Using a Digital Tachograph Card – What Is It and How You Can Get One

If a goods vehicle or passenger vehicle is in scope of the EU rules or AETR rules and it is fitted with a digital tachograph, the driver must be in possession of a driver card. When the driver is in control of the vehicle, even before moving his or her card must be inserted into the vehicle unit.

If a driver card is not inserted into the vehicle unit whilst the vehicle is being driven an offence is committed. The vehicle can still be driven but not lawfully and the vehicle unit will record the fact that no card is inserted and continue to record all relevant data for the vehicle movements. Continue reading

Digital Tachograph Recording Equipment – What Is It And How It Works?

What is Digital Tachograph?

Digital tachographs are electronic pieces of equipment installed in certain passenger vehicles and good vehicles that securely record vehicle and driver data. Digital tachographs are referred to as Vehicle Units (VUs).

They look pretty much like a car stereo unit and are about the same size, however the fascia is different as are the functions. There are two slots on the front of the digital vehicle units which receive driver cards and other control cards. With a digital tachograph paper rolls are inserted that are used for printouts of data when required. Continue reading

AETR Rules

The AETR Agreement is the common name for ‘The European Agreement concerning the work of Crews of Vehicles engaged in International Road Transport (AETR)’, which was put in place on 1st July 1970. There are 21 countries who have signed up to this agreement.

Until recently their rules were slightly different in terms of breaks, driving limits and rest periods. However, as of Septemebr 2010 the AETR rules were ammended and brought up to date in order to recognise digital tachograph and also to align more closely with the EU rules. Continue reading

GB Domestic Rules

The GB domestic rules are contained within the Transport Act 1968 and they apply to most goods vehicles that are exempt from the EU rules.

Driving Limits

First of all, under domestic rules driving is defined as:

Being at the controls of a vehicle for the purpose of controlling its movement, whether it is moving or stationary with the engine running, even for a short period of time. Continue reading

EU Rules For Goods Vehicles

You can view and download the official VOSA drivers hours guide for full details on EU rules, GB domestic rules and AETR rules.

I will go on to explain in basic terms what the EU rules mean and how they can affect drivers of goods vehicles. As I have explained elsewhere on the site I want to give you an overview of the rules that is easy to read and makes sense. The VOSA document is still a bit ‘wordy’ but waters down the regulations quite well with clear headings. Regulation (EC) No 561/2006, which sets out the EU legislation in full can be found here

Here is a summary of the EU rules. Each part is explained in more detail further down. Continue reading

HGV Drivers Hours – How Do Regulations and Law Affect Lorry Drivers’ Hours?

Drivers Hours Regulations

All drivers in the UK must comply with the Road Traffic Act as well as the guidance set out in the Highway Code. However, drivers of goods vehicles are subject to a whole new set of rules and regulations. Owing to the size and weight of most goods vehicles they pose more of a hazard on the roads and it is important that drivers of such vehicles remain in proper control at all times.

Drivers hours regulations are in place to limit driving time and impose strict rules for breaks and rest. This ensures drivers of goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes do not get too tired and receive sufficient rest throughout their working week. Continue reading