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last year

EU Drivers Hours Rules

EU Drivers Hours Rules

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The following rules apply to vehicles that are used for the ‘carriage of goods by road’ which is defined in short, as any journey made on public roads.

EU Drivers Hours Rules apply to all drivers of large goods vehicles (LGVs) over 3.5 tonnes. The EU Drivers Hours Rules are used to set limits for daily, weekly and nightly driving. They also specify minimum break times for drivers during a working day, along with daily and weekly rest periods.

This guide does not cover rules for passenger vehicles, nor does it cover journeys made outside the UK.

The EU defines a driver as anyone who:

  • Drives a vehicle
  • Is carried on the vehicle so that they may drive

Driving Time

Any amount of driving, no matter how small, puts the driver in the scope of the EU rules for the whole of that day. Meaning simply that if you drive, you must comply with all driving, break, and rest requirements not only for the day, but the week as well.

Daily Breaks

The rules say that after driving 4.5 hours a driver is required to take an uninterrupted break of 45 minutes. While on this break, they may not carry out any other driving work. Included also is doing work other than rather than driving. If a driver drives for 2.5 hours, does some other work for an hour then drivers for an additional 2.5 hours, then they must take a 45 minute break, no exceptions. The 45 minute break can however be taken like this; one break of at least 15 minutes, which is followed by another of at least 30 minutes in any given 4.5 hour period.

Daily Driving Time

The absolute maximum daily driving time is nine hours in a 24 hour period. This is allowed to be increased to ten hours twice a week. Daily Driving Time is calculated like this. The total accumulated driving time one has between the end of a daily rest period and the beginning of the next daily rest period.

Weekly Driving Limit

The EU rules say that weekly driving limit should not exceed 56 hours in a week. So, the math says … 4 x 9 hour days, plus 2 x 10 hour and you have your ‘fixed’ week of 56 hours. This fixed week starts at midnight on Monday and ends one week later.

Two Week Driving Limit

The rules say that maximum driving time over any given two-weekly period is 90 hours.

Rest Periods

All drivers must take a daily rest period during each 24 hour period. This rest must be uninterrupted. Time that is spent working in other types of employment, including self-employed work, is not counted as rest. The EU rules state that an eleven hour daily rest period is recognized as a ‘regular’ daily rest period.

A driver is allowed to split a ‘regular’ daily rest period into two periods. The first period should be at least three hours uninterrupted rest, and is permitted be taken any time during the day. The second period without exception, must be nine hours of uninterrupted rest, for a combined total of twelve hours minimum.

By definition, a daily rest period that is less than eleven hours, but at least nine hours long, is called a ‘reduced’ daily rest period. A driver is allowed to reduce their daily rest period to no less than nine continuous hours however, this can be done no more than three times between any two given weekly rest periods. A daily rest break may be taken in a vehicle, providing it has suitable sleeping facilities and of course, is stationary.

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last year

Walk Around Check for Recovery Vehicles

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“A motor vehicle, every trailer drawn thereby and all parts and accessories of such vehicle and trailer shall at all times be in such condition at all times be such, that no danger is caused or is likely to be caused to any person in or on the vehicle or trailer or on a road. Also no motor vehicle or trailer shall be used for any purpose for which it is so unsuitable as to cause or be likely to cause danger or nuisance to any person in or on the vehicle or trailer or on a road.”

From The Road Vehicles Construction & Use regulations:

Recovery Truck Check List

To ensure your vehicle remains legal it is best practice to perform a walk around check before each trip. This is even more applicable in bad weather or when the vehicle you drive may change based on shift patterns should you be working for a large recovery company with a fleet of recovery pickups. For a complete comprehensive guide with advise and tips please refer to this government complied document for drivers of recovery trucks. 

Check The Steering Mechanism 

Check for any oil leaks and when driving knocking noises are normally a precursor to something more serious and should  be investigated without any delay before it turns into an expensive fix.  

Check Air Brakes

Keep a constant check for any air or oil leaks and be prepared to drain the air tank system if necessary.

Headlamps , Beacons  and Lamps

Check for damage to the glass and discoloration of the casing and check mounting so they are angled to avoid blinding oncoming drivers.

Speed Limiter

If your recovery vehicle is fitted with this device ensure calibration is correctly set with appropriate plaque and seals.

Fuel system

​Check the fuel lines for leaks or damaged seals, start it up and check exhaust, any black fumes is a danger sign and should be further checked by the mechanic before taking to the road. 

Reflectors

​Check for missing or damaged reflectors, both sides and rear of your recovery vehicle.

Suspension

Check the recovery vehicle sits squarely and listen for any knocking noises from this region whilst driving. if lopsided something is wrong and needs further checking by your truck mechanic.

Wheels and Tryes

Check nuts are secure, when parking try and avoid direct sunlight as they lead to perished rubber, also vary the resting position of wheels when parked. Check tyre thread is at least 1 mm.

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a couple of years ago

Truck driving safety tips

Keeping your truck road safe

Truck drivers have a challenging job which exposes them to multiple risks. They often put in extended work hours and have to handle the heavy vehicles in different climatic conditions. Safety measures should therefore be a top priority for all truck drivers. Here are a few safety tips for new truck drivers.

Ensure your truck is safe to drive

You should be familiar with the truck assigned to you and ensure that you take care of it as though it were your own. You should also inspect your truck regularly. Before embarking on any trip, ensure that you inspect it, checking the brakes, oil, water, and lights among other important parts to ensure that they are in the best working condition or level. 

Carrying out quick and simple checks will reduce accidents that could have been prevented by a simple safety check. With fewer accidents your truck insurance premium will be kept under control and may even go down. 

  • 1
    Air Brake Check : Before embarking on a comprehensive brake test make sure your truck is  on level ground with the park brake set.
  • 2
    Reduce Blind Spots : Driving a truck carrying huge containers compromises your vision of areas such as the back of the truck and immediately below the windshield. Statistics indicate that many truck-related accidents are caused by other vehicles approaching these blind spots. To reduce the occurrence of such accidents, it is important to increase your vision all round your truck. This can be done by extra mirrors installed at different angles.
  • 3
    Plan safety routes and secure cargo : Select the safest routes that have less pedestrians and vehicle traffic to use on your trip. It is also best to choose a route that is more familiar to you. To enhance safety, never overload your truck. You should also ensure that the load is properly secured to prevent it from falling off the truck. Proper loading and securing of the load also helps to maintain balance when you turning at sharp corners and tight curves.
  • 4
    Watch you speed : Drive the truck at a safe speed especially at high traffic areas and when turning. The weight of the truck has an impact on its momentum so you should always slow down well in advance when braking and turning. You can also enhance your safety and that of other road users by not tailgating. Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.
  • 5
    Use Signals : USe all the signals that you have at your disposal. This includes lights and hand signals to alert other drivers of your intentions. You can also use stickers or paint warnings on the sides and rear of the truck so that other drivers are informed to take necessary caution.
a couple of years ago

5 tips To Guard your Cargo

Have you stopped to consider how much money is being lost by your company on lost cargo or freight? Just one trailer load can amount to thousands of pounds. If it is your responsibility to keep the cargo safe whilst you are in charge of the consignment. However freight can often been see left totally unattended at the mercy of the cunning thief who can make easy money for stealing 1 trailer load. Below Fast Truck Insurance has provided some tips to help ensure the risk of losses is greatly reduced.

Perform Background Check

The facts show that most thefts involving cargo or freight are inside jobs. As such the best way to keep your freight safe is to do a meticulous background check on all your employees both full time and part time. In summary any body that has access to the cargo area should be screened for past offences.

Put in Place Security Protocols

Be proactive and ensure training in security is provided for all your staff. Examples include parking in areas of good visibility , making sure the vehicle is left secure if they need to leave it for any amount of time, adding extra security devices can also help as deterrent. Make it part of company policy that drivers must never reveal the contents of their cargo to anyone in the company and outside of the company including family.

Add a GPS Tracking Device

If a trailer is stolen you will need to know where it now is or where it is going. The solution is simple, simply add a GPS tracking device which will provide all the necessary information to making the safe return of your trailer and cargo. These devices should be concealing in all your trailers and work cabs. This will enable your entire fleet to be monitored in real time.  This comes with many other advantage such as monitoring delivery progress/times.

Park Your Truck in a Safe Area

Situations happen that may mean a valuable cargo which should have been delivered to a valued customer on Friday will have to wait until Monday morning. It such situations it is crucial to park the trailer and load in a secure area ideally with security guards manning the entrance and exits of the cargo yard. At the very least park in area that is easily visible to security, switch on all security devices to warn away potential thieves.

Add Radio Frequency Tracking

trailer-gps-tracker

Radio Frequency Tracking is another method of keep an eye on the movement of your fleet and any valuable cargo whilst stationary or in transit.

a couple of years ago

Leaving Space is no 1 Driving tip

Simon Sheldon-Wilson, Traffic Management Director for the Highways Agency, says:

14% of casualties on our roads are caused by people tailgating. That’s why we’re reminding people to stay safe and keep at least a 2-second gap from the car in front.

1. Number 1 tip is always keep your distance the more equates to lower chance of collision, think of driving on deserted highway. The most common form of collision is the rear collision, someone driving too close or not paying attention to the truck or car in front and slams into your rear. However you do have some control , if for example this happens and you do need to stop or slow down , do it gradually so that the driver behind can stop in time . In emergencies this may not always be possible . As safely feature increase you will see in trucks Safety features and cars that having flashing break lights that are activated when you break hrd, others have emergency lighting all to alter the driver behind that they need to slow down quickly. Time to mention the 2 second rule or better still the 3 second rule that only an idiot would break. Leave at least 2 seconds in dry weather of space in front and more depending on the driving conditions, 4 seconds may be necessary if poor visibility or longer if snow and ice are present and advise then is to double the distance so 4 seconds becomes 8 seconds. Also think ahead and leave space to get out , this can best be achieved by keeping space on both sides, ie never drive along side another vehicle as this severely limits. Accordingly if someone starts to drive alongside you slow down so that the space is regained.

Highways Agency warns tailgaters that ‘only a fool breaks the 2-second rule’

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/highways-agency-warns-tailgaters-that-only-a-fool-breaks-the-two-second-rule