Mister Tacho consultants clarify drivers’ hours reg’s
Mister Tacho Ltd, the independent transport consultants, have clarified the position regarding WTD (Working Time Directive) regulations and highlighted the benefits of using reliable compliance software to keep operators on the right side of the law.
Frank O’Keeffe, Mister Tacho’s Managing Director, advises that failures to comply with legislation regarding drivers’ hours and WTD can have serious implications for transport businesses, including fines and the suspension of operator licences. Frank emphasises the pandemic does not provide an excuse for non-compliance and desk-top audits by the DVSA have hugely increased during lock-down.
Mister Tacho Managing Director, Frank O’Keeffe explains: “There is a lot of confusion about tachograph rules and breaks in driving. For example, the difference between the permitted 4.5 hours of actual driving and the WTD, which states after 6 hours ‘work’ you must have a break of at least 30 minutes – if working between 6 and 9 hours, or 45 minutes if working for more than 9 hours.”
Frank goes on to stress that driving regulations always take priority so therefore, if you drive for a combined total of 4.5 hours you must take a 45-minute break – even if you have not been working for 6 hours. However, he adds that if drivers have been doing other work for 3 hours, in addition to driving for 3 hours, then they must take a 30-minute break.
Although, according to Frank O’Keeffe, the rules are straightforward, operators can often misinterpret or inadvertently contravene their meaning and as such, can place themselves in breach of the law and open to serious consequences.
In this regard adds Frank, regardless of any exceptional circumstances caused by Covid-19, not downloading within the prescribed limits or failing to analyse the data regularly and thoroughly can lead to fines, O Licence suspension or even prison.
“This is where effective downloading technology, robust software and ongoing data analysis can combine to ensure compliance and peace of mind for any O Licence holder.” Says Frank. “Mister Tacho is a long-standing re-seller of TruTac’s compliance control software products and with many years’ close working relationship with the DVSA and Traffic Commissioners, we are well placed to provide bespoke tacho analysis and associated regulatory advice to keep operators compliant at all times.”
TruTac’s cloud-based compliance software is designed to help fleet operators manage their legal obligations, while eliminating paperwork and reducing administration costs. Their market leading TruControl software contains an integrated suite of transport compliance tools. One of these essential tools is TruDriver, which provides drivers and managers information on tachograph records, infringements, compliance and working time.
“For our part,” adds Frank “in addition to supplying the requisite TruTac software products, we offer a one-to-one service which takes care of bedding-in the system. We provide monthly tacho analysis reports, assurance against random DVSA inspections and handling individual driver infringements, whereby an explanatory letter is handed to ‘offending’ drivers, with full details regarding their individual situation. Our full-service offering includes downloading driver cards and vehicles each month for our clients and analysing the results. We provide a one stop shop to deliver compliance peace of mind.”
Also, says Frank, should any operator or employee require representation at a public inquiry or court hearing, Mister Tacho will attend to ensure their position is fully explained within the scope and confines of whichever regulation may have been contravened.
“This part of the service is invaluable to operators who may be uncertain of their legal position.” Adds Frank O’Keeffe. “In maintaining operator compliance, the only acceptable standard is excellence. Using TruTac’s software combined with analysis and guidance from Mister Tacho, transport businesses are guaranteed the most effective method of O Licence protection.”
Based in the South East, Mister Tacho operates several franchises and provides a wide range of specialist tachograph analysis and related services to transport operators throughout the UK.