Manual Readouts of Speedometer Data Outdated


With the regulation (EG) 561/2006 entering into force in May 2006, all commercially used vehicles in Europe must be endowed with a digital speedometer. They considerably contribute to further improving and slimming down the organisational efforts for managing the company fleet, i.e. optimising the route planning for each and every vehicle, controlling the driver’s compliance with the driving times and rest periods.

The digital speedometer gathers in a sealed storage module all data about the driving times and working hours as well as availability and rest periods of the respective driver over a maximum time period of 365 days. Moreover, the driving speeds are recorded in seconds increments within the last 24 hours in the tachograph for any police checks. Speed limits are permanently recorded in the mass data memory.

According to European legislation, it is necessary to manually read out the data from the digital tachograph. To download an archive of the vehicle and driver data – the so-called “ddd.files” – gathered by the digital speedometer, a download key would be necessary. However, such a download key used for the manual downloads of the “ddd.files” solely reads out the data, but the analysis as well as checking for completeness of these data and against violations has to be done by hand. This, in turn, would constitute potential sources of errors.

Technically speaking, the standard download key can only be used to manually copy all data from the mass memory of the speedometer as well as the driver card. When downloading data via a classical download key, it is necessary to connect it to the speedometer and transfer all data to another technical device. This key, however, does NOT automatically observe applicable law, as the data needs to be checked for completeness and violations by hand.

Manual Readouts of Speedometer Data Outdated truck

Remote Speedometer Downloads as Innovative Alternative

Meanwhile, the manual download of “ddd.files” via a download key is replaced by a digital method. Nowadays, both the mass memory and the EU driver cards can be read out and downloaded remotely. As the legal deadlines and requirements are constantly tightened, a remote download of all speedometer data can take place on demand and without organisational or administrational effort. According to legal regulations, the mass memory of the vehicle must be read out and archived every 90 days, for the driver card, a deadline of 28 days applies. In case of infringements, i.e. the compliance with the working hours, the haulier and respectively the company to which the vehicle belongs faces severe penalties.

Moreover, a remote speedometer enables the fleet manager to obtain a live access onto the driving and rest times of each driver, viewing the remaining driving time for each driver is indicated. For the fleet managers, this offers a prime opportunity to improve the route planning of each company vehicle – contributing to saving money and to improving the occupancy rate of the vehicles. After the remote download of all data, their statutory archiving must be ensured. Via an archiving software, the companies are obliged to safe the “ddd.files” for a later check by the authorities.

Remote Downloads for an Easy Handling

Both innovative technology areas – communications and informatics, combined telematics – take over here, as telematic systems over a remote download of the mass data stored on the speedometer.

For companies with a large fleet, such telematic systems also offer major advantages for the fleet manager as all data can be downloaded remotely on a stationary system while the vehicles are still on the move. Thus, the fleet manager considerably saves time and organisational effort.


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