Analogue tachographs and records - Freights

Analogue tachographs and records


Tachograph unit fitted in the vehicle must be calibrated and sealed at approved centre. All seals must remain in tact and if damaged the vehicle must be taken to approved centre for recalibration and resealing.

Analogue tachographs must be inspected every 2 years and recalibrated every 6 years.

In the event of breakdown of tachograph equipment it must be repaired by approved centre or fitter. In the situation where the vehicle is away from the base and cannot return, the operator has got up to 7 days to fix the fault. During this time the driver’s activities must be recorded manually. This does not mean that the  vehicle can be used for up to  7 days after break down regardless, if it returned to the base on the day of the break down it needs to be repaired prior to further departure.

The chart trace will provide information about drivers activities, speed of the vehicle and distance travelled during the journey.

The driver needs to put following information in the centre-field making sure that the writing does not go out of the centre of the chart.:

  • name ( there is no exact rule if name or surname should be put first, but it is broadly accepted that surname is to be put first. It is not acceptable to keep switching or not to put full name on the chart. It is advisable for the transport business to have a company policy on that)
  • Date (at the start of the shift followed by another entry at the end of the shift)
  • Vehicle registration number
  • Name of the town the journey starts
  • odometer reading (at the start of the shift followed by another entry at the end of the shift)
  • In case of driving more than one vehicle the reverse of the chart should be used to input new vehicle registration number and odometer reading plus a time of taking over the vehicle. In case of driving multiple vehicles on the day another chart can be used.

Flagging start and finish time on the chart has got some controversy as some advise to flag start and finish time on the front of the chart with putting information on other work just by the tachograph trace. Whilst this is acceptable in the UK as VOSA guide itself advises to mark start and finish time at the front it leaves the driver exposed to making a mistake of overwriting the trace and committing infringement. This can also be read as unacceptable practice in other European countries and potentially putting the driver at risk of getting a fine whilst driving abroad. There is another method of putting manual entries which is using the back of the tacho chart where we can find the space for manual entries. Manual entries should be put carefully, making sure no record is put for the time marked by tacho trace. Under no circumstances the driver is allowed to write over the trace of the tachograph chart. 

In addition the driver must comply with the following:

  • be able to produce current day chart plus last 28 days for inspection
  • return the charts to vehicle operator within 42 days after completing
  • make sure that the correct type of  chart is used by checking its identification number against tacho head
  • make sure that the tacho clock is set correctly and always in the time zone of the country of registration of vehicle. This needs to be remembered during summer and winter time changes.
  • enter explanations in the comment box at the reverse of the chart if needed

The operator needs to make suer that:

  • the drivers have enough charts for the journey taking into account that some of the charts may get damaged
  • the charts issued are correct for the model of the tacho head
  • they have a system in place that monitors  infringements of drivers hours, WTD, or incorrect use of charts and be able to demonstrate steps that the company takes to manage infringement level
  • they keep the charts for the period of at least 12 months in chronological order, ready for inspection
  • if requested by a driver copy of the driver’s charts is made available




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