Retrofit with the second version smart tachograph now

A look into the future, it's the last Friday in November 2024: what initially looked like a relaxed timing now seems far too late. For days, fleet operators have been desperately searching for a workshop with free slots to retrofit their vehicles with the second version of the smart tachograph. The problem: not only one logistics company is late. And if the retrofitting does not work out in time before the deadline, many vehicles will be at a standstill from January.

The introduction of the new smart tachograph (2nd version) has been gradually implemented since August 2023, as stipulated in the EU Mobility Package I. At the turn of the year 2024/2025, many fleet operators will face the next important deadline: all vehicles over 3.5 tons with analogue or digital tachographs of the first version that are used in cross-border transport must be retrofitted to the new smart tachograph of the second version by December 31, 2024, at the latest. This therefore applies to all older analog and digital devices apart from the smart tachographs of the first version, such as the DTCO 4.0. So, the hot conversion phase should be underway now, right? Far from it, many fleet operators are still putting off this obligation. For various reasons: On the one hand, due to various national exemptions and transitional regulations, there is a lack of clarity about what applies to whom and when. On the other hand, there is still the (false) rumor that there are currently not enough devices in stock. But if you plan ahead for the retrofit, you can save time and money.


Not retrofitting in time can be expensive!

Anyone who fails to comply with the obligation to install the new tachograph in good time will have to dig deep. If it is discovered during an inspection that a truck is on the road with an outdated tachograph, the same fine is due as if there was no tachograph at all. In this case, the fine in Germany, for example, is 1,500 euros. And it is now particularly easy for the authorities to check vehicles, as the DSRC-RP module in the tachograph allows them to identify the black sheep by remotely scanning them, literally as they drive past.


Get a retrofitting slot now and save money

Once the turn of the year is upon us, it's too late: workshop capacities are exhausted and the queue outside the workshop door is long. This can be avoided! It is particularly efficient to combine the retrofitting appointment with the periodic inspection required anyway in accordance with Section 57b StVZO. This saves fleet operators the cost of an additional workshop visit and the vehicles are back on the road more quickly. This reduces expensive downtimes and gives fleet managers the security of being able to travel across borders in January.

Use the free capacities of the VDO partner workshops and take care of the mandatory retrofitting to a smart tachograph of the second version, such as the VDO DTCO 4.1, now. Find a workshop near you here!


EU Mobility Package I: What are the deadlines for retrofitting the second version of the smart tachograph?

According to the EU Mobility Package I, newly registered commercial vehicles have had to be equipped with the new second version of the smart tachograph since August 2023. The task now is to make existing vehicles fit for the future. The following timetable clearly breaks down which vehicles must be retrofitted and by when:

  • December 31,2024: Old analog or digital tachographs of the first version must be replaced by a new smart tachograph of the second version in all vehicles in cross-border transportation with a gross vehicle weight of more than 3.5 tons.
  • August 2025: Vehicles in cross-border traffic with a gross vehicle weight of more than 3.5 tons and a smart tachograph of the first version must be retrofitted with a smart tachograph of the second version.
  • July 2026: Light commercial vehicles and vans in cross-border transport logistics with a gross vehicle weight of more than 2.5 tons must also be equipped with smart tachographs of the second version, such as the VDO DTCO 4.1.

The EU Commission has clarified that there will be no delay to this law and estimates that several hundred thousand vehicles will have to be retrofitted by the end of 2024. In its communication to the member states "Note for the attention of the Members of the Committee on Road Transport" – Ref. Ares (2024) 1655409 – dated March 4, 2024, the EU Commission therefore also makes a clear recommendation to use the upcoming regular tachograph inspection to carry out the retrofit.


Make the DTCO Retrofit Check now!

Are you unsure whether the new legislation also affects your fleet and which retrofit deadline applies to your vehicles? You will find practical help in our new central information portal myVDO for fleets, workshops and drivers: with the DTCO Retrofit Check, you can get a reliable assessment of your situation with just a few clicks. Within myVDO you will also find all the important information about the EU Mobility Package I, the latest software updates and user guides, eLearnings on VDO products, the latest videos about the tachograph from VDO brand ambassador Olli and much more. Register now and never miss any relevant news again!