| October 2022 |.
Knowing the meaning of the various tachograph symbols is an essential part of a fleet manager's job. The purpose of the tachograph is to ensure that drivers do not exceed their regulated working hours. Understanding the symbols and using tachograph analysis helps ensure this does not happen.
A tachograph is a device installed on vehicles to record driving speed, distance and time. This is to ensure that employers and their employees comply with laws regarding driving hours, especially those related to drivers' rest periods and driving hours. The information is automatically recorded and stored in the vehicle's memory via the truck driver's card reader and personal ID card.
There are two types of tachometers:
It is a requirement under EU law to have a tachograph on all professional vehicles put into service from May 1, 2006. This makes tachographs an essential part of fleet management.
Digital tachographs use driving symbols to display different driver statuses during working hours. This is to ensure that drivers are not violating the laws surrounding their driving and rest periods.
There are four legally recognized key symbols for tachograph devices:
DRIVE | DRIVING
This symbol indicates the time a driver is operating a vehicle and running the engine, including when parked.
REST-BREAK | REST
This symbol represents times when the driver takes a rest break, both during working hours and when off duty.
OTHER WORK | OTHER WORK
This symbol indicates the time when a driver is still working but doing work other than driving (the engine is off), such as moving goods from a stationary vehicle.
AVAILABLE | AVAILABLE
This symbol represents the time when a vehicle's engine is off but the driver must be available to resume driving or answer calls. This covers periods such as, for example, when an international driver is on a ferry in transit between destinations.
The purpose of these symbols is to make it easier for fleet managers, business owners and drivers to understand tachograph data.
All new trucks sold in Belgium from June 25, 2019 must have a digital tachograph. This benefits enforcement agencies and drivers alike, as it means vehicles can be assessed for compliance without having to be stopped and physically inspected. Some farmers are also using tachographs to take advantage of the information they collect.
A digital tachograph records a driver's information via a smart ID card. These driver cards contain important information about the driver, including a photo of him, his date of birth and expiration date, just like his driver's license.
The smart card is authorized before the drivers begin their shift. Once they are authorized to begin work, the drivers insert their cards into the tachograph card reader in the vehicle, and from then on, the information related to driving and resting times, waiting times and other time spent is automatically recorded.
With truck legislation introduced in 2019 and the accuracy and simplicity of digital tachographs, analog tachograph discs have largely been replaced by digital devices. A digital tachograph can be read remotely and stored on the server, so drivers do not have to return to the depot for this purpose. An up-to-date printout of the digital tachograph of each vehicle in the fleet can then easily be presented at the request of the inspector.
It is a legal requirement to fit tachographs in professional vehicles. Fleet managers and owners of transportation companies are responsible for ensuring that this is the case for their vehicles. As a result, fleet managers and operators have several responsibilities, including:
Monitoring your drivers is not only a legal requirement for your business, it is also an important way to assess their performance and find areas for improvement. With a digital fleet management system, interesting data such as average speed fuel consumption, idle engine times and vehicle location are automatically recorded. Your fleet manager can view and analyze this collected information in a management application to ensure your drivers are using their assigned vehicles efficiently.
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All-Connects solutions give you a bird's-eye view of your fleet at all times, allowing you to quickly and easily manage all your vehicles, machines and employees.
Do you still have questions after reading this blog about driving and rest periods, or would you like to learn more about what works for your specific business situation? Then contact us directly by phone 03 289 55 35 or click here.
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