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Tachograph Calibration and Driver Laws

If you manage a fleet of trucks, you are legally obliged to adhere to tachograph laws, ensuring one is present in certain vehicles.

What is a tachograph

A tachograph is a piece of technology that records driver information, including speed, drive time and distance travelled in a given time. Their main purpose is to ensure that drivers are adhering to driver laws and the driver does not suffer with fatigue as a result of driving long hours, as this can lead to accidents on the road.

Tachographs are available as either digital or analogue. Digital tachographs work in a similar way to an in-car CD player, simply slot the tachograph into the slot on the dashboard.

Who needs a tachograph

Tachograph’s are required in any vehicle you are driving that comes under EU or AETR rules. This applies to a range of vehicles, including passenger vehicles, public service vehicles and goods vehicles.

Passenger vehicles – Whether you need a tachograph will depend on the number of passengers you can carry, the distance you are travelling and whether you are travelling to another country.

Public service vehicles – As a general rule, any vehicle that can carry over 8 passengers and will be exceeding over 50km will require a tachograph.

Goods vehicles – the rules here depend on the weight of your vehicle, where you are driving to/from and what the vehicle is going to be used for. If the vehicle exceeds 3.5 tonnes and you are driving in the UK, Switzerland or a European Economic Area, you are required to have a tachograph.

The law is quite clear on who needs a tachograph and fines for misleading or tampering with the data run into the thousands.

What is a tachograph calibration

Vehicles with tachographs are required to be tested periodically, with digital tachographs needing a full re-calibration:

  • Every 2 years
  • After a significant repair
  • A change in tyre circumference
  • If the registration number of the vehicle changes

If the tachograph develops a fault or the seal is broken, the tachograph must be re-calibrated and repaired by an authorised dealer such as T&M Commercials in Devon.

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