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What is the definition of Working 'Days' 'Weeks' and a 'Fortnight'?
When do I need a tachograph?
Which rules do I follow?
What do the EC Rules cover?
What is the daily driving limit?
Is there a weekly limit?
Is there a limit to continuous driving?
What are the rules on daily rest?
What is the weekly rest period and when must it be taken?
What are the rules for transport by ferryboat or train?
What about emergencies?
How often should tachographs be inspected?
What should I do if the tachograph isn't used much, if at all?
What should I do if the tachograph is broken or faulty?
Who is responsible for the issue of record charts?
What are the rules on the return and custody of charts?
When are drivers exempt from EC rules?

 
   
   
       
 

This page has been derived from the Department of Transport booklet GV262 which is available from your local DOT testing station.

You can read the guide to tachographs in PDF format here

Readers may also be interested in visiting the following sites for trucker information.

Professional Drivers Association

Trucknet UK

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What is the definition of  Working 'Days' 'Weeks' and a 'Fortnight'?

Days

Under UK Domestic Rules 'days' are any periods of 24 hours. Under EC/AETR rules, 'days' are any periods of 24 hours beginning with the resumption of other work or driving after the last daily (or weekly) rest period.

Weeks

Under EC/AETR and UK  Domestic rules 'weeks' are periods between 00-00 hours on Monday and 24-00 hours on the following Sunday.

Fortnights

Under EC/AETR and UK Domestic rules a 'fortnight' is any 2 week period commencing 00-00 hours on Monday and ending on 24-00 hours on the Sunday, 14 days later.

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When do I need a tachograph?

When driving under the EC rules you must use a tachograph to record hours of driving, other work and rest periods.

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Which rules do I follow?

Tachograph legislation is covered by 3 different types of  rules; E.C. Rules, U.K. Domestic Rules, and AETR Rules.

EC Rules apply to drivers of most goods vehicles where the MGW(Maximum Gross Weight) of the vehicle, including any trailer or
semi-trailer, exceeds 3.5 tonnes:

entirely within the UK; or

between the UK and other EC countries.

Domestic Rules apply to drivers of goods vehicles in the UK which are exempt from the EC Rules.(See exemptions)

AETR Rules apply to the whole of any journey if any part of it passes through an AETR country, such as Croatia, Norway, Poland etc.

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  EC Drivers Hours Rules      
 

What do the EC Rules cover?

The EC Rules cover such matters as:-

• Daily and fortnightly driving limits (see below)

• Breaks, daily and weekly rest (see below)

• The use of the tachograph (see below)

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What is the daily driving limit?

9 hours (which can be increased to 10 hours twice a week) taken between 2 consecutive daily rest periods or between a daily rest period and a weekly rest period. eg.

4 hours

45 mins

rest

4 hours

Driving period

Driving period

 

4 hours

45 mins

rest

4 1/2 hours

45 mins

rest

1 hour

Driving period

Driving period

Driving period

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Is there a weekly limit?

No, but a weekly rest period must be taken after no more than 6 daily driving periods. It is possible to drive up to 56 hours between weekly rest periods. There is, however, a fortnightly driving limit of 90 hours in any one fortnight.

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Is there a limit to continuous driving?

Yes. After 4 1/2 hours of cumulative or continuous driving a driver must take a break of at least 45 minutes (2 or 3 breaks of no less than 15 minutes during or after the driving period so that the total breaks add up to at least 45 minutes in the 4 1/2 hours of driving).....see table above.

After 45 minutes of rest, whether taken in one rest period or split into 2 or 3 periods of not less than 15 minutes, the slate is wiped clean and your 4 1/2 hours driving time starts all over again. To check if you are complying with the law, you need to count your rest time and, after 45 minutes has been completed, you then need to count your driving time. If it is less than 4 1/2 hours, you are legal. Any rest time above this 45 minutes does not count towards your rest period for the next 4 1/2 hours of driving time. eg. This is legal:-

1 hour

45 mins

rest

2 hours

15 mins

rest

1 1/2 hours

30 mins

rest

4 1/2 hours

Driving period

Driving period

Driving period

Driving period

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What are the rules on daily rest?

A driver must have a minimum daily rest of 11 consecutive hours. This may be reduced to 9 hours not more than 3 times a week, as long as the reduction is compensated by an equivalent rest before the end of the following week.

Alternatively, 12 hours daily rest may be taken in 2 or 3 periods, the last of which must be at least 8 consecutive hours, and all of which must be at least 1 hour. Therefore, although there is no specific duty time rule, the most a driver could be on duty for in any 24 hour period, is 15 hours.

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What is the weekly rest period and when must it be taken?

When taking a weekly rest period, a daily rest period must normally be extended to at least 45 consecutive hours. The weekly rest period can be reduced to 36 consecutive hours if taken either where the vehicle is normally based or where the driver is based. If it is taken elsewhere, it can be reduced to minimum of 24 consecutive hours. Each reduction must be made up by an equal period of rest attached to a weekly or daily rest period and taken in one continuous period before the end of the third week following the week in question.

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What are the rules for transport by ferryboat or train?

If a vehicle covers part of its journey by ferryboat or train, the following rules apply:-

• The daily rest period may be interrupted, but only once and if it is, 2 hours must be added to the total rest time.

• If the rest is split up, 1 part must be taken on land, either before or after the journey; the other part can be taken on the boat or train.

• Any interruption in rest must be as short as possible and no more than 1 hour before or after getting on or off, including any customs formalities.

• During both parts of the rest period, the driver must have access to a bunk or couchette.

• Time spent on a ferryboat or train which is not treated as daily rest can be treated as a break.

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What about emergencies?

As long as safety is not put at risk and so that he can get to a suitable stopping place, a driver may depart from the drivers' hours rules just enough to ensure the safety of people, the vehicle or its load. If this happens the driver must note all the reasons for it happening on the back of his tachograph record sheet.

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How often should tachographs be inspected?

They must be inspected at a DOT approved tachograph calibration centre:

• every 2 years - to check that the system is working properly.

The 2 yearly inspection is due:

2 years after the date shown on the installation plaque; or

2 years after the date shown on the 2 yearly inspection plaque; and

• every 6 years - to calibrate the tachograph.

The 6 yearly inspection is due 6 years after the date shown on the installation plaque.

Where a repair to a vehicle is made that involves a recalibration and re-sealing, the above periods apply from that date.

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What should I do if the tachograph isn't used much, if at all?

When a tachograph is not used very often you should make sure that it has been properly calibrated and that it works. It must also have been checked within the previous 2 years.

A tachograph fitted to a vehicle that is never used under the EC rules does not need to be regularly calibrated or inspected. But it must be maintained in good working order if it is effectively acting as the only speedometer on the vehicle.

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What should I do if the tachograph is broken or faulty?

If there is anything wrong with a tachograph, it should be repaired by an approved tachograph repairer as soon as possible. If the vehicle cannot return to its base within a week of failure of the tachograph or of the discovery of its defective operation, the repair must be carried out en route.

While the tachograph is faulty or broken, drivers must keep a manual record either on charts or on a temporary chart to be attached to the charts.

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Who is responsible for the issue of record charts?

The employer must supply the driver with record charts of approved type which can be used in the tachograph installed in the vehicle. He must give enough for the whole journey as well as some spare ones in case any get damaged or are taken by an authorised inspecting officer.

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What are the rules on the return and custody of charts?

Drivers must carry their record charts (not photocopies) for the current week and the chart they used on the last day of the previous week on which they drove. Drivers must give the completed charts to their employers within 21 days.

Employers must:

make sure that drivers hand in their record sheets within 21 days;

keep all charts for at least 1 year after their use;

make regular checks to see that the EC drivers' hours and tachograph rules are being obeyed; if they are not, steps should be taken to ensure the breach does not happen again; and

be able to produce 1 year's record charts for the enforcement authorities.

Employers and drivers are required to hand over record charts to enforcement authorities when so requested.

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When are drivers exempt from EC rules?

Drivers are exempt from the EC drivers' hours rules and from the tachograph rules when engaged in the following transport operations anywhere in the European Community. For the drivers' hours and record-keeping requirements for these operations refer to UK Drivers' Hours Rules.

  • Vehicles used for the carriage of goods where the maximum permissible gross weight of the vehicle, including any trailer or semi-trailer, does not exceed 3.5 tonnes.
  • Vehicles with a maximum authorised speed not exceeding 30 kilometres per hour.
  • Vehicles used by or under the control of the armed services, civil defence, fire services, and forces responsible for maintaining public order.
  • Vehicles used in connection with the sewerage, flood protection, water, gas and electricity services, highway maintenance and control, refuse collection and disposal, telegraph and telephone services, carriage of postal articles, radio and television broadcasting and the detection of radio or television transmitters or receivers.
  • Vehicles used in emergencies or rescue operations.
  • Specialised vehicles used for medical purposes.
  • Vehicles transporting circus and fun-fair equipment.
  • Specialised breakdown vehicles.
  • Vehicles undergoing road tests for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes, and new or rebuilt vehicles which have not yet been put into service.
  • Vehicles used for non-commercial carriage of goods for personal use.
  • Vehicles used for milk collection from farms and the return to farms of milk containers or milk products intended for animal feed.

    Drivers are also exempt from the EC drivers' hours and tachograph rules when engaged in the following transport operations in the UK. For the driver hours and record-keeping requirements for these operations turn to Part C.
  • Vehicles used by agricultural, horticultural, forestry or fishery undertakings for carrying goods within a 50 kilometre radius of the place where the vehicle is normally based, including local administrative areas the centres of which are situated within that radius. (In the case of fisher undertakings the exemption applies only to the movement of fish from landing to first processing on land and of live fish between fish farms).
  • Vehicles used for carrying animal waste or carcasses which are not intended for human consumption.
  • Vehicles used for carrying live animals from farms to local markets and vice versa or from markets to local slaughterhouses.
  • Vehicles used as shops at local markets or for door-to-door selling, or used for mobile banking, exchange or saving transactions, for worship, for the lending of books, records or cassettes, for cultural events or exhibitions, and specially fitted for such uses.
  • Vehicles with a maximum permissible weight of not more than 7.5 tonne carrying material or equipment for the driver's use in the course of his work within a 50 kilometre radius of the place where the vehicle is normally based, provided that driving the vehicle does not constitute the driver's main activity.
  • Vehicles operating exclusively on islands not exceeding 2,300 square kilometres in area, which are not linked to the rest of Great Britain by a bridge, ford or tunnel open for use by motor vehicles.
  • Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight (including batteries) of not more than 7.5 tonnes used for the carriage of goods and propelled by means of gas or electricity.
  • Vehicles used for driving instruction with a view to obtaining a driving licence, but excluding instruction on a journey connected with carrying a commercial load.
  • Vehicles operated by The Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
  • Vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1947
  • Vehicles propelled by steam.
  • Vehicles used by health authorities as ambulances or to carry staff, patients, medical supplies or equipment.
  • Vehicles used by Local Authority social service departments to provide services for the elderly or physically or mentally handicapped.
  • Vehicles used by HM coastguard and lighthouse services.
  • Vehicles used by harbour or airport authorities if the vehicles remain wholly within the confines of ports or airports.
  • Vehicles used by British Rail, or any holder of a network licence which is a company wholly owned by the Crown under the Railways Act 1993, and other transport authorities when engaged in maintaining railways.
  • Vehicles used by British Waterways Board when engaged in maintaining navigable waterways.
  • Tractors used exclusively for agricultural and forestry work.

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  UK Drivers' Hours Rules      
 

The UK domestic rules apply to most goods vehicles which are exempt from the EC rules.

What are the driving limits?

Are there any exemptions from UK domestic rules?

What about emergencies?

What about when travelling abroad?

What records should I keep?

Are there any exemptions from keeping records?

     
         
 
  • What are the driving limits?

  • Daily driving

A driver must not drive for more than 10 hours in a day.

The daily driving limit applies to time spent at the wheel, actually driving. Off-road driving for the purpose of agriculture, quarrying, forestry, building work or civil engineering counts as duty rather than driving time.

  • Daily duty limit
    A driver must not be on duty for more than 11 hours on any working day.
    A driver is exempt from the daily duty limit on any working day when he does not drive.
    A driver who does not drive for more than 4 hours on each day of the week is exempt from the daily duty limit.

UK Rules

     
         
     

Are there any exemptions from UK domestic rules?

Yes, the rules do not apply to:-

  • drivers of vehicles used by the Armed Forces, the Police and Fire Brigades;
  • drivers who always drive off the public road system;
  • private driving, ie not in connection with a job or in any way to earn a living.

Drivers of the following vehicles are exempt from the duty limit but not the driving limit:-

  • goods vehicles not exceeding 3.5 tonnes maximum authorised weight and dual purpose vehicles used:-

by doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives and vets;

for any service of inspection, cleaning, maintenance, repair, installation or fitting;

by a commercial traveller;

by the AA, RAC or RSAC; or

for cinematograph or radio and television broadcasting.

UK Rules
 
         
 

What about emergencies?

The UK domestic rules are relaxed for events needing immediate action to avoid danger to life or health of people or animals; serious interruption of essential public services (gas, water, electricity or drainage), or of telecommunication and postal services, or in the use of roads, railways, ports, airports; or serious damage to property. In these cases the driving and duty limits are suspended for the duration of the emergency.

UK Rules

     
         
     

What about when travelling abroad?

The UK domestic rules apply only in the UK. But drivers must observe the  national rules of the countries in which they travel. The Embassies of these countries will be able to assist in establishing the rules that might apply.

UK Rules

 
         
 

What records should I keep?

You must keep written records of your hours of work on a weekly record sheet.

Operators are expected to check and sign each weekly record sheet.

Record books containing weekly record sheets are not available from HMSO.The Vehicle Inspectorate can tell you the names of commercial printers who produce them.


NB. German national rules require drivers of goods vehicles between 2.8 and 3.5 tonnes to record details of their journeys in an AETR style logbook.
This means that UK drivers have to use the logbook when they set out and whilst driving through the countries on journeys to or through Germany.
Copies of these log books can be obtained from the Road Haulage Association (Tel 01932 841515).

UK Rules

     
         
     

Are there any exemptions from keeping records?


Yes, the following are exempt:-

  • Drivers of goods vehicles which do not require an operator's licence. This exemption does not apply to drivers of Crown vehicles which would have needed an 'O' Licence if the vehicle had not been Crown property.
  • Drivers of goods vehicles on any day when they drive for 4 hours or less and keep within 50 kilometres of base.
  • Drivers using an EC calibrated and sealed tachograph.

UK Rules   Top