UK Transport Crisis?

I start my hgv job on Monday after doing bus driving. Haven’t drove a HGV since 2010, in the Army. Apart from a recent assessment drive.
Ive got myself a digital tachograph card, I’ve never used any type of tachograph!
Just trying to learn some basics on YouTube !


Digital tacho's are easy Roger Out, they do most of the hard work for you including when to take breaks
Working time directive is the one that will catch you out. Remember that regardless of driving hours you must take 15 minutes after 6 hours work of any kind.

When you take a break make sure you are on bed, not other work, thats a really common error

You have the h symbol which is bed (rest) O with a dot in the middle which is driving and crossed hammers which is other work.
Always put our card in slot 1 (unless you are non drving 2nd man) and use the number 1 button to cycle through the category

If in doubt, ask another driver, even the most hairy arsed truck driver is usually happy to help and sitting on the dock its common for drivers to ask each other advice and very few begrudge it

Above all that, I have driver of 40 years plus who still **** up their tachograph, don't worry yourself to much.
When you get it wroing your boss will debrief you from the download, its no big deal and everybody makes mistakes.
Never remove your card and driver, if you avoid that you'll be alright

Good luck, you might have a hard few days but you'll start enjoying it pretty quickly, especially when you notice the cargo doesn't try to talk to you
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Digital tacho's are easy Roger Out, they do most of the hard work for you including when to take breaks
Working time directive is the one that will catch you out. Remember that regardless of driving hours you must take 15 minutes after 6 hours work of any kind.

When you take a break make sure you are on bed, not other work, thats a really common error

You have the h symbol which is bed (rest) O with a dot in the middle which is driving and crossed hammers which is other work.
Always put our card in slot 1 (unless you are non drving 2nd man) and use the number 1 button to cycle through the category

If in doubt, ask another driver, even the most hairy arsed truck driver is usually happy to help and sitting on the dock its common for drivers to ask each other advice and very few begrudge it

Above all that, I have driver of 40 years plus who still **** up their tachograph, don't worry yourself to much.
When you get it wroing your boss will debrief you from the download, its no big deal and everybody makes mistakes.
Never remove your card and driver, if you avoid that you'll be alright

Good luck, you might have a hard few days but you'll start enjoying it pretty quickly, especially when you notice the cargo doesn't try to talk to you

Cheers. What does period of availability mean? Surely, if your not driving, or on a break, it’s other work? What the point in that symbol?
Also for example, could you do other work for say 45 minutes, then drive for 4.5 hours straight through without a break?
 
Cheers. What does period of availability mean? Surely, if your not driving, or on a break, it’s other work? What the point in that symbol?
Also for example, could you do other work for say 45 minutes, then drive for 4.5 hours straight through without a break?

Period of availability is effectively waiting time when you are on call and need to be available.
You aren't actually working but you are available to do so. Personally I never use it. I'm either driving, doing other work or on rest.
Typically you would use it twiddling your thumbs on a loading dock or similar and when you are 2nd man

2nd point, yes you could as you wouldn't be breaking the 6 hours working time directive and you are obliged to take 45 minutes break after a maximum of 4.5 hours driving.
Need to be careful about that though, if you did it the other way round and drive 4.5 hours then 45 minutes other work then break you are going to get busted!
 

kieren21

Clanker
Cheers. What does period of availability mean? Surely, if your not driving, or on a break, it’s other work? What the point in that symbol?
Also for example, could you do other work for say 45 minutes, then drive for 4.5 hours straight through without a break?
Jagman might have a different view but unless your firm implicitly request you use period of availability (know often as POA) ignore it.

If the time can be used as POA it can be used as a break. So to avoid any hassle (tacho can reset driving time inadvertently using POA) I just use break and have done since 2007 approx and not once been pulled up on it.
 
Jagman might have a different view but unless your firm implicitly request you use period of availability (know often as POA) ignore it.

If the time can be used as POA it can be used as a break. So to avoid any hassle (tacho can reset driving time inadvertently using POA) I just use break and have done since 2007 approx and not once been pulled up on it.


No argument from me. I either use other work or rest.
POA is largely a waste of time for anything other than 2nd man duties really.
 

BaldBaBoon

War Hero
No argument from me. I either use other work or rest.
POA is largely a waste of time for anything other than 2nd man duties really.

If I recall, cant it be used for something like when your stuck on the M25 in a complete log jam and unable to move for hours ( Eco-loons blocking the road )....you are not driving/working and your unable to rest.

Making note on the tachograph printout to briefly explain why your hours are out the window.
 
If I recall, cant it be used for something like when your stuck on the M25 in a complete log jam and unable to move for hours ( Eco-loons blocking the road )....you are not driving/working and your unable to rest.

Making note on the tachograph printout to briefly explain why your hours are out the window.

Not arguing with you old boy, but I’d suggest sitting stationing in traffic is still driving. You’re still in the drivers seat in control of the vehicle, potentially ready to drive at any time.
Im sure with lunatics blocking the motorway, there is allowances for this when it comes to going over driving hours, such as events of protests.
 

kieren21

Clanker
Not arguing with you old boy, but I’d suggest sitting stationing in traffic is still driving. You’re still in the drivers seat in control of the vehicle, potentially ready to drive at any time.
Im sure with lunatics blocking the motorway, there is allowances for this when it comes to going over driving hours, such as events of protests.
If sitting stationary for a period of time (even long waits at traffic lights/roadworks) - it will NOT be recorded as driving time. You’ll learn to be quite thankful of that believe it or not

It’ll show on the tacho as “other work” albeit for a one or two minute period.

Can’t recall the exact timings but the digital tacho records a rounded up minute of driving if you go over something like 10 seconds of continuous movement. So stop/start driving can eat away your hours with the tacho showing 10mins of driving but you have only actually “driven” for a lot less than that.
 

kieren21

Clanker
Not arguing with you old boy, but I’d suggest sitting stationing in traffic is still driving. You’re still in the drivers seat in control of the vehicle, potentially ready to drive at any time.
Im sure with lunatics blocking the motorway, there is allowances for this when it comes to going over driving hours, such as events of protests.

Regarding the second point of going over hours for unforeseen situations such as the protests - yes.

For arguments sake you get stuck in a road closure due to the protest and you go over your hours - you’d need to find a safe and practicable parking spot as soon as possible. From experience this can be quite open to interpretation but don’t take the piss!

Then you need two tacho print outs from the tacho unit. (I’d also have done one at the point
of going over whatever hours limit if possible just to show I’ve acknowledged that I’m about to contravene it).

On both printouts write on the rear the times of the contravention, what regulation you’ve exceeded and the reason why. Sign/date.

One copy to your office whenever you get back and keep the other copy on you whilst driving for 28 days in case of a roadside check.

Tip - doesn’t need to be war & peace - be accurate and succinct and don’t use it more than necessary. If you have one for every other day it sort of rings alarm bells.

I probably do one once in a blue moon.
 
If sitting stationary for a period of time (even long waits at traffic lights/roadworks) - it will NOT be recorded as driving time. You’ll learn to be quite thankful of that believe it or not

It’ll show on the tacho as “other work” albeit for a one or two minute period.

Can’t recall the exact timings but the digital tacho records a rounded up minute of driving if you go over something like 10 seconds of continuous movement. So stop/start driving can eat away your hours with the tacho showing 10mins of driving but you have only actually “driven” for a lot less than that.

I had no idea it worked like that. Does the tachograph do this automatically?
 

kieren21

Clanker
I had no idea it worked like that. Does the tachograph do this automatically?

It’ll swap to driving automatically when moving and will revert to other work when stationary. Literally that simple.

Obviously select break when required. Using your example re. Protests - if I stopped for any length of time - my tacho would be going on break. Even if I can grab a 15 to use against a 45 min total break that might mean the difference between getting home or not if having a full 45 minute break later would screw me over. (This may be the ex euro fridge driver in me saying this but I promise this is legal!)

It’s quite hard to explain and cater for every eventuality and it will come to you over time.

(Although…. Some tacho units seem to revert to break/rest but these are really quite rare - and if that’s the case don’t worry about during normal driving but remember to click it over should you actually stop and do “other work”)
 

stuskimac

Old-Salt
Digital tacho's are easy Roger Out, they do most of the hard work for you including when to take breaks
Working time directive is the one that will catch you out. Remember that regardless of driving hours you must take 15 minutes after 6 hours work of any kind.
You must take a 30min break after 6 hours continuous work of any kind.
 

stuskimac

Old-Salt
Cheers. What does period of availability mean? Surely, if your not driving, or on a break, it’s other work? What the point in that symbol?
Also for example, could you do other work for say 45 minutes, then drive for 4.5 hours straight through without a break?
POA can be quite usefull as it pauses your working time, i,e the 6 hour continuous work & I would advise you to use it, rather than leaving your tacho on break for hours, If say your on a loading bay for 3 to 4 hours with nothing to do, have your 45min break then switch it to POA until you recommence work. It will clearly show you've had your correct break allocation & account for your time spent & show the correct use of your tacho. DVSA/VOSA get suspicious when analysing tacho's & they see a heavy amount of breaks for long periods of time, incorrect use of a tacho is an infringement.

Also if in queing traffic that moves every so often put on POA, it could be the difference of getting where you need to be on time or being forced to pull over at some point for a break & not arriving somewhere on time. Modern tacho's record the greater part of a minutes activity over 30 seconds as the activity mode set on the tacho. So say your stuck in slow traffic & stationary put it on POA, traffic moves forward a bit, your drive forward for say 10-15 seconds then stop, put it back on POA again. You can continue doing this provided you don't drive for more than 29 seconds at a time for hours & you won't loose any driving time or working time, this can be the difference to having a good day or a bad day.
 

kieren21

Clanker
POA can be quite usefull as it pauses your working time, i,e the 6 hour continuous work & I would advise you to use it, rather than leaving your tacho on break for hours, If say your on a loading bay for 3 to 4 hours with nothing to do, have your 45min break then switch it to POA until you recommence work. It will clearly show you've had your correct break allocation & account for your time spent & show the correct use of your tacho. DVSA/VOSA get suspicious when analysing tacho's & they see a heavy amount of breaks for long periods of time, incorrect use of a tacho is an infringement.

Also if in queing traffic that moves every so often put on POA, it could be the difference of getting where you need to be on time or being forced to pull over at some point for a break & not arriving somewhere on time. Modern tacho's record the greater part of a minutes activity over 30 seconds as the activity mode set on the tacho. So say your stuck in slow traffic & stationary put it on POA, traffic moves forward a bit, your drive forward for say 10-15 seconds then stop, put it back on POA again. You can continue doing this provided you don't drive for more than 29 seconds at a time for hours & you won't loose any driving time or working time, this can be the difference to having a good day or a bad day.
POA can be quite usefull as it pauses your working time, i,e the 6 hour continuous work & I would advise you to use it, rather than leaving your tacho on break for hours, If say your on a loading bay for 3 to 4 hours with nothing to do, have your 45min break then switch it to POA until you recommence work. It will clearly show you've had your correct break allocation & account for your time spent & show the correct use of your tacho. DVSA/VOSA get suspicious when analysing tacho's & they see a heavy amount of breaks for long periods of time, incorrect use of a tacho is an infringement.

Also if in queing traffic that moves every so often put on POA, it could be the difference of getting where you need to be on time or being forced to pull over at some point for a break & not arriving somewhere on time. Modern tacho's record the greater part of a minutes activity over 30 seconds as the activity mode set on the tacho. So say your stuck in slow traffic & stationary put it on POA, traffic moves forward a bit, your drive forward for say 10-15 seconds then stop, put it back on POA again. You can continue doing this provided you don't drive for more than 29 seconds at a time for hours & you won't loose any driving time or working time, this can be the difference to having a good day or a bad day.
You wouldn’t be able to use POA without knowing at the start of the period the length of time that period will last for.
 

Arte_et_Marte

ADC
Moderator
I had no idea it worked like that. Does the tachograph do this automatically?
Tacho snippets.

Unless you are travelling around the country, tramping, overnighting or on a particularly long journey, you wont need a lot of the information regarding tachos. Don't get bogged down with rules regarding channel ferries and second drivers.

You can use a watch to set your 4 1/2 driving time before your breaks, but the 'driving' part on the tacho will be far less than 4 1/2 on your watch, hours due to all the stopping at jams on route.

I believe you are about to start at a job with fairly local journeys. I doubt vey much that you will exceed 4 1/2 hours of (actual) driving before it's time for a break. You'll be lucky to do that in a whole day. Get your tacho card in first thing, first parade your wagon and have normal (non driving) meal breaks as your company will allow and you'll be fine. As has been said, make sure you also get a 15 minute tacho break before 6 hours of your working day are up. This is the built in bogeyman that catches drivers out.

Once you have parked up safely for your break, don't move your vehicle, not even a yard. (Unless a copper/DVSA is involved.)

Speak to the other drivers at your new place, They'll get you sorted. Oh, top tip...Don't leave it in the machine overnight! So easily done.

It all sounds quite daunting at first, because it is, but you will crack it quite quickly, however it is the one and only section of the DCPC (that I hate with a passion) that I, and many other drivers, do not mind getting a refesher on.
 

Truxx

LE
Tacho snippets.

Unless you are travelling around the country, tramping, overnighting or on a particularly long journey, you wont need a lot of the information regarding tachos. Don't get bogged down with rules regarding channel ferries and second drivers.

You can use a watch to set your 4 1/2 driving time before your breaks, but the 'driving' part on the tacho will be far less than 4 1/2 on your watch, hours due to all the stopping at jams on route.

I believe you are about to start at a job with fairly local journeys. I doubt vey much that you will exceed 4 1/2 hours of (actual) driving before it's time for a break. You'll be lucky to do that in a whole day. Get your tacho card in first thing, first parade your wagon and have normal (non driving) meal breaks as your company will allow and you'll be fine. As has been said, make sure you also get a 15 minute tacho break before 6 hours of your working day are up. This is the built in bogeyman that catches drivers out.

Once you have parked up safely for your break, don't move your vehicle, not even a yard. (Unless a copper/DVSA is involved.)

Speak to the other drivers at your new place, They'll get you sorted. Oh, top tip...Don't leave it in the machine overnight! So easily done.

It all sounds quite daunting at first, because it is, but you will crack it quite quickly, however it is the one and only section of the DCPC (that I hate with a passion) that I, and many other drivers, do not mind getting a refesher on.
An old haulage chum, long since passed sadly, ran a thriving business based out of East anglia with trucks criss-crossing the land.

"There's nowhere needs a night out" he used to say. Mind you, this was in the heady 70s with fast trucks quieter roads and no speed limiters.

But there is much in what he said. I can point the sports truck south and virtually regardless of which of the 3 main routes I take I can be sniffing around the approaches to the M25 before I need to take a break.
 
You must take a 30min break after 6 hours continuous work of any kind.

UNless its changed lately?
As always, it would be to complicated to have one set of rules for drivers hours.....


What is the 6 hour rule?

In short the 6 hour rule is:

  • A driver may not WORK (That means both driving & other work) for more than 6 hours at once without taking a break.
  • Before working beyond the 6 hours you must have taken a break of at least 15 minutes.
  • You can take this before or upon reaching 6 hours of work. So long as you do not work longer than 6 hours without separating it with a break.
  • If working between 6 and 9 hours then you are requires to have taken at least 30 minutes of break in total before the end of your shift.
  • This can be taken all at once or in sections of 15 minutes, but just remember that you can never work more than 6 hours in one stretch.
  • This pattern continues if working beyond the 9 hours threshold whereby a further 15 minutes is required. Once again this 45 minutes can be taken all at once so long as you abide by the 6 hour rule.
 

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