Taco or tacho break?


Whether they’re stopping for a tasty Mexican treat or not, all drivers must have a 45-minute break after 4.5 hours of driving to stay in line with Government legislation.

This could present drivers with the perfect opportunity to grab a tasty-filled tortilla, or indeed a meal of any kind, but it is the rest from driving that is really important. If drivers were to drive continuously without a break, they’d run the risk or getting tired and making mistakes, which no one can afford to do on our busy roads, so breaks are essential.

All commercial heavy goods vehicles must be fitted with a digital tachograph to record their driving. This includes speed, distance travelled and the amount of time they’ve been driving. The drive mode is activated automatically when the vehicle is in motion.

All drivers must be properly trained on how to use the tachograph in their vehicle to ensure it is being done correctly. All tachographs should be calibrated, inspected and re-calibrated in line with the rules.

Did you know?

  • Under UK law, commercial drivers must keep 28 days’ worth of tachograph records on board. Records beyond this 28-day period must be handed over to the fleet operator at the earliest opportunity.
  • Fleet operators must be allowed to download digital tachograph data from driver cards at least every 28 calendar days or whenever requested.
  • Digital tachograph data must be downloaded from vehicle units at least every 90 calendar days by fleet operators.
  • Fleet operators must retain both digital and analogue tachograph records for at least a year where used for compliance with European Drivers’ Hours and Tachograph Regulations
  • For compliance with the Working Time Directive, records must be kept for two years.

What does this mean for the customer?

  • Tacho breaks are planned by the driver around their work at the start of each day, however, factors such as delays with previous customers, traffic, availability of parking, and mechanical issues means the tacho break may be taken sooner or later than planned. This unfortunately prevents us from guaranteeing delivery times
  • Waiting for a driver on a tacho break? Drivers cannot exceed their allowed driving time as they will be breaking the law and, more importantly, the health and safety of the driver and other road users will be put at risk. Respect the tacho break!

Find out more about TJ’s drivers and the services offered.