A Brief History of the Tachograph

The obligation to record driver’s activities was introduced in 1969, for social and road safety reasons. Recording was made via a paper book on which drivers were supposed to record what they did each working day.

Tachograph units were introduced around 1985 but since then the tachograph has evolved. In the early days, mechanical tachographs were fitted but these progressed to the early electronic units. However, they were, like the recording devices they replaced, subject to interference by unscrupulous users. In order to combat this interference, amendments were made to the regulations that required diagnostic features to be incorporated into the tachograph, and for the signal cables to be armoured to prevent tampering.

All these analogue units record the driver’s periods of duty on a waxed paper disc – a tachograph analogue chart. These analogue charts are not always interchangeable between the different tachographs as different designs and speed options of chart were available. And of course they because of their design are very vulnerable to damage and the inevitable tampering.

The EU decided to take advantage of technology now available in order to ensure the security of the recording of the driver’s duty periods. This introduced the digital tachograph. The aim was for the tachograph to be less vulnerable to illegal acts by users to distort the data and the new system also allowed for easier and better control of driver’s hours by operators and the enforcement authorities.

Digital tachographs became mandatory in new vehicles with a kerb weight greater than 3.5 tonnes from May 2006. These electronic devices record drive, rest and break periods as well as periods of availability. There is no requirement to retrofit them to vehicles manufactured before May 2006 and in most cases these vehicles can continue to use conventional analogue tachographs.

Digital tachographs store data in memory (vehicle data) and by recording to an official driver card (driver data) inserted into the digital tachograph unit during the period the vehicle is being driven. To obtain a driver card, a driver must apply to the DVLA and in addition, every operator must also apply to the DVLA for a least one company card; the later is now can only be applied for on line. Operators must periodically download data from the drivers’ card, at least every 28 days, and this must be analysed to check that either EU or GB domestic rules and regulations have been complied with.

Operators must also download the data from the tachograph or VU (vehicle unit), as it’s usually referred, hence the reason for the company card and this should be carried-out at least every 90 days. However, Transolva Ltd. strongly recommend this data should be downloaded at least monthly to ensure data regarding the use of a drivers’ cards is strictly adhered to. Should a driver use both digital and analogue equipped vehicles then a continuous record of driver’s activity must be compiled and made available for inspection by DVSA Enforcement Officers, for a period of at least 12 months.

In June of 2019, the digital tachograph took another leap forward in with the introduction of the so-called ‘Smart’ or Gen2 digital tachograph. This VU uses GPS or GNSS to automatically create location records at the start and end of the day and every 3 hours in between. Drivers and companies alike will, when they are up for renewal, be supplied with a new style of digital card based on this new standard.

About TransTrack

TransTrack is the name given to division of Transolva Ltd. which supports the in-house analogue and digital analysis bureau division, TransTach. By supplying and fitting / installing various high-quality downloading, downloading with tracking and scanning equipment, we can ensure that we receive your analogue charts and / or digital data with the minimum of involvement from the operator so giving them time to get on with running their businesses and operations.

Analogue chart analysis

As explained in our TransTach page, you have an option of either sending your charts to us or we can supply and install at your premises an analogue tachograph chart scanner. The advantage of the latter is that an analogue chart can be treated very much like a digi card. Charts can either be scanned in at the end of a day or week and then handed back to the driver. The driver gets to be legal by retaining 28 days of information and their reports can be discussed within a month rather than two months. To scan / upload the charts to TransTach system, software installed by our software providers will need to be open on your desktop. Thereafter, the scanning is relatively painless and whilst it is possible to scan more, we suggest between 15 and 20 charts at a time.

Panasonic KV-S1026C analogue tachograph chart scanner
Price £395.00 + VAT *

This is a high-quality duplex colour scanner with an automatic sheet feeder for scanning multiple analogue tachograph charts in a single operation. It has been designed specifically for this purpose so a normal scanner cannot be used. Quick and simply installed by our software suppliers, it will interface directly with TransTach, allowing you to scan your analogue tachograph chart data directly into the TransTach system. This Panasonic chart scanner requires a computer with an Internet connection or a network card for integration with your company network and an available USB 2.0 port (minimum) for connecting to your PC. Please be advised the rollers of this scanner will need to be cleaned regularly.

*installing inluded within the price up to 100 miles distance from our offices. Thereafter a price to be negotiated based on 45p per mile.

 

Digital data analysis

The high-quality download options that we offer as TransTrack are, in our opinion, the best there is to offer. This is because once they have been installed, the digiConnect® software we load onto your computer require very little maintenance. The only intervention by you is if there should be a software update and even this is a relatively simple task. The digiConnect® software mentioned below configures these units, it does not provide any analysis.

All the devices below are Gen2 ready. This means they will be compatible with ALL tachographs including the ones which became legal from 15th June 2019.

 

 

TransTrack digiCard card reader
Price £55.00 + VAT *

The TransTrack digiCard was designed to combat support issues around Windows support for card readers.

It supplied with easy archiving solution, digiConnect® which is downloadable from the internet. The card reading is unhindered by Windows and does not interfere with remote desktop sessions. It supports special controls for multiple digiCard readers and transfers files directly to the TransTach server via digiConnect®.

The drivers digital card needs to be inserted with the chip downwards and towards the digiCard logo. When downloading a driver card, the LED light on the top of the machine flashes green and become solid once completed.

*we will contact you to install the necessary software and carry-out the set it up for the digiCard card reader remotely.

TransTrack digiVU download device
Price £140.00 + VAT *

The TransTrack digiVU is small, robust and lightweight as is the fastest digital download key on the market and is powered by the vehicles’ tachograph. It is supplied with a 4GB USB stick allowing you to download tachograph data from hundreds of vehicles. This device is compatible with all makes and models of digital tachographs now comes with its own USB adapter for your PC. Once the digiVU is attached to the USB and plugged into your computer, the files will be automatically uploaded.

Insert a company digital card, insert the digiVU and when downloading an amber activity light will flash. When it is completed this LED light will become green. A red LED light signifies an issue or that the device is full.

*we will contact you to install the necessary software and carry-out the set it up for the digiVU remotely.

TransTrack digiVU+ card reader and download device
Price £190.00 + VAT *

The TransTrack digiVU+ provides combined card reader and VU download device which is, as previously mentioned digiVU, the fastest digital download device on the market. The card reader requires 4 x AAA batteries whilst the digiVU is as before powered by the vehicles’ tachograph. It is, also supplied with a 4GB USB stick allowing you to download the driver and tachograph data from hundreds of cards and vehicles. Once the digiVU part is attached to the USB and plugged into your computer, the files will be automatically uploaded.

The drivers digital card needs to be inserted with the chip upwards and towards the digiVU+ logo and as advised above when downloading an amber activity light will flash. When it is completed this LED light will become green. A red LED light signifies an issue or that the device is full.

*we will contact you to install the necessary software and carry-out the set it up for the digiVU+ remotely.

TransTrack digiPostPro card reader with VU download device
Price £695.00 + VAT *

The TransTrack digiPostPro is a digital tachograph driver card and VU data transmitter. It can be supplied in either LAN (Local Area Network) or GPRS 3G mobile network. It will usually be mounted to a wall using the fixings provided. As the image suggests, it comes complete with a digiVU for the complete download solution.  It was specifically designed for remote sites with limited IT infrastructure allowing drives to have access and upload with minimum fuss. However, the LAN version is for fully networked locations. Either device only requires a low electricity supply of 12 volts.

The drivers digital card needs to be inserted with the chip upwards and towards the digiPostPro logo with the 70mm x 40mm LCD keeping the driver informed of the process and in turn informs the driver of any recent drivers’ hours infringements.

*installing included within the price up to 100 miles distance from our offices. Thereafter a price to be negotiated based on 45p per mile.

TransTrack digiDL remote download device
Price from £430.00 + VAT *

The TransTrack digiDL remote download device enable driver and VU data to be downloaded via a UK SIM, which has a 12-month rolling contract, to the TransTach server via the customers company card. This is securely and permanently held in our office in one of our multi-card ‘hotel’ facilities.

This device is installed by our own fully insured engineer into your vehicle and will be set-up for the TransTach server to receive both the driver and VU data almost without intervention. However, our install includes a download button which we ask the driver to press at the end of their day, so we receive the data for their day; especially useful if the driver goes on annual holiday. This button requires a hole to drilled, usually in an overhead panel. The VU data is scheduled to download, providing the ignition is activated, every 2 days.

This solution is becoming increasingly popular with our customers with almost 40% of them choosing this option to send us their data.

NB. We will require a tachograph print-out to check the compatibility of the VU. Please be advised, some vehicles may require additional looms or plugs or a visit to a tachograph centre for them to be set up for our TransTach servers to receive the digital data.

These devices can be reinstalled in another vehicle(s) for which an extra charge will be made.

*installing included within the price up to 100 miles distance from our offices. Thereafter a price to be negotiated based on 45p per mile.

TransTrack Teltonika multi-task remote download device
Price from £440.00 + VAT *

The TransTrack Teltonika FMB640 is a GNSS / GSM multi-task remote download device which enables driver and VU data to be downloaded via a European SIM, which has a 12-month rolling contract, to the TransTach server via the customers company card. This is securely and permanently held in our office in one of our multi-card ‘hotel’ facilities.

This device is installed by our own fully insured engineer into your vehicle and will be set-up for the TransTach server to receive both the driver and VU data without intervention as we receive 2 downloads per day; providing the ignition is activated. This powerful device offers live tachograph data (K-line) and provides tracking through a windscreen mounted GPS aerial making it unique in offering both of these solutions from one device.

In addition, cameras can be added either at install or a later date with new powerful cameras being added to our range from September 2020.

And it does even more, as it’s capable of giving fuel CAN data, refrigerated temperature monitoring, door opening frequency and various third-party RS232 or RS485 device support; a truly remarkable device for its size and reasonable price.

NB. We will require a tachograph print-out to check the compatibility of the VU. Please be advised, some vehicles may require additional looms or plugs or a visit to a tachograph centre for them to be set up for our TransTach servers to receive the digital data.

These devices can be reinstalled in another vehicle(s) for which an extra charge will be made.

*installing included within the price up to 100 miles distance from our offices. Thereafter a price to be negotiated based on 45p per mile.

Option name Cost Annual Subscription Notes Application

Magtrack

£199.00 £120.00 (Standard)

£150.00 (24/7)

None Compact standalone waterproof tracker with an up to 5 year rechargeable battery with an internal vibration / movement sensor.

Ideal for level 1 active tracking and secondary covert theft applications on all assets such as plant, machines, trailers, generators etc.

Optional 24/7 monitored theft attendance as shown with smart phone App alerts.

Nano Tracker (100)

£150.00 £120.00 (Standard) None Compact ‘nano’ tracker with a built-in internal aerial and leads for attaching to live and earth. Can be installed under a bonnet if need be and therefore virtually undetectable.

Ideal for level 1 active tracking and applications including cars, vans and plant etc.

Nano Tracker (2640UTL)

£199.00 £170.00 (Utilisation Extra) + Applicable finder’s fee Compact ‘nano’ tracker with a built-in internal aerial and leads for attaching to live and earth. Can be installed under a bonnet and therefore virtually undetectable if need be.

Ideal for level 1 active tracking and applications including cars, vans and plant * etc.

*May require waterproof enclosure if non-cabbed machine

Various Cameras/Screens

 

£POA Included in the SIM charges shown for the Teltonika device above None For fitting to vehicles in conjunction with the TransTrack Teltonika multi-task remote download and tracking device. Various options for 1 – 8 AHD retro-fit or compatible OEM cameras and camera systems with in-cab viewing screen.

Standalone DVR recording; incident cam alerts and/or 3G or 4G live streaming. Cameras we supply would have remote download and full tracking (no SD cards). Incident cloud for up to 10 years.

Accessories available for the fleet tracker (at extra cost)

  • Dallas button with key fobs
  • Key pads for fleet operations
  • Key pad cards
  • R F security cards
  • Wrist bands
  • Waterproof covering for Dallas button

 

Datasheets

Digicard

DigiDL

Digipostpro

DigiVU

DigiVU+

 

NB. All the costs / prices on the TransTrack page above exclude VAT at the prevailing rate.