How does the new truck tachograph legislation in Europe affect me?

| 4 min
The burden of new legislation affecting the truck industry can often feel daunting, especially when you are working long hours and are regularly away from home. It is easy to see how new regulations, which features new laws regarding the number of hours you can drive, could compound such concerns.
How does the new truck tachograph legislation in Europe affect me?

I want to help you understand what it is that you need to know about the new European Union (EU) tachograph legislation and what it means for you and me as drivers. Let’s start with looking at why the EU decided to bring in the new regulations.


Better safety and professionalism in the industry

The main aims of the new regulations are to increase safety, cut the manipulation of tachograph data and to ensure drivers have adequate rest between shifts and heavy driving periods.

The new regulations will make it easier for you to avoid checks and get to your destination in good time. Authorities in any country in the EU will be able to carry out remote checks and provided that your tachograph data is clean, and nothing arises suspicion, you will be able to continue your journey without being pulled over. This is a key reason to make sure you don’t have any violations. Existing vehicles with old tachographs may still be subject to roadside inspections so the correct use of all tachographs is still extremely important.

In the past drivers have often been one step ahead of the regulators in terms of manipulating tachograph data. This is much harder with a smart tachograph so it is more important than ever to manage your driving time and journeys effectively.


What is the new tachograph legislation?

The new legislation came into force on 15 June 2019 and made it compulsory for a smart tachograph to be installed in every new truck from this date.

A smart tachograph contains:

  • An Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) interface
  • A Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)
  • A Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC)

These technologies allow the smart tachograph to automatically record your start point and your end destination. When you are driving it will also update your location information every three hours and generate speed data. In addition, the tachograph will be able to capture information such as security breaches, absence of a valid card and calibration date.

Your smart tachograph will also be able to communicate with local enforcement officers, who will be able to remotely check your tachograph data without the need to stop your vehicle. If no issues are detected authorities must delete the data within three hours.

The smart tachograph will work with existing driver cards so it’s not necessary to rush to renew them. However the old cards will not be able to record the extra information that a smart tachograph can capture which is why some operators may choose to update driver cards anyway.


Planning your trip to meet the new tachograph legislation

The new tachograph legislation means there has never been a more important time to plan your trip. Planning your trip effectively helps make you a better a driver, means your journey is more pleasurable and gives you more control. I have put together a guide explaining how to manage your time effectively to comply with the regulations. It includes:

  • Tips on how to reach your destination on time
  • Ways you can make your truck journey less stressful
  • What to do if you are running out of driving time and the next truck stop is full

Learn more about planning your trip effectively

Tatu Ljokkoi

Driver development at Volvo Trucks

Related Articles