to Know About Tachograph Compliance As a Driver

As an HGV driver, you’ll know that tachographs are devices that record data such as your driving time, rest periods, and the vehicle’s speed. Understanding tachograph compliance laws is essential in order for you to know that you’re working within the rules.

Your Key Responsibilities as a Driver

Working as an HGV driver in the UK, you have several responsibilities relating to tachograph compliance. Here’s a selection of your main must-dos in this area.

  • Recording Driving Hours: Drivers must accurately record their driving hours, and we’re not just talking about the time spent driving. You’ve also got to record other types of work, as well as days off, and rest days.
  • Keeping Tachograph Records: Drivers must keep their tachograph records safe and have them ready to show to the authorities when requested.
  • Documenting Any Changes: It needs to be written down if there’s a change from the usual driving hours or rest periods. This can be done on the back of tachograph record sheets (if using an analogue tachograph) or on a printout or temporary sheet (if using a digital tachograph).
  • Using The Tachograph Correctly: Using the tachograph the right way is key to making sure the data is correct. This includes knowing how to use both digital and analogue tachographs (although analogue tachographs are becoming increasingly rare).

Your Legal Liabilities as a Driver

Failure to follow tachograph compliance rules can result in serious legal issues. The laws governing tachograph use are very strict, with some severe penalties being incurred:

  • Not having a tachograph: This is a major rule breach. If a driver is caught without a tachograph in their vehicle, they can face a Level 5 fine.
  • Failing to use your tachograph: Similarly, not using a tachograph even if it’s installed can also lead to a Level 5 fine.
  • Failure to produce tachograph records to the authorities: If you’re not able to provide tachograph records to the authorities when asked, it can lead to a Level 4 fine, equating to a £2,500 hit in the pocket.

Recommendations for Drivers

Being a responsible driver involves more than just knowing the basic rules. Here are some recommendations to help drivers stay on the right side of the law:

  • Keep Learning: Both rules and technology can evolve over time, so it’s wise to keep learning about the latest tachograph rules and systems, as new tachograph features may emerge that can make compliance easier.
  • Regular Checks: Checking your tachograph is recording data accurately and the data is clear and easy to read, on a regular basis is a good practice.
  • Ask for Help: It’s always better to ask when in doubt. If you are not sure about something, it’s smart to ask for help from transport managers or legal advisors. They should be able to provide the right guidance to ensure you are following the rules.

Role of Transport Managers

Transport managers play a big role in helping drivers understand and follow tachograph compliance rules. They should provide training, resources, and support to drivers to help them follow the tachograph rules correctly.

In Conclusion

Tachograph compliance is not just about following the law, but also about keeping the roads safe and making sure there’s fair competition in the transport sector. Drivers, with the help of transport managers, should work hard to follow these rules closely, as it helps to make the road transport system safer and more law-abiding.

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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