What is a Digital Tachograph?

Digital tachographs are devices fitted into vehicles which record a range of data such as driving speed, how long a driver has been on the road for, and a driver’s total distance driven. Additionally, digital tachographs log a driver’s current activity, i.e., whether they’re driving, resting, available, or carrying out other work.

How do Digital Tachographs work?

Digital tachographs are made up of three main components. Specifically, a vehicle unit, a motion sensor, and tachograph cards. A vehicle unit is essentially the central processing unit of a tachograph. As such, it contains a processor, in addition to a clock, two card slots, a digital display, a printer, a download connector, and a controller for manual entries.

Vehicle units are located in close proximity to a driver. For instance, they are commonly mounted on the dashboard or on the door pillar of a vehicle. Whereas, the motion sensor is situated on a vehicle’s gearbox. A sender unit generates electronic pulses in reaction to a gearbox output shaft turning. The produced signals are encrypted and then sent to the vehicle unit to be recorded and stored.

Types of Tachograph Cards

Tachograph cards are used to identify a driver, and thereafter authorise access to the data which has been previously recorded. There are four different digital tachograph cards used to track vehicle usage, as well as those to enable setup and administration.

  • Driver cards: Driver cards are used to log information on a driver’s activities, like driving and resting.
  • Company cards: Company cards allow operators to download data concerning an employee’s use of their vehicle. 
  • Workshop cards: Workshop cards are used by official technicians to service and repair the tachograph.
  • Control cards: Control cards are used by law enforcement agencies to circumvent locks on the tachograph and retrieve the stored data.

What does a Digital Tachograph record?

Data recorded by digital tachographs include:

  • The date and time of each event
  • A vehicle’s registration number
  • A driver’s identification number
  • A driver’s activity status
  • A vehicle’s speed
  • The distance travelled
  • When and how frequently a card is inserted
  • Errors and tampering

The Benefits of Digital Tachographs

Digital tachographs have various benefits for fleets. This owes to the array of data they document. Foremostly, digital tachographs ensure regulatory compliance by providing accurate and reliable information on driver hours of service, an advantage which simultaneously improves driver safety due to it eliminating fatigue. 

Moreover, fleets utilising digital tachographs will experience improvements in efficiency because they record data on driver behaviour and vehicle performance in real-time, data that inherently translates to actionable insights. As a consequence, a fleet’s overall fuel consumption will be reduced, all while speeding violations are avoided, signalling dramatic cost savings.

Digital Tachograph Solutions from MICHELIN Connected Fleet

At MICHELIN Connected Fleet, we recognise the significance of keeping your drivers, as well as other road users, safe. Fleet safety begins with guaranteeing that drivers are in a condition suitable to operate vehicles, that which digital tachographs facilitate.

Our digital tachograph software solutions make fleet management easier by simplifying every involved process. As a result, you can increase the safety, efficiency, finances, compliance, and sustainability of your fleet all by implementing a purpose-built solution today. If you’re interested in our services, then be sure to contact us for more details on how we can help your business.