Using the Digital Tachograph

Entering the driver card

Set the vehicle to contact and place your driver card with the chip up and the arrow forward in the tachograph. On multi-manning operations ensure that the driver’s smart cards are placed in the correct slot (slot 1 when they are acting as driver and slot 2 when a co-driver is present on a double-manned trip) when they take over driving. 

Operation of the mode switch or button

Drivers must ensure that the mode switch on an analogue tachograph or the mode button on a digital tachograph is correctly set to record their activities.

tachograph modes

Symbol Explanatory note
Driving  This is automatically recorded on most tachographs.
Other work Covers all activities defined as work other than driving in scope of EU/ AETR rules. Includes any work for the same or another employer, within or outside the transport sector
Availability Covers periods of waiting time, the duration of which is known about in advance. Examples of what might count as a period of availability (POA) are accompanying a vehicle on a ferry crossing or waiting while other workers load/unload your vehicle. For mobile workers driving in a team, a POA would also include time spent sitting next to the driver while the vehicle is in motion (unless taking a break or performing other work, iei.e. navigation)
Break or rest Covers breaks in work and daily or weekly rest periods. Drivers may not carry out any driving or any other work. Break periods are to be used exclusively for recuperation. During a rest period a driver must be able to dispose freely of their time.

The tachograph will also ask in which country and region the work is taking place. The internal clock of a digital tachograph is set to Universal Time Co-ordinated (UTC). You will need to remember that UTC is one hour behind British Summer Time (BST). So, between 01.00 on the last Sunday in March and 01.00 on the last Sunday in October drivers must account for the difference when manually inputting activity details in the digital tachograph. Besides drivers need to record the country in which they begin and end their daily work period. This must always be carried out at the time of the start or end of the period, even if the card is not to be withdrawn or inserted (for example if the card is left in overnight). After a shift the driver’s smart card needs to be removed from the tachograph. The data recorded on the tachograph, have to be downloaded every 90 days. 

Breakdown of equipment:

EU legislation requires that in the event of a breakdown or faulty operation of the equipment, it must be repaired as soon as possible. If the vehicle is unable to return to its base within a week the repair must be carried out en route.

Where it is impossible to use a driver card (e.g. where it has been lost, stolen or damaged or is   malfunctioning) a driver may drive without the card for a maximum of 15 calendar days (or longer if this is necessary for the vehicle to be returned to its premises) provided that they produce 2 printouts – one at the start of the day and another at the end so long as there is no change of vehicle. Where there is a change of vehicle then a printout will need to be taken at the start and end of the use of vehicle 1 and then a printout at the start and end of vehicle 2 and so on. All printouts must be marked with:

  • The driver’s name or driver card or licence number, so the driver can be identified
  • Any manual entries needed to show periods of other work, availability, and rest or break
  • The driver’s signature

The driver must report the problem to DVLA and apply for a new card within seven calendar days.

TachoByte B.V.

Since 2007, TachoByte has been passionately developing and implementing the best tachograph solutions. We are convinced of the contribution we can make to the efficiency of your business and its bottom line.;


TachoByte B.V.
Marssteden 72
7547 TD Enschede, The Netherlands
 +31 53 434 11 21
  +31 53 434 56 63

Trip registration with certification mark

Trip registration with certification mark, certified by the Dutch Tax & Customs Administration.

Object monitoring

GPS tracker, with security module and time measurement.