What is the purpose of the company card and when does it need to be used? What is a company lock? What mistakes can be made in dealing with the company card?

The company card identifies the company. It allows you to view, print and, above all, download data from the Digital Tachograph that is locked with this company card or even data that is not locked. On the one hand, the company card ensures that every company can only download their own data (data protection) and, moreover, that the authorities can assign all driver data and, if applicable, infringements to the respective company. To do this, the entrepreneur must insert the company card at the beginning and at the end of the vehicle deployment and activate the so-called company block or deactivate it again at the end of the assignment. The term “lock-in” refers to the access of third parties for whom this data has just been blocked. For VDO, enabling the lock is called logging in and deactivation is logging off. For many, these terms are more understandable, although just in the technical annexes IB and IC of the Tachograph Regulations (Nos. 3821/85 and 165/2014) this function is called “blocking”.

After downloading, only the driver data that was blocked by the current company card is displayed. Similarly, data is displayed for which no lock was activated – so these are freely accessible to any user with a company card.

If a vehicle is rented, the company must also be registered for this vehicle before use. At the end of the rental period, the data must be downloaded with the company card and the company must be “lock-out” again. The same applies, of course, vice versa, if a vehicle is loaned to a friendly company. In that case, the owner of the vehicle should definitely deregister his company. Although the current company is automatically logged off with the insertion of another company card – if the friendly entrepreneur (tenant) forgets to register his company, then all drivers and activities are stored under the “wrong” company. This can lead to major problems in the case of an operational inspection because, if necessary, the initial suspicion of employment by drivers without notification to the social security can be justified.

If a vehicle is transferred from the external workshop or a service provider, then this company has to activate the lock with its own company card.

Special attention is paid to the tachographs of Stoneridge. Until the so-called Revision 7.4, the company was not automatically registered here with the company card inserted. Although the download was possible in most cases, if the lock of another company was not yet active, the company card was not activated by simply inserting the company card. To do this you have to activate the lock after inserting the company card with “OK” in the menu and then in the menu item “COMP LOCKS”. This was and is unfortunately unknown to many companies.

At VDO, on the other hand, there is the danger that the lock will be deactivated again when the company card is removed. Because many users answer the question that then appears on the display “Log off company” with “YES”. After that, no company lock is active in the Digital Tachograph.

By the way, a missing company lock can cost you 250, – € per case!