Article 34(7) of Regulation (EU) No. 165/2014 stipulates that drivers must input the symbol of the country in which they begin or end their workday into the digital tachograph, and this is an unpopular routine that is often deliberately overlooked. The new EU mobility package regulations will also affect this routine – because they stipulate that drivers must input a country’s symbol into the tachograph as soon as they have crossed its border.
Input at the beginning of the first stop.
The regulation will come into force on February 2, 2022. However, exactly how this will look in actual practice remains to be seen. The standard requires that the country code be entered after crossing the border into a Member State at the first stop in that Member State. However, the “first stop” is still very vaguely defined. For example, the regulation states that the stop must be made at the nearest possible stopping place at or after the border. Only drivers with vehicles travelling on a ferry or train must first enter the country’s symbol at the port or railway station at which they arrive. In any case, the regulation is likely to result in internationally-operating commercial vehicles having to take a short forced break after crossing a border – because the country code may only be entered when the vehicle is stationary. Even inputting the country code alone can take some time – so you can probably guess just how this regulation is going to be received by already beleaguered driving personnel. Time-consuming is undoubtedly the case in Spain, where the respective regions must also be entered after the “E” country identifier has been entered.
Get back on the road faster!
However, transport companies already using the DTCO 4.0e comfort upgrade have it a bit easier. Thanks to an integrated map for country and region recognition, the relevant country appears by default in the display. Drivers can select it there and then, eliminating the tiresome scrolling through up to 29 country codes to find the right one. By the way: Since the comfort upgrade 4.0e doesn’t need any new hardware, the latest version can be installed at the next visit to the workshop. The upgrade is just a small investment that can make drivers’ lives much easier, and not only for the country code routine.
When the new DTCO 4.1 is introduced, it will also eliminate the annoying new “pit stop” routine because it will detect and store the vehicle location at specific times and locations – including border crossings – during daily working hours. The DTCO 4.1 will also meet the stringent security and encryption technology requirements, so drivers will no longer have to make manual entries when crossing a border.