THE tachograph has been the scourge of many a truck fleet operation for the past few years.
Fitting a tachograph severely limits the amount of hours a driver can sit behind the wheel of a truck and while we appreciate that the rules are there to promote safety, it can make running a fleet an extremely tedious job.
And it isn’t just trucks that are affected.
If you have a van and tow a trailer and the whole lot weighs in at more than 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight then you have to have a tacho too – unless you don’t drive more than 50 kilometres from your base or don’t carry loads for hire and reward, which is highly unlikely.
Now in a surprise move the EU has announced that from March 2, 2015, some of the rules regarding tachos are to be relaxed.
From that date, a new European regulation – EU 165/2014 – will replace EEC 3821/85, setting out requirements for the construction, installation, use, testing and control of tachograph recording equipment.
The new regulation increases the journey distance for exemptions from 50km to 100km from the operator’s base. This will apply to:
- Vehicles or vehicle and trailer combinations with a maximum weight of 7,500 kg which are:
- used to carry materials, equipment or machinery for the driver’s use in the course of his work and when driving the vehicle is not the driver’s main activity
- used to carry goods and which are propelled by natural or liquefied gas or electricity
- Vehicles used to carry live animals from farms to local markets, or from markets to local farms or slaughterhouses
From March 2, 2015, these vehicles will no longer have to be fitted with tachograph recording equipment and the drivers will not have to comply with EC drivers’ hours rules.
Instead, drivers of these vehicles must meet GB domestic drivers’ hours rules.