What Information Is Collected By A Tachograph In A Truck

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Keeping Driver Records
Tachographs are devices used to track statistical information on drivers of heavy load vehicles—those weighing more than 3.5 tons for the transport of goods, or carrying more than nine people in the case of passenger vehicles. The metrics tachographs measure include:
  • Drive Time
  • Break Times
  • Speed
  • Mileage
  • Other Work
Drive time and mileage are automatically recorded, while rest mode must be activated manually. These devices are required to be installed on any vehicle in the E.U. meeting the above requirements. Since drivers may be required to submit this information during inspections, many tachograhs have built in printers to make retrieval of the data simple and quick.

Truck
Image is licensed under CC Attribution

Using the Data

Originally developed to help ensure the safety of roadways by ensuring that drivers complied with regulations regarding driving hours limits, the data is often used to increase business efficiency. Data analysis allows companies to determine shift and break patterns, verify delivery based on mileage traveled and ensure compliance with company workload policies. Tachographs reduce unfair competition between drivers and companies by making it more difficult for companies to force their employees to increase their drive time without it being reported. Many drivers support this extra level of protection that tachographs provide. Tachographs have been used by law enforcement as well. Many countries use the data to verify speeding tickets.

Digital vs. Analog

In 2006 tachographs were switched over to digital models providing easier use, more accurate data collection, greater storage capacity and increased resistance to tampering. This fraud protection alone is estimated to save companies €515 a year, but is not unbeatable. Each driver is issued a card that they insert into a tachograph machine essentially ‘logging them in’ to the vehicle. Without the handwritten records that were a staple of analog tachographs, it can be easy for employees to switch tachograph cards with each other and switch drive time with other drivers. Data is encrypted however, so once data is written on the card it cannot be altered in any way.

Many drivers are concerned with the way digital tachographs ‘round up’ however. If any movement at all is detected during a one-minute span, the entire minute is assigned as drive time. Some drivers estimate they lose up to a half-hour each day because of this rounding. Newer devices are starting to assign the extra time in these minutes as ‘other work’ time to help alleviate this concern. Future tachograph updates look to make use of advanced satellite GPS systems to better track driver locations since current digital models to do not store location data. As with any location tracking, there are privacy concerns however. Digital units also allow instant offloading of the data to computer analysis stations, where breaches of protocol can be instantly identified without having to go over each record by hand.

Expanded Use

Tachographs increase driver, passenger, and roadway safety. The other benefits of the data gathered are apparent. Fairer work practices and increased efficiency mean that the use of these devices is likely to expand in the future, possibly even to other countries. Driver fatigue in the United States is blamed for approximately 100,000 heavy vehicle accidents each year; tachographs could be a starting point to help reduce that number.

Trachograph information help trucks stay safe on the road, one of the things that Frank tries to highlight on his website.
Rizwan Ahmad
About the Author:
This article is posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of myfoodforu blog He is a blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on  the different topics related to humanity,

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