Changes to the tachograph and drivers’ hours rules will come into effect next year and will affect the construction and farming sectors. The EU has published a new regulation, part of which will come into force on 2 March 15 and the remainder coming onto force on 2 March 16.
From 2nd March 2015, those who use a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 7.5 tonnes and where they carry materials, equipment or machinery for the driver’s use in the course of his work will not need to use a tachograph or comply with the EU drivers’ hours rules, if the vehicle stays within 100km radius of the operating centre and driving is not the driver’s main activity. The previous limit was 50km.
Similarly the radius has been extended from 50 to 100km for vehicles carrying live animals from farms to local markets and vice versa and from markets to local slaughterhouses. This change is also due to take effect from 2 March 14.
The change will mean that although these drivers will no longer need to comply with the EU rules, they will need to comply with the GB domestic rules. These rules include a daily driving limit of 10 hours in any 24 hour period and a daily duty limit of 11 hours. Off road driving for agriculture, civil engineering and road maintenance work is not included in the driving time but counts towards duty time. It may be that for some operators it is easier to continue to use tachographs in any case, particularly if the driver also sometimes drives outside the 100km radius, as the driver needs to be able to produce a record of all work undertaken in any week to which the EU drivers’ hours rules apply. Please contact me if you would like specific advice on this or any other matter relating to your obligations under the drivers’ hours and tachograph rules.