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Tachograph information for Operators

Information for Bus and Coach Operatiors on Tachographs, how and where to use then and where to apply for them.

Digital Tachograph driver and company card application packs are now available to order from the DVLA form ordering service.

The biggest difference between the analogue tachograph and the digital tachograph is the use of a smart card instead of the record sheets (often called charts, discs, tachos) used in analogue tachographs. There are 4 cards (collectively known as Digital Tachograph Cards) that are used by the digital tachograph system:

• Driver card - used by drivers;
• Company card - for use by the operator;
• Workshop card - available only to approved calibration centres; and,
• Control card - available only to VOSA and Police for carrying out enforcement.

The company card is a plastic card similar in size to a photo driving licence / credit card, with a microchip in it.
Like the analogue tachograph, the digital unit records driver activity times - driving, other work, rest and breaks. However unlike the analogue, which records only to a record sheet, the digital units will record to the driver smart card and also hold the information in the Vehicle Unit (VU).
The company card allows you to ‘lock’ data recorded in the VU (tachograph) to prevent another operator looking at the data. You need to do this in order to ensure you protect the personal information of you and your driver(s), and details of work patterns and times from competitors. This would become important if you were to sell a vehicle or use a hire vehicle.
For the system to work however, the data needs to be ‘locked in’ to your company before you start operating the vehicle and then ‘locked out’ when your use has finished. It is not possible to ‘lock in’ data retrospectively and that data would remain open for all to view.
The card will also allow you to download the information from the VU in order that you can carry out checks on drivers’ hours and rostering etc as required by the legislation, and to maintain records described in the undertakings of your Operators’ Licence issued by the Traffic Commissioner.
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