Digital Tachograph for Drivers
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What do I need? – The basics.
Driver smart card – every driver wishing to drive a vehicle fitted with a digital tachograph needs to use a digital driver card. This card records data in much the same way as a paper tachograph chart but in a different format. It will record driving time, other work, POA and any daily or weekly rest periods. Data is stored on the card for 28 days after which it will be overwritten. It is therefore important that driver cards are downloaded at least every 28 days by your employer. Drivers, who do not have a driver card, cannot drive a vehicle which is fitted with a digital tachograph. Driver cards can be obtained by contacting the DVLA on 0300 7906109, or application forms can be collected from VOSA stations or DVLA licencing offices. Please remember that if you do have a driver card and you forget to take it to work, you will be unable to drive any vehicle fitted with a digital tachograph.
Driver cards are valid for 5 years and drivers are only allowed to hold 1 driver card. Drivers, whose card is due for renewal, are generally notified to the drivers address by the DVLA in good time, to allow continuation of use. It is therefore important to keep your address details updated with the DVLA.
If a driver card becomes faulty, drivers should inform their supervisor and send the faulty card with a renewal to DVLA immediately. Once the faulty card has been received by DVLA a new card will be issued free of charge.
If a card is lost or stolen it should be reported immediately to your supervisor and to the DVLA within 7 days. If the card is lost/stolen abroad it should also be reported to the competent authority of that country. Drivers can continue to drive a vehicle fitted with a digital tachograph for a maximum period of 15 days. This can be done by taking a print out from the vehicle unit at the start and end of each shift. You must print your name and driver card number (or licence number) on the reverse and record driver activity on the reverse of the print out (the same way as with a paper tacho, if the tacho failed).
Drivers are expected to be able to do a print out on request at the roadside for VOSA, or the Police and should therefore ensure that there is enough digi paper for this. It is recommended that as well as the roll in the printer, drivers should carry at least 1 spare roll.
Operating the Digital Tachograph – Checklist
Start of duty
- Vehicle ignition on
- Insert card into slot 1 with the chip upwards and inserted first.
- The tacho will then check the driver details and confirm the last withdrawal
- You will then be asked if you wish to make a manual entry
- If you select yes you will need to enter manual data and confirm (model dependant)
- You may then be asked to input start country
- Once the process has completed you can drive (it may take up to 5 minutes to finish)
End of duty
- Ensure the vehicle is stopped and the handbrake applied
- Press the eject button
- You will then be asked if you want to do a print out (selecting yes will then prompt to which type of printout you require)
- Then select the finish country
- The card will then eject
Digital tachographs are here to stay and drivers who use them on a daily basis find they are much easier to use than analogue. The team at GB Tachopak are here to help with all you questions, remember there is no such thing as a silly question.