How to Use a Tachograph Beginners Guide

New to Trucking struggling with your tachograph? How to Use a Tachograph Beginners Guide British Trucking tips and tricks for truck drivers.

What Is a Tachograph?

A tachograph is a device that records data during a truck driver’s working shift, the tacho records data such as driving hours, speed, rest periods, time, and distance.

The digital tachograph is a modern device used for recording drivers data, but not so long ago a tachograph would record data onto an individual tacho disc which a driver would insert into the tacho device, the data was then logged onto the card by a small needle giving a graph style chart of work done.

In the UK the tachograph time is changed twice a year when the clocks go forward an hour and then back again. (see how to change tachograph time)

Data Recorded On A Digital Tachograph

The digital tachograph records data so that a driver and the company they work for can produce relevant information to comply with the regulations EU-regulation (EC) No 561/2006) rules on driving time, breaks, and rest periods for drivers.

Data Recorded

  • Vehicle speed (for previous 24hr period)
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Single or dual Driver
  • Distance traveled (calibrated to the odometer of the vehicle)
  • Driver activity (driving time, rest periods, other work, periods of availability)
  • Tachograph calibrations
  • Events during the journey such as overspeeding, driving without a driver’s card.
  • Enforcement checks
  • Date
  • Number of times a driver’s card has been inserted
  • Tampering with system data

How To Use a Tachograph - Beginners Guide

The tutorial videos below will guide you through the basic use of a tacho and help you to understand its functions in the guides the Siemens Digital Tacho Unit is used.

Introduction To The Tachograph Unit

Access Tacho Information From Previous Shifts

Inserting Drivers Card Plus Manual Entry

Driver Activities Understanding Breaks

Removing Driver Card at the End of a Shift

Thank You to the drivers above for making these great informational videos.

What If I Make a Tacho Error?

Truck driving can be a difficult job and we all have many things to deal with during our shift, understanding the functions of a tachograph is just one of them.

So what if you make a mistake on your tacho or forget to do something?

There is one thing you should do which is important and that is Take a printout!

Sometimes situations occur beyond your control for example you may go over your driving hours because you are stuck in a traffic jam due to an accident on a motorway.

Whatever the reason always take a printout and record the time and date plus the reason for any error.

By taking a printout you have a physical piece of evidence on you should you get stopped by Vosa or the police, you need to keep any printouts you have for a period of at least 28 days.

Tachograph error don't panic

Documenting the time, date, and reason for the printout will help you to explain what occurred on that date, if you do not make a record it is easy to forget why you did a printout especially if you are stopped say 26 days later!

Thank you for reading this article “how to use a tachograph beginners guide” I hope you found it useful, there is a lot to take in when you first start a truck driving career but once you make tachograph entries on a daily basis it becomes easier to understand very quickly.