The bigger the company, the more time and energy it takes to manage it. One of the sectors where this is clearly reflected is freight transport, where almost every company has dozens of vehicles to respond to market demand. In addition to technical aspects such as maintenance, safety and monitoring, transport companies in Europe also need to adapt to European Union regulations on driving and rest time, tachograph management, etc., which places an additional burden on their daily work.
RMC-Transports Ltd. is a freight carrier with a fleet of 34 trucks. They are assigned to different routes in Europe on a daily basis, requiring the company not only to plan the routes but also to calculate how long each driver is allowed to work, how much time they spend in each country and when they’re required to take a rest. To this end, RMC-Transports CEO Artūrs Barojans shares how tachograph management and analysis solutions have made the company’s work easier.
Tachogram makes planning work schedules a lot easier
The EU has a number of laws and regulations that apply to every haulier in the community, regardless of whether they are established here. Drivers are the ones most affected by these rules, as they state in detail different limits that apply to their work. For example:
- A daily driving period cannot exceed 9 hours;
- A weekly driving period cannot exceed 56 hours;
- A cumulative total driving time cannot exceed 90 hours in any two consecutive weeks;
- A driver is obligated to start a new daily rest period within each 24-hour period following the end of the previous daily or weekly rest period.
At the same time, each of these rules has several conditions and exceptions – both in the so-called working and rest time regulation or Regulation No.561/2006 and in the new Mobility package regulations, thus continuously introducing changes to driving times.
As the RMC-Transports manager Artūrs says: “Before Tachogram, we had to take the drivers at their word, or count everything by hand; how many hours a driver had driven, how much working time he had used, how much more he could use. All this so that the logistics specialists could plan their work.”
Artūrs goes on to say that in practice, dispatchers and logistics staff had to compile all this information on slips of paper and calculate the total hours manually, considering all the EU rules. For example, if a driver starts work at 6 AM, they need to calculate how long until the driver has to take a break (and where he can make a stop), when he will be at his destination, how much driving time will be left that day, etc. Or, for example, if the work is carried out at night, it all changes in a heartbeat, because the total working time that day cannot exceed 10 hours. “And again, you’re sitting there just doing the math,” Artūrs explains, adding that:
“With the introduction of Tachogram, dispatchers and logistics staff find it 10 times easier to plan work times – if not more!”
The Tachogram digital tachograph data analysis solution allows the company to obtain fully analysed information about each driver and plan an individual daily plan for each of them in just a few steps.
In a simple dashboard Tachogram provides you with the most relevant information for each driver, such as:
- Remaining daily driving time;
- Remaining driving time without a break;
- Remaining driving time for a given week;
- Remaining extensions of driving time up to 10 hours;
- Daily rest start time;
- Remaining daily rest period reductions;
- Start of rest periods in a given working week;
- Remaining driving time in the following week.
The company now uses Mapon fleet management solutions on a daily basis to track the location and performance of its vehicles and is pleased that the information analysed by Tachogram is available within the Mapon platform.
This allows dispatchers and logistics staff to quickly and easily use the information provided by Tachogram to calculate routes that include the necessary stops, refuelling, rest areas and, of course, arrival times. The true impact is seen at times when it’s necessary to plan work not just a few days, but also weeks in advance. As RMC-Transports employees often make longer journeys between Latvia – Italy – Benelux countries – Scandinavia – Latvia, the ability to plan work schedules in advance is a great benefit and a relief.
In addition, Artūrs points out that the accountants highly appreciate the reports available in Tachogram, summarising each drivers’ working hours and making payroll so much easier:
- The Work time summary per driver report provides information on the working time of each driver, specifying whether they worked on a weekday, a weekend, a public holiday and whether they worked at night;
- The Kilometres per vehicle report shows the distance travelled during the selected period;
- The Work time summary per country report details the working time spent in each EU member state during a selected period.
Remote digital tachograph file download
In addition to the aforementioned obligations concerning drivers’ work and rest times, the EU also has rules in place requiring the regular downloading of driver and vehicle digital tachograph card data. The reason for this is the limited memory available on the cards and the verification of the information they contain.
The current rules stipulate that the maximum period for downloading the relevant card data is limited to:
- 90 days for data from the vehicle unit;
- 28 days for data from the driver card.
In practice, non-compliance with these rules has more often than not resulted in heavy fines.
Tachogram offers the possibility for anyone to download the relevant data card using a mobile device, a card reader and an active internet connection. The Mapon platform, on the other hand, enables RMC-Transports to download the card data remotely without removing them from the tachograph. This is done via the telemetry devices installed in the vehicles.
“During the time we had to do it manually, I asked the more experienced drivers to do it themselves, and did it myself for the less experienced staff members. This meant I had to stop by each driver and their vehicle individually to download the data. Naturally, this took time. The driver does not always arrive during working hours, he does not always leave during working hours. There were even cases where the card data was not downloaded, which was risky, as it could’ve resulted in a large fine,”
the manager recalls.
“While Tachogram is a great asset for dispatchers and managers, it is the remote download solution that has made my job so much easier. Whereas it used to take me 2-3 days to keep track of all the documents and download them, now it takes 20 minutes!“
Tachogram is a specialised tachograph data analysis solution that analyses data in compliance with all current EU regulations. Tachogram also offers API solutions that will allow you to integrate it into your fleet management system and ensure that all the information you need is available in one place. Register for a 30-day-free trial and find out more about how Tachogram can ease your workload!