Since , tachographs are digital, which allows a more secure and accurate recording and storage of data than the previous analogue tachograph. European Commission – JRC Ispra – Digital Tachograph official website Digital Tachograph Smart Tachograph. Dear user,. The DTCO digital tachograph, with its system components, is an EC recording de- vice that complies with the technical.

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A tachograph is a device fitted to a vehicle that automatically records its speed and distance, together with the tachorgaph activity selected from a choice of modes. The drive mode is activated automatically when the vehicle is in motion, and modern tachograph heads usually default to the other work mode upon coming to rest.

The rest and availability modes can be manually selected by the driver whilst stationary. A tachograph system comprises a sender unit mounted to the vehicle gearbox, the tachograph head and a recording medium. Tachograph heads are of tachhograph analogue or digital types.

All relevant vehicles manufactured in the EU since 1 May must be fitted with digital tachograph heads. The recording medium for analogue heads are wax coated paper discs, and for digital heads there are two recording mediums: Digital driver cards store data in a format that can later also be read out as a. Drivers and their employers are legally required to accurately record their activities, retain the records files from internal memory and from driver cards must both be retained and produce them on demand to transport authorities who are in charge of enforcing regulations governing drivers’ working hours.

They are also used in the maritime world, for example through the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine. The tachograph was originally introduced for the railroads so that companies could better document irregularities.

The inventor was Max Maria von Webera civil servant, engineer and author. The Daniel Tachometer has been known in the railway industry since For reasons of public safety, many jurisdictions have limits on the working hours of drivers of certain vehicles, such as buses and trucks.

A tachograph can be used to monitor this and ensure that appropriate breaks are taken. Tachographs are mandatory for vehicles allowed to carry a total weight of over 3.

Digital Tachograph Smart Tachograph

They are used to review the driving and rest time of drivers during reviews by traffic standards organizations or accident investigation. A driver must carry the tachograph records with him for all days of the current week and the last day of the previous week that he drove. Companies must keep the records for digitaleer year. These time periods can be checked by the employers, police and other authorities tachotraph the help of the tachograph.

Most tachographs produced prior to 1 May were of the analogue type. Later analogue tachograph head models are of a cigitaler design, enabling the head to fit tacgograph a standard DIN slot in the vehicle tachograoh. This would enable a relatively easy upgrade to the forthcoming digital models, which idgitaler manufactured to the same physical dimensions.

The analogue tachograph head uses styli to trace lines on a wax digitaaler paper disc that rotates throughout the day, where one rotation encompasses a hour period. If the disc is left in the head over 24 hours, a second trace will be written onto the first, and so on until the disc is removed. Multiple overlapping traces may still be deciphered in the speed and distance fields, but it is far more difficult for the activity field where tachogrxph trace can easily be obliterated by another.

Analogue tachograph heads provide no indication to the driver of the need to change the disc. Analogue data is retrieved visually, and tachotraph be assisted by manual analysis tools. Analogue discs can also be electronically scanned and analysed by computer, although this tachograpu to digital conversion process still requires human expert interpretation for best results, due to imperfections in the source disc such as dirt and scratch marks in the wax surface that can be incorrectly read as trace marks.


The analogue chart must be EU type approved. The country of type approval can be found on the rear of the chart, i. The chart is manufactured out of heavyweight paper with a black printed face that is thinly coated with a white wax, upon which is printed a number of features. The surface can be scratched or rubbed to reveal the black paper underneath. This enables the traces to be made without the use of ink. The chart features a pear-shaped aperture in the centre, ensuring it is perfectly aligned upon insertion into the tachograph head.

There is no facility to prevent it being inserted back to front, where the styli would be prevented from making contact with the wax surface. The centrefield is used by the driver to store certain handwritten information. This includes the drivers name, the date s the disc refers to, the start and end odometer readings and the registration mark of the vehicle.

Three traces are made in the wax surface by the head. These traces are either made by three separate styli or a single multipurpose stylus. The trace closest to the centrefield is the distance trace.

The stylus moves up and down with distance travelled, producing a zig-zag pattern, often referred to as a ‘V’ trace. A complete deflection is created every 5 kilometres, and therefore each completed ‘V’ represents 10 kilometres travelled. By counting the zig-zags, the total distance travelled can be calculated and compared against the stated odometer readings in the centrefield.

By comparing the end position of the trace for a particular day against the start position for the following day, it can be seen if the vehicle has moved in the intermediate period. The trace in the central area is the mode trace.

The driver’s activity is displayed in this area, and is always displayed as either driveother workavailability or rest. Earlier tachograph heads displayed the mode as a thin line rigitaler one of four concentric tracks within the activity band.

These heads are known as manual heads as the activity was manually selected using the mode switch. Automatic heads succeeded manual heads, and differ from them in two main areas. Firstly, the automatic head will always display the drive mode when the vehicle is in motion, regardless of the setting of the mode switch. For this reason, the drive mode is no longer available to be selected by the mode switch.

Secondly, the activity is displayed on the chart as tachograp sequence of block traces of differing thickness.

The rest mode appears as a thin line, availability as a slightly thicker line, other work as slightly thicker again and the drive trace digitsler the thickest.

The trace closest to the outer edge is the speed trace. The disc is preprinted with a speed scale and the stylus tachigraph a mark corresponding with the speed of the vehicle at any given time.

It is important that the maximum speed Vmax specification of the chart matches that of the tachograph head for the speed to be correctly recorded. It can be expected that a high speed trace will correlate with a tightly-spaced zig-zag pattern within the distance trace.

The rear face of the chart is printed with a grid that enables the driver to make handwritten additions or amendments to the information on the front. Digital tachographs make tampering much more difficult by sending signals in an encrypted manner.

Digital tachographs have been implemented in Mexico sincebut this is not a federal regulation. The last implementations developed in Mexico have GPS capabilities such as mapping, altitude and location-activated video triggering. Apart from enforcing regulations, tachographs are often used in Germany to investigate and punish speeding. This practice was approved by the German high regional court in the s.

Digital tachograph

Also, after an accident, the discs are often examined with a microscope to discover the events that took place at a collision site. Tachographs can be tampered with in various ways, such as slightly twisting digotaler marker, blocking the path of the arm with a piece of rubber or foam, short-circuiting the unit for short periods, intentionally preventing the detection of gear movement with a magnet, or interrupting the older analogue tachograph’s power supply with a blown fuse to stop operation completely thus recording no information whatsoever.


There is also “forgetting to insert” the chart when beginning duty. Unauthorized changing of the discs and then discarding one of the two, so that tachogra;h activities are “forgotten” is well known throughout Europe.

Today operators see tachographs as levellers—devices which prevent unfair competition from companies who force their drivers to work excessive hours. Trade unions and drivers also now favour tachographs for this reason and records are often used in tribunals as proof when claiming for unpaid work.

Tachographs are also useful after an accident to help establish the cause difitaler corroborate eye witness accounts. Trade unions take a dim view of anyone digltaler exceeds speed limits or permitted hours. Fears that it is easy to falsify readings by tampering with tachographs have been allayed, since it is relatively easy to spot such attempts.

However, more sophisticated ways to interrupt the signals sent to the digital tachograph have since been created, including the use of magnets. Tachograph data, once correlated, provides valuable data to the haulage company.

When the use of tachographs was imposed by the European Union on its txchograph states in dogitaler s, tachogrqph and operating companies were opposed on the grounds that tachographs were expensive and unnecessary, and contributed nothing to road safety. Domestic hours regulations were replaced dlgitaler European regulations which were complicated. Opponents claimed that it was doubtful whether strict enforcement of these regulations would reduce driver fatigue since they were not based on scientific evidence.

Drivers and their trade unions initially opposed the use of tachographs because they feared that employers would examine the records and reduce the driver’s pay for any time stopped, even if the stop was for a good reason, such as checking the vehicle or going to the toilet.

This would encourage tired drivers to continue driving rather than rest, and encourage drivers to exceed speed limits in order to reach their destination within the required time. Finally, some of the advantages of tachographs apply primarily to drivers who can rely upon the support of a trade union.

Any assistance that tachographs provide to a driver engaged in a dispute with an employer may not be as useful if the driver cannot settle the claim due to a lack of trade union support, or due to other non-technical obstacles.

Media related to Tachographs at Wikimedia Commons. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the device used for recording vehicle data. For the tachygraph, an early communications device, see Claude Chappe. This article has multiple issues.

Federal Office for Information Security (BSI)

Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with Germany and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject.

You may improve this articlediscuss the issue on the talk pageor create a new articleas appropriate. December Learn how and when to remove this template message. Not to be confused with Tachometer. Traffic law and safety. Speed limits by country.