MCL Transport Consultants

Other Work

There are 3 functions on an automatic Analogue Tachograph Unit, one of which is the 'Crossed Hammers' symbol ('Other Work'). To record the activity on the chart, the function has to be selected using the mode switch on the bottom of the VU, in much the same way that 'Other Work' has to be selected on a Digital Tachograph. In both cases, Crossed Hammers denotes this function.
The majority of errors that occur on Analogue Charts are either centerfield errors and the failure on the part of the driver to use the mode switch either correctly or at all. Some drivers are still under the illusion that an Automatic Tachograph Unit carries out the mode selection function for them - it doesn't.
What follows is an overview of the importance of using the mode switch correctly and equally so the importance of the function of 'Other Work'.

First Inspection or Daily Walk Round Check
For all drivers, the first job of the day upon arriving at the drivers workstation (his/her truck) is to complete the centrefield of a tachograph chart (if using an Analogue VU); or inserting the drivers card if the vehicle is fitted with a digital unit. After inserting either the chart or card, the VU should be set to 'Other Work' mode and a 'Daily Walk Round Check' (first use inspection) should be carried out. This activity is undertaken in the best interests of Road Safety and ensures that if carried out properly and no faults are found with the vehicle it should be safe to use on the public highway.

The 'Daily Walk Round Check' is a legal requirement and should be carried out at the start of every day and also periodically throughout the working day especially where vehicles are used off road, such as building sites etc. Should the driver be stopped later in the day at a VOSA Checkpoint with this activity carried out correctly, his/her chart will show a line in 'Other Work' mode of between 5 and 10 minutes duration. If however, this activity is not evident on the drivers chart, he/she should expect no leniency from the enforcement officer who has stopped him/her, especially if further examination of the other charts - the driver should have in his/her possession - reveals the same ignorance of this mandatory requirement.

It should be noted here, that if any driver has failed consistently in this particular area, it is likely that further investigations by VOSA on those charts retained at the operating center will follow. All charts that are less than 6 months old that show offences on them (including failure to carry out daily walk round checks) may result in prosecution.

As part of every drivers ongoing tachograph training, the correct use of the mode selector switch should form a part of the same. It's all very well a manager insisting that this aspect of training has been covered, but in light of the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Bill having been passed during 2007, if the driver workforce pay lip service to the daily walkround check and one of there number is involved in an accident (and kills someone) due to his/her failure to note (and report) on (say) a defective tyre or braking system, both driver and manager will stand together in a court of law.

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Duty Time
There are no duty limits. However, the daily rest requirements limit the number of hours a driver can work. However, a driver is permitted to make reductions in his/her daily rest without the requirement for compensation, therefore the background to this is as follows:

Road Transport Working Time Directive
Drivers who are subject to the EU rules on drivers' hours and tachographs will normally have to comply with the rules on working time as laid out in the Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations, which were brought into force on 4 April 2005.

For further information relating to the Road Transport Working Time Directive, please visit the section Road Tpt WTD within this site.

Summary of EU Limits on drivers' hours
The current limits on drivers' hours as specified by the EU rules are summarised in the following table.

Routine Description
Breaks from driving A break of no less than 45 minutes must be taken after no more than 4.5 hours of driving. The break can be divided into two periods - the first at least 15 minutes long and the second at least 30 minutes - taken over the 4.5 hours.
Daily driving Maximum of 9 hours, extendable to 10 hours no more than twice a week.
Weekly driving Maximum of 56 hours.
Two-weekly driving Maximum of 90 hours in any two-week period.
Daily rest Minimum of 11 hours, which can be reduced to a minimum of 9 hours no more than three times between weekly rests. May be taken in two periods, the first at least 3 hours long and the second at least 9 hours long. The rest must be completed within 24 hours of the end of the last daily or weekly rest period.
Multi-manning daily rest A 9-hour daily rest must be taken within a period of 30 hours that starts from the end of the last daily or weekly rest period. For the first hour of multi-manning, the presence of another driver is optional, but for the remaining time it is compulsory
Ferry/train daily rest A regular daily rest period (of at least 11 hours) may be interrupted no more than twice by other activities of not more than 1 hour's duration in total, provided that the driver is accompanying a vehicle that is travelling by ferry or train and has access to a bunk or couchette.
Weekly rest A regular weekly rest of at least 45 hours, or a reduced weekly rest of at least 24 hours, must be started no later than the end of six consecutive 24-hour periods from the end of the last weekly rest. In any two consecutive weeks a driver must have at least two weekly rests - one of which must be at least 45 hours long. A weekly rest that falls across two weeks may be counted in either week but not in both. Any reductions must be compensated in one block by an equivalent rest added to another rest period of at least 9 hours before the end of the third week following the week in question.

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