There are thousands of vans on our roads. What about this record of driving and rest periods? Are the records on daily control sheets sufficient or must a digital tachograph be installed? Many of these vehicles are used by a craftsman. These are exempt from the obligation to record within the framework of the craftsman’s regulation. Does this also apply if a digital tachograph is installed in the vehicle? Or does a driver card generally have to be used in these cases?

Freight transport vehicles with a maximum permissible mass of more than 2.8 t up to a maximum of 3.5t are subject to the Regulation (EC) 561/2006, these drivers are therefore subject to the same driving and rest periods as the drivers of the larger vehicles. However, there is a significant difference in documenting these times. If there is an obligation to install the digital tachograph on goods vehicles with a maximum permissible mass exceeding 3.5t, this obligation does not apply to this vehicle class. According to EU Regulaqion, the drivers of these vehicles have to record the working, driving and rest periods on the so-called daily check sheets.

If the permissible total weight exceeds 3.5t, because a trailer is carried along, these vehicle combinations are subject to the EU Regulation and thus to the obligation to install the digital tachograph. Both situations now seem to be clear to most people affected. Uncertainties, however, always exist when the trailer is not carried. Many drivers and entrepreneurs are subject to this case the mistaken belief, it may be used again the day control sheets because the permissible total weight now no longer exceeds the 3.5 t limit. However, this assumption is contrary to EU Regulation.

Here, in direct connection in the EU Regulation, it is clearly stipulated that the records of the driving and rest periods, in this case, must be made with the digital tachograph. If a digital tachograph is installed in a transporter up to a gross vehicle weight of 3.5 t, then it must also be used for recordable trips. Daily checks sheets are not allowed in these cases.

However, this paragraph is then misinterpreted in other cases.

These are vehicles which are exempted from the rules on compliance with the driving and rest periods for example, in vehicles that are used in the context of the exception for the craftsman’s regulation. For the drivers of these vehicles, the driving and rest periods do not apply, nor the record-keeping.

The mere presence of a digital tachograph does not trigger any duty of use. Only then, if the driver or the use of the driver falls under the driving and rest periods, there is a fundamental obligation to record these times. In this case, it is crucial whether if the vehicle is equipped with a digital tachograph or not.

Because only then does it determine on which medium these records have to be made. The duty to use the built-in digital tachograph therefore only exists if there is an obligation to comply with driving and rest periods and thus also to record these times.

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