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Driving & Logistics

Digital tachograph card: Driver’s smart safety tool

tachograph card

What is a digital tachograph card?

To record and store a spectrum of information about the driver and the vehicle, such as the distance travelled, speed stricks in different terrains, time covered, and driver’s activities while driving, a digital tachograph card is a compact-sized tool prepped inside the goods and passenger vehicles.

All the data is stored in the vehicle’s memory unit and on the driver’s card. You can apply for the digital tachograph from renowned brands such as VDO. Stoneridge. Actia and Intellect.

If you want to apply for the digital tachograph card, read the manifesto on applying for a driver’s digital tachograph card.

Can I drive without a digital tachograph inserted?

The installation of a digital tachograph card has become mandatory for vehicles transporting passengers over nine seats & goods vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes gross weight since January 1st, 2003. So, if you had a tachograph card but got lost, stolen or damaged, you can still lawfully continue to operate that vehicle without any obligation.

But, if it’s forgotten, mislaid or left behind at places, the law abides the driver to retrieve the card and cannot engage in transit business until gotten back.

How does a digital tachograph card work?

The digital tachograph is equipped with a memory unit of the vehicle, digital sensors and a tachograph card. The vehicle’s memory unit is a card CPU consisting of a data processor, card slots, display, printer and a download connector with manual entries.  The vehicle unit can be found in the driver’s area of the cabin.

The gearbox houses the motion or speed sensor. As the gearbox output shaft turns, the sender unit produces electronic pulses. The encrypted signals are sent to the vehicle unit, where they are recorded.

The unit is established in the driver’s cabin. The speed sensor is fitted on the gearbox. As the gearbox output shaft turns, the processing unit sends an electronic pulse with an encrypted signal recorded.

What data does tachograph record?

The following table shows the stats to record the data with a digital card.

Details of tachograph calibrations
Date Vehicle registration number
Date and time of activity change
Driver activity (driving, breaks, rest, other activities, availability)
Distance travelled is captured via odometer
Enforcement checks
Events (driving without a driver card, over speeding, tampering, fraud
The number of times the card is inserted.
Single or co-driver
Vehicle speed

Types of tachograph card

Following are four types of tachograph cards:

  1. The Driver Card: is permitted to record the driving, rest taken and activity information.
  2. The Control Card: is allowed to record and retrieve data from the tachograph card, which law enforcement agencies mainly use.
  3. The Workshop Card: is operated by mechanics & technicians to install, repair and calibrate tachographs.
  4. The Company Card: is mainly used by a company to retrieve data such as rest time, vehicle distance, etc., from their respected employees.

You can explore the EU’s new generation of intelligent tachographs for fleets to increase road transportation safety.

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