EU Regulation No. 165/2014 defines that transport companies are obliged to be equipped with a tachograph in each of bigger than 3.5 tonnes vehicle which is transporting goods and for vehicles carrying more than 9 persons (together with a driver(s)) – transport of passengers.
Tachograph, thanks to its technology, was designed to record driving times, rest periods, other work and availability times taken by a driver of a heavy vehicle in order to ensure secure road safety and fair competition in the transport market.
Since 2019 there had been released a new version of tachographs, so called SMART tachographs, mainly installed in the new trucks and buses.
It has much more advanced features, like communication possibility, car positioning, transmission of a real time date to control bodies or to the owner of a truck, it also has features of more secure recording and an interface with intelligent transport systems.
Future releases for tachographs
Future version of a tachograph will be also released quite soon as the new EU regulation No 165/2014 implies to start to change all old tachographs into a new version of the smart tachograph, smart tachograph version 2, which will be deployed in 2023. The change of all tachographs should be done until August 2025. In addition, as of 1 July 2026, vehicles above 2,4 tons will be obliged to feature a tachograph. The new version will have such functionalities as recording the crossing of countries borders, detection of the position when loading and unloading goods, more possibilities to analyze real time data.
Important things about managing tachograph data
Each transport company should carefully manage tachograph data by downloading it on time and archiving this information on a safe place. Drivers card information should be downloaded and archived at least each 28 days. Mass memory, so called truck file, at least each 90 days. Information should be stored in a safe place at least for 12 months (depends on a country) and, in case of a control, should be easily and smoothly presented to inspecting authorities.
Any fraud of the tachograph or manipulations of the tachograph records are considered as very serious infringements and are penalized under the road transport legislation in national control and sanction systems and also under European rules. The most frequent infringements are: exceed of the daily and/or the weekly driving time, exceed of the maximum total driving time during 2 consecutive weeks, lack of records for “other work” and “period of availability”, no proofs of an exceptional circumstances for exceeding driving time, insufficient reduced daily rest period and many more.
Sometimes there are even more serious infringements when driver is falsifying the record of the activity, for example, he is driving during the rest time, using another drivers card to record activities or harming tachograph with external equipment, etc. Because of these infringements, transport companies might lose their trucks, license of the company or even future possibility to do this activity and additionally receive a huge fine for not complying with regulations. Moreover, even the driver itself can be put in jail in some countries for falsifying data.