smart tachographs june 2019

18th March 2019

From June 2019, all new trucks registered in the UK will be required to have smart digital tachographs fitted. This is regardless of Brexit, since it became part of UK law before the process of leaving Europe started.


Essentially, the smart tachographs will allow authorities such as the police and DVSA to monitor breaches and compliance without having to pull a vehicle over. The main aim of the new legislation is to reduce fraud through tampering, improve efficiency of control over tachograph systems and reduce administrative burden.


In spite of the introduction of this legislation being planned for a long time, there is still confusion for some operators. In principle a lot will remain the same – fleets and drivers will still need to comply with driver’s hours legislation and the working time directive. All data will also need to be downloaded, stored securely and analysed.


However, smart tachographs will also bring new features, previously not in existence, including the new GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System-enabled) module, which records the vehicle location at the start and end of the journey, along with updates every few hours. If a driver forgets to enter their card, the tachograph will still record this information, which the RHA thinks will make it much easier to prove and prevent tachograph fraud.


The abilities of the smart tachograph have great potential, but they will only help the DVSA if they invest in the equipment to communicate with the tachographs from the roadside. Although, at this time they have no intention of doing so stating it is “not currently effective.” This is understandable since only new trucks will have them, and it is not a requirement for existing trucks to be retrofitted.


Legislation actually gives the DVSA until June 2034 to be able to communicate with smart tachographs, but their enforcement methods are under constant review so smart tachograph communication will be introduced when deemed necessary and effective. A rare case when a current vehicle will have to be retrofitted with a smart tachograph is if has never been fitted with a tachograph before as it was not required, and after June 15th its role is changing.


Driver’s Cards


Smart tachographs will accept and function with existing drivers cards, so it’s not necessary to rush to update them if you have a new truck delivered after June. The downside is, existing cards cannot record any of the extra information smart tachographs can capture, so some operators may choose to update them. Annex 1C cards will be phased in for your drivers and will work in both old and new tachographs to record all data. If you do your own servicing, please be aware that you will need to obtain a new company and workshop card. Technicians who service and maintain tachographs will also have to complete an approved Annex 1C Tachograph Fitter course.


With TruckEast, you’re in safe hands as all technicians that work with tachographs have fully completed their training and all of our depots that offer tachograph services have been updated and are able to work on new smart tachographs as well as older models.