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Trucker glossary jargon

Truck Jargon

The world of trucking and truck insurance  comes with its fair share of jargon. Below we have complied the key terms along with a short description.

  • Gross Vehicle Weight: The weight of a vehicle and its load.
  • Train Weight: The weight of a vehicle, a trailer and its load. PLATED WEIGHT.
  • Plated Weight:Either the design weight limit given on a manufacturer’s plate or the legal weight limit given on the Department’s plate
  • Draw Bar Trailer available for carriage and reward
  • Semi-Trailer: A trailer forming part of an articulated vehicle.
  • Articulated Truck A tractor unit with a semi-trailer attached where part of the load is borne by the drawing vehicle.

Articulated Lorries (Artics) are the main vehicle category to transport goods by road. This combines a tractor unit with a trailer using a  turn-table device.  Artics have different types of trailers some of the most common are listed below:

  • Flatbed trailer - Most versatile and can be used for almost any kind of cargo one disadvantage is that the  goods need to be protected from the elements and theft.​​​​
  • Tilt trailer -  Similar to the flat bed trailer, but with a removable canopy.
  • Curtain side - Most common vehicle for road haulage and comes with a rigid roof and rear doors. The sides are PVC curtains that can be drawn back for easy loading and unloading.
  • Box trailer - Boxed rigid unit, with loading through back doors. A must for long haulage or for valuable goods.
  • Road train - a rigid vehicle at the front, which pulls a trailer behind it.
  • Low-loaders - Can be  used for transporting heavy machinery and other outsize goods. Set low to the ground for easy loading.
  • Draw Bar Trailer available for carriage and reward
  • Swap-body system -Not common and have been designed to accommodate standard cargo containers. 

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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