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Tachograph Calibration – Rules, Regulations and Tips

Oct 17, 2023

Fleet managers and drivers use tachographs to record information about driving time, distance, and speed. As tachographs help ensure that drivers follow the law on the number of hours they drive, there are numerous rules and regulations governing their use.

In this post we’ll discuss the rules and regulations concerning tachograph use and calibration, along with some tips on how to get the best out of your drivers and equipment.

At Anthony Jones we specialise in insurance for the transport and logistics sector. If you have any questions about your legal obligations as a driver or fleet manager, call us on 020 8290 9099 or email commercial.motor@anthonyjones.com.

Tachograph Rules and Regulations

You have a legal duty to use a tachograph if your vehicle comes under EU or AETR rules. If you’re not sure, you can find out if EU or AETR rules apply to the vehicles in your fleet using this online tool.

Tachograph Exemptions

You are exempt from using a tachograph if your vehicle isn’t covered by EU rules. You are also exempt if your vehicle is exempt from EU rules on drivers’ hours. Head here for a full guide to tachograph exempt vehicles.

Tachograph Calibration Legal Regulations

You have a legal duty to ensure all tachographs in your fleet a are “properly installed, calibrated and sealed.” These are the rules and regulations for tachograph calibration:

  • The initial installation and calibration must be performed by either the vehicle manufacturer, or an approved tachograph calibration centre. You can find your nearest approved calibration centre here.
  • There must be an installation plaque either on or near the tachograph.
  • Analogue tachographs must be inspected every two years and recalibrated every six years.
  • Digital tachographs must be recalibrated every two years. They must also be recalibrated after any repair, if the vehicle registration number changes, if the UTC is out by more than 20 minutes, and following any alterations to the vehicle’s tyre circumference.
  • Fleet operators must ensure that all tachograph requirements are complied with before any new or used vehicles go into service.

Analogue or Digital Tachographs?

There are two types of tachographs: analogue and digital.

It’s not worth weighing up the pros and cons of each, as if your commercial vehicle was registered on or after 1 May 2006, you must use a digital tachograph. You may only use an analogue tachograph if your vehicle’s older than this.

Further Responsibilities of Fleet Managers Concerning Tachographs

As well as ensuring all tachographs in your fleet are correctly installed and calibrated, you also have a responsibility to:

  • Train drivers to properly use tachograph equipment, and on the rules relating to drivers’ hours.
  • Schedule work in a way to ensure that drivers can easily comply with the rules.
  • Not offer any incentives to encourage drivers to break the rules. For example, you must not pay drivers for distances travelled or goods carried, if this would encourage them to breach their drivers’ hours.
  • Download data from the vehicle unit at least once every 90 days, and from driver cards at least once every 28 days.

How Tachographs Affect Insurance

Tachographs help you and your drivers abide by all the rules and regulations that apply to HGVs. Breach these laws, and you may lose your operator’s licence. But also, if any of your drivers and vehicles are involved in an incident, if it transpires that you were in breach of any rules, it could compromise your commercial fleet insurance.

At Anthony Jones we have a dedicated team of commercial motor insurance experts. Whether you operate a single HGV or manage a fleet, we can help you ensure you’re meeting all relevant rules and regulations. Get in touch with us today on 020 8290 9099 or email us at commercial.motor@anthonyjones.com.

Get a Quote

You can call us during normal office hours, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Outside of office hours you can either email us or leave an answerphone message and we promise to get back to you the next working day.

General enquiries:
020 8290 4560

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