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HGV Night Working Hours: What Are The Taco Rules?

Jul 5, 2024

There are special rules in place for HGV night drivers, which are designed to keep you and other road users as safe as possible.

You can read our full guide to HGV night driver rules. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the specific tachograph rules for HGV night drivers.

To discuss your risk management and insurance needs for overnight HGV driving, get in touch on 020 8290 9099, or email commercial.motor@anthonyjones.com.

What Counts as HGV Night Working?

When we talk about “night work”, we’re talking about any work. This does not just mean driving. It can also refer to time spent doing paperwork, to loading or unloading vehicles, or to warehouse work.

HGV Night Working Hours

Night work is any work that takes place between midnight and 4 am. For vehicles carrying passengers, the night work hours are between midnight and 5 am. If a driver does any work during the night-time period, then they are restricted from working more than 10 hours within a 24-hour period.

Tachograph Rules For HGV Night Working Hours

HGV drivers must use their tachographs to record their driving hours, and there are penalties for improper tachograph use. When it comes to tachographs and night work, drivers simply need to make a point of correctly recording any work they undertake between the hours of midnight and 4.00 am, taking care not to exceed the 10 hour limit in a 24-hour period.

Exceptions to Night Working Rules – Workforce Agreements

Drivers can do more than 10 hours of night work in a 24-hour period so long as they agree to do so in advance. This is known as a collective agreement, or a workforce agreement.

Yet even then, the driver’s overall hours must still comply with the overall HGV driving hour regulations regarding the number of hours a driver can work in a day, a week, or a two-week period:

  • The driver must not drive for more than 9 consecutive hours in a day. This can be extended for up to 10 hours, but no more, and drivers can only extend their daily hours twice in a 7-day period.
  • The driver must not drive more than 56 hours in a week. Please note that “a week” refers to any 7-day period. It does not necessarily have to span from Sunday until the following Monday, for example.
  • The driver must not drive more than 90 hours in a two-week period.

Read our full guide to HGV driver hours.

Tachograph Rules for Unexpected Events

The tachograph rules allow for unforeseen events that may require a driver to exceed their daily driving limits, or to drive for more than 10 hours during night-time hours in a 24-hour period.

For example, severe traffic, or significant delays at depots, may make it impossible for a driver to reach an appropriate stopping place in time.

In these cases, the driver can depart from the tachograph rules, so long as they:

  • Do not compromise on general safety (i.e. they should not drive if they are experiencing symptoms of fatigue).
  • Record the cause of the rule-breach on the back of their tachograph printouts.
  • Record the unforeseen event as soon as they find a safe place to stop.

Also, rule breaches due to unforeseen events should be rare. If a driver repeatedly exceeds their regulated driving hours, it could suggest poor fleet management, or intentional rule breaking.

Avoiding Tachograph Infringements

Drivers have a duty to use their tachographs correctly and in line with all relevant legislations. Fleet managers are also responsible for ensuring that their fleets satisfy all regulations, and that all of their drivers are regularly trained on correct tachograph use.

Be sure to read our guide to correct tachograph calibration for an essential introduction to your key responsibilities as a fleet manager.

If you have any questions about your legal duties as a driver or fleet manager, call our commercial insurance experts on 020 8290 9099, or email commercial.motor@anthonyjones.com.

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