The Avail Guide to Tachograph Rules
Hgv drivers, we know how complicated European tachograph regulations can be, THAT'S why we’ve put together this simplified guide
European tachograph regulations came into force on April 11, 2007. The rules apply both when using a digital tachograph or analogue tachograph. Choosing to ignore the rules can result in heavy fines, loss of license and prison in the worst case scenario
It’s important to know that a ‘week’ in tachograph terms does not have to be aligned with the standard 7 week as we know it (from Sunday till Monday) although it lasts for 7 days. A tachograph week starts at the end of a weekly rest period. So a tachograph week can start on any day of the week.
Maximum Drive hours
The maximum two-weekly drive time is 90 hours
The maximum weekly drive time is 56 hours
The maximum daily drive time is 9 hours; this can be extended up to 10 hours for a maximum of 2 times each week.
Tachograph rules on breaks
After every 4.5 hours of driving time, a HGV driver should have at least 45 minutes of breaks. They can take 45 minutes at once, or split into one break of 15 minutes, followed by a 30 minute break (45 minutes total).
Daily break/rest rules
Daily rest: a driver should rest at least 11 hours each day. This rest period may be split up into 2 separate periods over 12 hours in total:
the first period of at least 3 consecutive hours;
followed by a period of 9 consecutive hours.
In between the bi-weekly rest period, a shorter rest period is prohibited with a minimum of 9 consecutive hours but not longer than 11 hours.
All daily rest must be completed within 24 hours of the previous resting period.
Weekly rest rules
The regular weekly rest is a period of at least 45 hours.
The reduced weekly rest is a minimum of 24 hours. This must begin within 6 days (6×24 hours) since the end of the last weekly rest.
Any reductions made in the minimum weekly rest of 45 hours must be compensated by adding these missed hours to another resting block (daily, weekly or bi-weekly rests) and must be compensated before the end of the third week after the reduced weekly resting period.
In any two-week period, the rests must be at least one 45-hour rest and one 24-hour rest. Rests that stretch across two one-week periods may be counted to one of these two weeks, but not both.
General working and rest time rules
Other than tachograph rules, general working and rest time rules apply in the UK.
The maximum working time in a week is 60 hours, and the average maximum working time over a period of 16 weeks cannot exceed 48 hours.
All breaks must take place after at least 6 hours with the following times:
30 minutes after 6 hours
45 minutes after 9 hours
All breaks are to be taken in increments of at least 15 minutes.
The total hours of night work cannot exceed 10 hours in every 24 hours (unless a collective workforce agreement applies which states otherwise).
Of course, sometimes you just can not meet exactly the tachograph rules that apply. So whenever a driver isn’t able to reach a suitable stopping place, the rules can be deviated from ever so slightly. But only if general safety is not jeopardized. Whenever this situation occurs, the driver should note the actual causes on the back of their tachograph printouts, at the latest when a suitable stopping place is reached.