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Analogue Tachograph

What is an analogue tachograph?

An analogue tachograph is a device that records driving information in trucks and vehicles. It uses styluses to mark a wax-coated chart, providing details on speed, activity, and distance. The chart includes sections for manual entries, working periods, and work done outside the vehicle. Some older trucks and buses continue to utilize analog tachographs for capturing driver information.

A tachograph recording device is obligatory for trucks weighing over 3.5 tonnes in order to document essential driver data. These devices are employed to ensure adherence to driving time regulations, rest periods, and breaks. Additionally, they provide data regarding distance covered and speed. Tachograph records must be accessible for inspection by law enforcement officers and prove beneficial for fleet managers in effectively managing their operations.

How does analogue tachograph work?

The analogue tachograph disc undergoes a continuous rotation throughout the day, while the stylus leaves marks on the wax-coated surface. A complete rotation takes 24 hours, and the discs must be replaced once they have completed their cycle. Failure to do so may result in overlapping marks on the initial trace. Additionally, it is a violation of EU regulations to continue using an analogue disc beyond its capacity. Vehicles registered before 2006 are equipped with analogue tachograph discs, and subsequently replaced with digital tachographs in 2006.

To use an analogue tachograph, drivers manually fill in information, insert a paper disk, and select work modes. The tachograph accurately records speed and activities associated with the gearbox and speed sensor. At the end of the day, drivers remove the tachograph and note card extraction details, mileage, and final destination.

Tachographs are legally required in trucks and buses to record driver information, aiding fleet managers in monitoring compliance. They should be checked every two years and recalibrated every six years.

Did you know?

The wax-coated chart used in analogue tachographs was originally developed to address a unique problem. In the early days of tachograph usage, ink-based recording systems were prone to freezing in cold temperatures. To overcome this issue, the concept of using wax-coated charts was introduced, as the wax remained pliable and allowed for continuous recording even in extremely cold weather conditions. This innovation ensured that accurate driver data could be recorded regardless of the temperature, making analogue tachographs a reliable tool for monitoring driving activities in various climates.


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