The tachograph is a device used by carriers on a daily basis. It is used to know data about the vehicle and its operation and certain activities performed in it by the driver: kilometers traveled, speed, time, breaks, rests and periods of other work.

The improper use of this device leads to certain infractions that are marked according to EC Regulation 561/2006 marking the driving and resting times of a transporter.

It has been implemented in Spain for many years, previously in analog form, and now in digital form.


Digital tachograph

The digital tachograph is a system that is digitized to control the driving times and speed of carriers. It is one of the most reliable evolutions to the analog tachograph.

How does the digital tachograph work?

The driver must insert the card into the tachograph at the beginning of the day. Once the card is inserted in the tachograph, it shows the time at which it was last removed.

Manually, the driver must enter in the tachograph the activities carried out from the moment the card is removed until it is reinserted, as well as enter the country where the driver is located.

Once the vehicle starts driving, the driving activity is automatically activated and, when the driver is at a standstill, he must enter the activity of other jobs. If you are going to take a break or be available, you must manually select this activity and, at the end of the working day, before extracting the card, you must enter the country where the working day ends or the autonomous community if it is within Spanish territory.

As a general rule, data must be transferred every 90 days. It can be done through the digital tachograph manufacturer’s software that allows us to download the data to another computer. If this option is not available, we can use the printer of the tachograph itself.

Advantage of digital tachographs

One of the main advantages of the digital tachograph is the control, since these can be very manipulable, but being digital it is much more complicated.

This type of tachograph makes it possible to optimize the routes to be followed by drivers, which is a considerable help since it reduces driving time and the fuel spent on the routes, i.e., in the long run we are talking about significant economic savings.

Another advantage is safety, since the drivers know at all times what condition the vehicle is in and whether all the breaks during transport are being properly complied with.

Which vehicles must use a tachograph?

On January 1, 2006, the tachograph was imposed on all vehicles weighing more than 3,500 kg or carrying more than 9 persons including the driver. Vehicles that already had the analog tachograph had to change to the digital tachograph.

What happens to a tachograph if there is double driving?

In the event that there are two drivers in the same vehicle, both must carry their own driver card. The tachograph has two slots and each one must insert it (driver and co-driver), and the cards must be changed when necessary.

The regulation that regulates the driving times of road transport vehicles with a digital tachograph installed and carrying out goods transport is EC Regulation 561/2006 .

What parts of a vehicle does a vehicle using a tachograph have?

A vehicle that has a built-in tachograph has the following parts:

  • Vehicle unit: Gathers all the information of the driver’s activity, disturbances that may occur, breaks, system manipulation…
  • Distance or speed sensor: A system that is installed in a gearbox and records the speed and kilometers traveled by a vehicle, which then sends this transport and safety data in coded form to the driver’s cab.
  • Tachograph cards: Cards that are inserted in the car. There are four types of cards: company, driver, test and workshop cards.

Tachograph: Driving and resting times

The established driving and rest periods to be complied with by drivers for road transport.

Daily driving

Start with a weekly or daily break.

  • Maximum 9 hours per day.
  • A maximum of 10 hours per day can be reached twice in the same week.

Weekly driving

The total computation of driving hours in a week must be a maximum of 56 hours, with a biweekly driving of 90 hours.

A week is established between 00:00 on Monday and 24:00 on Sunday.

Mandatory breaks in daily driving

Every 4.5 hours of driving, the driver must take a break of 45 minutes without interruption.

  • 4:30 hours of driving: Break 45 minutes
  • 1:30 hours of driving: Break 15 minutes
  • 2:20 hours of driving: 30-minute break

Daily rest

Daily rest of at least 11 uninterrupted hours. Rest, on a fractional basis, may be taken with an uninterrupted rest of 9 hours if 3 hours of rest have been taken on the same day.

Weekly break

The minimum weekly rest period is 45 uninterrupted hours of rest.

A reduced weekly rest period may be taken in any rest period of at least 24 uninterrupted hours but less than 45 hours.

Biweekly rest

In two consecutive weeks, a carrier must have the following breaks:

  • 2 normal weekly breaks: one must be a minimum of 45 hours.
  • 1 normal and 1 reduced weekly rest: 45 hours + 24 hours.

Tachograph penalties

In the event of violating any regulation by not complying with the established driving and resting times, the corresponding penalties will be imposed.

One of the following actions could carry a fine of 2,001 € to 4,000 €.

  • Not having the tachograph in the vehicle or any of its elements.
  • Do not use the tachograph
  • Using an unapproved tachograph
  • Lack of a digital tachograph
Gestor de tráfico en | + posts

Técnica Superior en Diseño y Edición de Publicaciones Impresas y Multimedia - Artes Gráficas por IES Virgen de la Paloma. Gestor de tráfico en Transvolando.

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