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Until May 2006, commercial vehicles were fitted with an analogue tachograph. However, since May 1st 2006, all newly registered commercial vehicles of 3.5 tonnes upwards have been equipped with a digital tachograph (unless exempt).

Whilst there is no requirement to retrofit vehicles with a digital tachograph if they were registered before 1st May 2006, some operators may choose to do so. So, sooner or later, you will eventually be required to drive a digitally equipped vehicle. If you haven't already done so, you will need to apply for a digital tachograph Driver Card, because without one you will be unable to operate a digital tachograph.

You will also need training on how to operate a digital tachograph, and understand the requirements for record-keeping etc. Your Driver Hire office will be able to help you with this, and our guide to digital tachographs gives some essential information on using these systems.


It is the driver's responsibility to use the tachograph throughout each driving day to properly record driving time, periods of other work, periods of availability and breaks from driving/work. These records must be made on a chart of the correct type for the tachograph fitted in each vehicle to be used. 

Drivers must carry with them during each driving day (and be able to show an enforcement officer if requested to do so) all completed records for the current working day plus those generated in the last 28 calendar days. Completed tachograph records must be handed in to your local Driver Hire office or the client no later than 30 days from use.

Analogue Tachographs

It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that the tachograph clock is set to the correct UK local time before starting the journey (remember that the tachograph is a 24 hour instrument whereas its clock has only a 12 hour display). 

Tachograph charts are legal documents: Complete them fully, use the Mode switch properly, and handle them carefully.

Completing an Analogue Tachograph Chart

Before driving a vehicle fitted with an analogue tachograph, filling in the tachograph chart is the first thing you will be required to do. It is surprising how many people get it wrong - even drivers with many years' experience. You are required to fill in 1-8 on the chart.

Manual Tachograph

1. Your name (surname and first name). Filled in before driving.
2. The place where you started work. Filled in before driving.
3. The place where you finished work. Filled in after driving.
4. Start date. Fill in today's date before you start driving.
5. Finish date. Fill in after you finish driving.
6. The registration number of your vehicle. Filled in before driving.
7. The odometer reading at the end of the day.
8. The odometer reading at the start of the day.
9. Opening reading subtracted from closing reading equals total daily kilometres travelled.

At the beginning of the day you must fill in 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8. At the end of the day you must fill in 3, 5 and 7.

If you miss something out you may be taken to court. You should keep you original charts with you to produce for inspection by enforcement staff on request. Remember, you must carry tachograph charts for the current day and the previous 28 calendar days.









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