Drivers Hours and Tachograph

How often do I need to download my driver card?

Legally, the card must be downloaded once every 28 days. However, we would recommend downloading more often, perhaps once a week. This way, you are more able to keep on top of any infringements that may occur.

Does the driver card record speed data?

No, only the VU records speed information. Speed data can be accessed by carrying out a full VU download. However, depending on the type and age of the tachograph, you may only be able to access the last 24 driving hours of speed information.

What is UTC time? Why does the time on my VU seem to be wrong?

Across Europe, all digital tachograph records are recorded in UTC time. UTC is the same as Greenwich Mean Time. You can change settings on the VU so it displays the correct local time, but all records in the background will continue to be recorded in UTC. In summer, this can lead to some confusion when looking at printouts as it would appear that the VU is an hour behind.

When do I need to make a manual entry? What if I make a mistake?

On digital tachographs, it is necessary to make a manual entry directly onto the card to record any work carried out away from the vehicle e.g. driving a non-tacho vehicle, working in the warehouse, admin etc. It is different to a hand-written entry as these are recorded on the reverse of a piece of printer paper, typically in the event of an emergency, VU malfunction or to record any supporting information.

Cn I eject my card in the middle of a shift?

It is possible to eject the card in the middle of a shift so long as the vehicle is stationary. Ideally, the card should stay in the tachograph as long as that vehicle is in use, but there may be circumstances where it is necessary to eject the card e.g. to download it, DVSA road-side inspections, vehicle changes etc.

If the driver does eject the card, they are required to make a manual entry upon re-insertion to ensure there are no gaps in the tachograph trace.

How many times do I need to set my tacho on FBT mode during a ferry crossing?

When travelling on a ferry during the course of a Daily Rest, best practice is to set the tachograph onto Ferry Boat Mode. This should be done: a) when starting a period of rest at the port before embarkation, FBT mode should be set as soon as the tacho is set to rest, b) directly after the first interruption, typically involving embarkation of the ferry, the tacho should be reset to rest and FBT mode should be selected, c) if it is necessary to complete a Daily Rest at your destination, the tacho should be set to rest directly after disembarking and FBT mode should again be selected.

If the driver does eject the card, they are required to make a manual entry upon re-insertion to ensure there are no gaps in the tachograph trace.

What happens if I have forgotten my card?

Most operators will either send a driver home to pick up their card in the event that the driver has forgotten it! Failing that, the driver may be given non-driving duties to carry out as it is illegal to be sent out on any type of tachograph vehicle without a driver card, even if it is fitted with an analogue instrument. If the DVSA stop you, they will want to see your driver card if one has been issued!

If the driver does eject the card, they are required to make a manual entry upon re-insertion to ensure there are no gaps in the tachograph trace.

What happens if my card is lost or stolen?

If the driver card is lost, is stolen, or begins to malfunction, it will be necessary to obtain a replacement from the DVLA using form D777B. The replacement must be ordered within 7 days of loss, theft or malfunction but our recommendation is that you do this on the same day if possible. The reason for this is that, under these circumstances, a driver can drive a tachograph vehicle for up to 15 days without a driver card, so long as the driver produces a printout from the VU at the start and end of every journey. If a driver leaves it until day7 to order a replacement card, they are only leaving themselves 8 days for that replacement card to be processed.

If the driver does eject the card, they are required to make a manual entry upon re-insertion to ensure there are no gaps in the tachograph trace.

What does the company card do? Can I use it to drive?

A driver can not drive using a Company Card. The Company Card does not record data, but acts a bit like a key, allowing access to the VU in order to download the data from the tachograph. Without a valid Company Card, you will be unable to download any data from the VU. You must also use the Company Card to “lock in” your tachographs whenever you purchase or hire a new vehicle. This means that no one can access your data unless they have a Company Card registered to your operation.

What information is recorded on the driver card?

The driver card will record information including time spent working, odometer readings, vehicle registration numbers and anything that has been entered onto the card by way of a tachograph manual entry (manual entries are not recorded on the VU).

What information is recorded on the VU?

The VU will record some information that does not get recorded by the driver card e.g. speed information, instances of the vehicle being used without a driver card, unaccounted mileage and events and faults. The DVSA will look at VU data alongside card data and may look at all of these elements so it is best to employ an analysis solution that will provide a thorough breakdown of your VU files.

What tachograph information do I need to produce at the roadside?

The DVSA will ask to see the current day and the previous 28 calendar days’ worth of information. If you are driving a digital tachograph, this may typically include information stored on your driver card plus any printouts you may have made in that period. If you are driving vehicles with both analogue and digital tachographs, then you will need to have your card, plus printouts, plus any analogue records you may have for that period.

When is it necessary to produce printouts?

In some circumstances, it may be necessary to produce a printout from your digital tachograph: when you are driving for up to 15 days whilst awaiting a replacement driver card; if you driver card malfunctions when you are out on the road; to record details relating to unforeseen events or emergencies; upon the request of an enforcement officer.

What do I need to do when a 2-driver crew swaps driver?

When you are multi-manning, it is necessary to swap cards slots when you change drivers over. Both drivers must follow the log-off procedure for both of their cards, reinsert their cards into the opposite slot and then follow the usual log-on procedure for each card. This can take some time!

Why happens if I have to exceed my hours due to an emergency?

If you exceed either driving time or total shift time due to an unforeseen event such being caught in a tailback following a motorway closure, don’t panic. Just carry on to the first safe stopping place such as a motorway service station (not the hard shoulder!). On arrival at this stopping place, the first thing you must do is take a printout from the VU and then write the relevant details on the reverse such as: location of event; approximate time; location of stopping place etc. The more details the better! Never leave it until the end of the shift to record these details!

CPC Faqs

What is Driver CPC?

The driver certificate of professional competence (driver CPC) is a new qualification for professional coach, bus and lorry drivers. It has been introduced across Europe with the aim of improving road safety and maintaining high standards within the transport industry.

What is periodic training?

All professional drivers will need to complete 35 hours of training during a 5 year cycle; this training is known as periodic training and is continual professional development.

When do I have to complete my 35 hours by?

For professional drivers who had their PCV licence before 10th September 2008 have until 9th September 2013 to complete their 35 hours.
For professional drivers who had their LGV licence before 10th September 2009 have until 9th September 2014 to complete their 35 hours.

For all professional drivers who passed after these dates you will have been issued with a DQC card and this will have a 5 year expiry date. For example if you passed your test on 14th January 2010 you will have until 13th January 2015 to complete your 35 hours periodic training.

What courses do I need to take?

The courses must be approved by JAUPT but you can attend any course of your choice. You are unable to repeat the same course twice within a 5 year period.

How long is each course?

The courses are a minimum of 7 hours not including lunch breaks.

How do I prove that I have done my training?

After each 7 hour session Driver Training Centre will issue you with a certificate of attendance. We also have to register your details with the DVSA within 5 days of completing the course. On completion of the 35 hours you will be issued a DQC card (driver qualification card).

Do I need to carry my DQC card?

It is a legal requirement that you carry this card with you when you are driving professionally. Failure to produce your DQC card can result in a fine of up to £1000..

What happens if I do not carry my DQC card?

You will NOT be able to drive professionally for a living. If you are caught driving without the required training you will face legal action, fines of up to £1000 for the driver but also fines for their employers.

What will I need to bring with me on the day of training?

On the day of training you MUST bring your driving licence.

How do I book my driver training with H-TEC?

Please call the office on 01530 249030 or email us training@dev.h-tec.co.uk

Any questions?

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Not sure of something, want a direct answer to your specific question, if so, let us know and we’ll happily help.


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