Driver Identification and Driving Times

All commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating above 3,5 tons and vehicles carrying passengers with more than 8 seats must be equipped with a tachograph unit. In the EU law there is a regulation about driving hours and rest time to avoid the crashes caused by driver fatigue. In this section you can read about the operation of tachograph units, the difference between analogue and digital types, tachograph card, driver’s identification types and driving times.

Tachograph

Tachograph is basically a vehicle speed logging device. It originates its name from the Greek takhos (velocity) and graphos (drawn or written).

Tachograph main function is to record vehicle speed, travelled distance with the selected driver activity. Tachograph recording unit is connected to a speed sensor mounted to the vehicle gearbox.

The recoding unit can be analogue or digital type.

Digital tachographs became mandatory in new commercial heavy duty vehicles and passenger cars with more than 8 seats in May 2006. Digital tachographs have many advantages over the analogue ones:

  • Much more precision of recording
  • Safe communication between recording unit and speed sensor
  • More capacity (365 day over the 1 day of an analogue chart)
  • Drivers identification
  • Driving time measurement and display
  • Fault and error management
  • Remote download functionality

Analogue tachograph

Analogue tachograph were produced before 2006 when digital tachographs became mandatory.

The most important difference between digital and analogue tachograph is the recording type. Analogue tachograph records trace lines on a paper disc also called as tachograph chart. This chart can store information about one day of activities, speed and distance. The chart must be archived and replaced in every 24 hours.

Analogue tachographs only advantage is that recorded data can easily retrieved visually.

Different products (Motometer, VDO, Actia, Vederoot, ect.) differs by functionality based on the number of drivers (1 or 2) the size (oval, flat, or DIN modular design) and principle of operation (pure mechanics, mechanics extended with electronics, microprocessor controlled, CAN interface equipped, etc.)

Digital tachograph

The digital tachograph or the DTCO was introduced in Europe in 2004 as an advanced and more secure alternative for the analog tachograph. Main digital tachograph manufactures are: VDO, Stoneridge, Actia and Efkon.

A digital tachograph system stands for:

  • Digital tachograph unit itself, also called as the vehicle unit (VU)
  • Speed sensor (with encrypted communication with the VU)
  • Tachograph cards
    • Driver card
    • Company card
    • Workshop card
    • Control card

Digital tachographs became mandatory in new commercial heavy duty vehicles and passenger cars with more than 8 seats in May 2006.

Digital tachographs main function are to collect speed data from the speed sensor, calculating distance travelled and monitoring driving times of the drivers and store these data into the mass memory (capacity is enough for 365 days constant driving). Digital tachographs also store information on driver card such driver activity (driving, rest, breaks, work), driving times, vehicle identification, licence plate number. Driver cards have a capacity for minimum of 28 days information.

Recorded information of a digital tachograph and the stored data on driver cards can be downloaded remotely using a remote download device.

Driver ID

Driver ID is a unique identifier of the driver. This ID and driver’s name are printed also on dirver card. On digital tachograph equipped vehicles some newer FMS gateways are able to provide Driver ID information on standard FMS output (as defined in FMS 2.0 Standard documentation).

Driving times

In the road transport industry there is high pressure on vehicle drivers to transport their load in time. They often drive even they are exhausted. This causes a significant percent of heavy commercial vehicle crashes.

To prevent driver fatigue EU law regulates the driving time for drivers using heavy commercial vehicles over 3.5t and passenger vehicles with more than 8 passenger seats.

All of these vehicles must be equipped with tachograph unit.

The key rules for driving and braking are the followings:

  • A driver cannot drive more than 4.5 hours in a row. After 4.5 hours, a break of at least 45 minutes is mandatory.  The brake can be distributed over the 4.5 hours.
  • A driver cannot drive more than nine hours per day or 56 hours per week. This may be extended to 10 hours twice during a week
  • A driver cannot drive more than 90 hours in two consecutive weeks

The average working time and the amount of rest that must be taken daily and weekly is also regulated by the EU law.

Some FMS Gateways are able to provide driving times for each driver such as:

  • Continuous driving time
  • Cumulative brake time
  • Current duration of selected activity
  • Cumulated driving time previous and current week

These driving times can help the fleet manager to meet the EU regulation about driver hours and brake times.

Continuous driving time

The parameter shall be computed as the current accumulated driving times of a particular driver, since the end of his/her last availability or break/rest or unknown period of 45 min or more — the 45 min may be split into several periods of 15 min or more.

The computations involved take into account, as needed, past activities stored on the driver card. When the driver has not inserted his/her card, the computations involved are based on the data memory recordings related to the current period where no card was inserted and related to the relevant slot.

source: COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1360/2002

Cumulative brake time

The parameter shall be computed from driving time as the current accumulated availability or break/rest or unknown times of 15 min or more of a particular driver, since the end of his/her last availability or break/rest or unknown period of 45 min or more — the 45 min may be split into several periods of 15 min or more.

The computations involved take into account, as needed, past activities stored on the driver card. Unknown periods of negative duration (start of unknown period to end of unknown period) due to time overlaps between two different recording equipment, are not taken into account for the computation.

When the driver has not inserted his/her card, the computations involved are based on the data memory recordings related to the current period where no card was inserted and related to the relevant slot.

source: COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1360/2002

Current duration of selected activity

The parameter shall indicate the current duration of the selected activity, since selected and which may be the current driving period, availability period, rest period or work period.

source: COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1360/2002

Cumulated driving time previous and current week

The parameter shall be computed as the current accumulated driving times of driver, for the previous and the current week.

source: COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1360/2002

Remote Download

Digital tachograph units support remote authentication and data downloading. That means it is not necessary to get in the vehicle and insert the company card to download data. Remote download solution allows to hold your company card in the office. Authentication and data downloading can scheduled and it works automatically even the vehicle is in motion or ignition is switched off.

Data available for remote download:

  • Tachograph mass memory
    • Overview
    • Event and faults
    • Technical information
    • Activities for selected days
    • Detailed speed
  • Driver 1 card data
  • Driver 2 card data

Company Card

A tachograph card issued by the authorities of a Member State to the owner or holder of vehicles fitted with recording equipment.

The company card identifies the company and allows for displaying, downloading and printing of the data stored in the recording equipment which has been locked by this company.

Driver Card

A tachograph card issued by the authorities of a Member State to a particular driver.

The driver card identifies the driver and allows for storage of driver activity data.

The card can store all relevant driver data required for EU Drivers’ Hours regulations including break and rest times.

Driver card:

  • Is unique to the individual driver and valid for five years
  • Contains information for the last 28 days
  • Can only be used by its owner

source: COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1360/2002

Workshop Card

Tachograph card issued by the authorities of a Member State to a recording equipment manufacturer, a fitter, a vehicle manufacturer or workshop, approved by that Member State.

The workshop card identifies the cardholder and allows for testing, calibration and/or downloading of the tachograph.

source: COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1360/2002

Control Card

Tachograph card issued by the authorities of a Member State to a national competent control authority.

The control card identifies the control body and possibly the control officer and allows for getting access to the data stored in the data memory or in the driver cards for reading, printing and/or downloading.

source: COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1360/2002