Smart Tachograph legislation arrives

New vehicles now fitted with next generation ‘Smart Tachograph’

On the 15th June, new legislation came into force meaning that all new HGV’s and busses must be fitted with a Smart Tachograph which has enhance features, potentially aiding fleet logistics management, improving risk management capability – and saving time and money.

Annex 1 C – What you need to know.

The European Commission approved the new Tachograph legislation – the catchily named Annex 1C, back in 2016. It is designed to make the manipulation of Tachograph data more difficult, as well as drive improved systems control and reduce admin – all good news for HGV businesses and drivers who play by the rules.

All new vehicles must be fitted with a GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) which tracks and records a vehicles location at the start and finish of every journey, as well as at three hour intervals during it.

In addition, the GNSS will communicate with road side inspection officers via a short range radio device. This will allow enforcement officers to check the Tachograph remotely, meaning that random stops and the resultant time delays will be eradicated – vehicles that are compliant will not be stopped at all.

What you need to know as a HGV operator.

As a HGV driver, the arrival of the new legislation will make little difference. The new Tachographs look identical to their predecessors, and driver cards do not need to be replaced. Additionally, the common misconception that the Smart Tachographs are a little bit ‘Big Brother’ because they record vehicle location and information live in real time, is not true. Rather, they effectively ‘time stamp’ vehicle location at 3 hour intervals.

For Fleet managers and workshop managers, it’s likely that you will need to familiarize yourself with the new Tachograph, and ensure that you have the correct downloads in place, and that the new Smart Tachograph is correctly installed and calibrated (as you would have done with the old 1B ones). That being said, it’s unlikely that you will need specific new training on the new standard. Most manufacturers are already offering expansive advice and assistance where needed.

GNSS only affecting newly registered HGV’s

The new legislation only affects vehicles newly registered on or after 15th June. If you are operating an older vehicle, you do not need to do anything. New registrations fell for the second year in a row during 2018, something that has been largely attributed to Brexit uncertainty. But with GNSS likely to bring logistical costs down, and new vehicles being significantly more fuel efficient, there are now some compelling reasons that operators may invest in their fleet.