What Is A Tachograph And Its Importance In Fleet Management

What Is A Tachograph And Its Importance In Fleet Management

A tachograph is a radio-sized device that records driving time, speed, and distance. In the modern technological world, it serves as one of the essential tools for truck drivers to manage their driving time. It lets the employers make sure that the Government rules are being followed at every instance, starting from the speed of the vehicle to the total vehicle operating time.

Tachograph has a simple interface that can be coupled with an existing system. The device has a control system that transfers real-time data to the cloud server. The communication is fostered in two-ways such that both the drivers and owners can get information about the vehicle. It can also provide an immediate alert when the system gets stalled.

Let’s get to know more about tachograph, different modes, records, and types of tachograph and its importance in fleet management.


A tachograph is primarily used in transportation and mobility sectors where goods are migrated through vehicles. It aids in real-time tracking of assets and vehicles and ensures driver safety.

Its high time we move towards digital as the legacy system comes up with the analogue meter that just captures the speed with the help of a voltmeter. A digital tachograph follows the latest trend, opted by most of the stakeholders and fleet managers. A digital tachograph records information and paves the way for data analysis and cost predictions.


A tachograph consists of a vehicle unit, motion sensor, and tachograph cards. The vehicle unit has an LCD to showcase information to the drivers. There is an in-built processor, a printer, and a clock coupled with a micro-controller interface.

The motion sensor is placed in the gearbox that helps in tracking the speed of the vehicle. It is transcribed in the form of electronic signals and sent back to the vehicle unit. Extensions can be made in such a way that real-time information is sent to the cloud as and when the vehicle moves.


A tachograph collects and records the following information –

  • Vehicle Speed
  • Vehicle ID
  • Driver Status
  • Vehicle operating distance
  • Route travelled
  • Tachograph mode
  • Number of times a driver card is inserted each day
  • Date and time of each activity
  • Over speeding
  • Enforcement checks
  • Tampering
  • Errors

Modes Of Operation

The tachograph has four different modes –

  • Driving
  • Rest
  • Availability
  • Other activities

As the motion sensor is connected to the gearbox, when the ignition fires, ‘Driving’ mode gets activated automatically. The tachograph usually chooses the ‘other work’ mode automatically when the vehicle doesn’t move for a stipulated time. The ‘rest’ and ‘availability’ modes can be manually selected by the driver whilst stationary.

The tachograph contains symbols for each mode. The activity information is stored in the vehicle unit’s internal memory, through which the data is transferred across different servers.

Importance Of Tachograph In Fleet Management

A Tachograph registers the service, driving, and rest times along with their possible irregularities based on the calibration index. The data from the tachograph is the key identifier to make sure that legislative requirements are met and road safety is enhanced.

With the help of IoT, the device enables the ability to effortlessly convert valuable insights into targeted actions (e.g. training) and smart business decisions. By enhancing road safety, drivers can avoid penalties and be more proactive. A lot of time is saved with the help of up to date information, devoid of any paperwork.

Most of all, the employer can always track the fleet’s whereabouts. The employer can download the report data from the server whenever required to assess the driver’s efficiency. Also, several add-on features can be included like warnings that appear when the vehicle is due for service or if any certificate is about to expire.

In addition to this, the tachometer can be coupled with alarms that can notify drivers of any kind of violations. It can be personalised based on the requirements to meet the exact purpose. It allows employers to compare the performance of different drivers taking the same route.

This kind of automated mechanism saves a lot of time both for the drivers and fleet managers. The driver productivity can be taken to a whole new level when the system is integrated with an IoT platform. Here is one of the examples of fleet management software provided by Samsara.

Why Samsara?

Samsara provides solutions that combine hardware, software, and cloud over real-time expansion in the field of analytics, AI, and operations, serving more than 10,000 customers across various industries.

Samsara is one of the pioneers in the field of transportation and logistics. Samsara provides a real-time, open, and integrated platform of IoT solutions to cater to the need of effective fleet management. Some of the solutions include vehicle telematics, driver safety, mobile workflow, compliance, asset tracking, and industrial process controls.

Samsara provides an all-in-one compliance solution that focuses on streamlining, lowering the cost, and boosting efficiency. Have any more questions? Take a look at Samsara’s one-stop solution featuring tachograph analysis.

About the Author: Ajay

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