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Technological developments follow each other quickly and in succession and that also applies to the transport world.

In the night from Saturday 25 to Sunday 26 March it's that time again: we go from winter time to summer time. This means that the clock goes forward one hour (from 2:00 to 3:00) and that you have to set the clock on your digital tachograph forward one hour, because that will probably not happen automatically. But there's more.

From 21 August 2023, all new vehicles subject to tachograph registration must be equipped with the new tachograph smart tacho 2. For vehicles with an analogue and digital tachograph, that date is 31 December 2024 at the latest for vehicles with a smart tacho 1. the latest August 21, 2025.

In the future, the tachograph will not only be used to enforce driving rest periods, but also to enforce cabotage and posting (secondment). For that reason, the smart tacho 2 will contain a number of new functionalities. In addition, a number of extra security aspects will be added and the controller will be able to read more information at a short distance via the DSRC.

Vehicles used for driving lessons and exams for obtaining a driving license or a certificate of professional competence, provided that these vehicles are not used for the commercial transport of goods or persons, are exempt from the use of the tachograph.

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digital tachograph
digital tachograph

Digital tachograph mandatory for new buses, trucks and light commercial vehicles.

A tachograph records the driving and rest times, the speed and the distance traveled by a vehicle. Heavy trucks, buses and light commercial vehicles in professional freight transport must have a digital tachograph. The digital tachograph is mandatory for buses and coaches carrying more than 8 passengers, not including the driver. The buses and coaches have a date of first admission after 1 May 2006. Also heavy commercial vehicles in professional freight transport, with a date of first admission after 1 May 2006.

The fines are quite high and there is strict monitoring for abuse. It is therefore very important to treat the digital tachograph and the driver card seriously. From August 21, 2023, the smart tacho 2 (SMT2) will be mandatory for newly registered vehicles. From August 19, 2025, this obligation also applies to all vehicles mentioned above. From July 1, 2026, the Smart Tacho 2 (SMT2) is also mandatory for all vehicles used for freight transport with a maximum permitted weight exceeding 2.500 kg.

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