HGV driver hours and the benefits of remote fleet management

HGV driver hours and the benefits of remote fleet management

As the United Kingdom settles into life outside the EU, rules and regulations for many have now become somewhat of a grey area. This includes driver hours for HGVs operating in Great Britain and on the continent.

For HGV fleet managers, including those operating passenger-carrying vehicles, there are rules you must follow relating to how many hours your drivers can be behind the wheel as well as how often they should be taking breaks. Depending on which countries you travel in, there are three sets of rules that could apply to a driver’s journey.

Here, we outline the different rules and what they mean, and discuss how remote fleet management services are proving to be beneficial to fleet operators who are having to ensure they abide by a variety of regulations.

Rules will vary depending on the type of vehicle being driven and the country the driver is operating in.

EU rules

The following rules apply to drivers operating in EU countries.

  • Drivers must not exceed more than 9 hours per day of driving – this can be extended to 10 hours twice a week
  • Drivers must not drive more than 56 hours in a week
  • Drivers must not drive more than 90 hours in any two consecutive weeks
  • All driving must be recorded on a tachograph
  • Drivers must rest for at least 11 hours every day. This can be reduced to 9 hours rest, three times between any two weekly rest periods
  • Drivers must have an unbroken rest period for 45 hours every week. This can be reduced to 24 hours every other week
  • Drivers must have a break totalling a minimum of 45 minutes after every period of driving totalling a maximum of 4 hours and 30 minutes
  • Drivers should take their weekly rest after six consecutive 24-hour periods of working, starting from the end of the last weekly rest period taken
  • Coach drivers on an international trip can take their weekly rest after 12 consecutive 24-hour periods, starting from the end of the last weekly rest period taken

AETR rules

AETR – The European Agreement Concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles Engaged in International Road Transport – rules are now the same as the EU rules for drivers’ hours.

GB domestic rules

GB domestic rules apply to vehicles operating in Great Britain and affect most passenger-carrying vehicles and goods vehicles that don’t have to follow the EU rules. The rules for goods vehicles are slightly different to those for passenger-carrying vehicles. For drivers working for a company, duty time refers to any time spent working on the company’s behalf. If you are a self-employed driver, then duty time is the time you spend driving for work or doing other work related to the vehicle or its load.

Goods vehicle rules for Great Britain

Drivers must not drive for more than 10 hours per day on a public road or off-road if not during duty time.

Off-road driving counts as duty time if it’s for:

  • Agriculture
  • Quarrying
  • Forestry
  • Building work
  • Civil engineering

Drivers must not be on duty for more than 11 hours in any working day. This limit does not apply on any working day when you do not drive.

Driver hours must be recorded on a weekly record sheet or a tachograph.

GB rules for goods vehicles do not need to be followed if:

  • A driver is dealing with an emergency e.g. a major disruption to public services or danger to life
  • A driver is using the vehicle for private driving and not for work
  • A driver is driving off-road or on private roads during duty time
  • A driver is operating a vehicle used by the armed forces, police or fire brigade

Passenger-carrying vehicle rules for Great Britain

  • Drivers must not drive more than 10 hours in any working day
  • Drivers must take a break of at least 30 minutes for rest and refreshment after 5 hours and 30 minutes of driving
  • Alternatively, drivers must take a minimum of 45 minutes break within any period of 8 hours and 30 minutes of driving. Drivers must also have a break of at least 30 minutes at the end of this period, unless it’s the end of the working day
  • Drivers must not work more than 16 hours between the times of starting and finishing work, including non-driving work and any times when a driver is off
  • Drivers must take a rest of 10 hours before the first duty and immediately after the last duty in a working week
  • Drivers must take a rest of at least 10 hours between two working days. This can be reduced to 8.5 hours up to three times per week
  • Drivers must take at least one period of 24 hours off duty every two weeks

GB rules for passenger-carrying vehicles do not need to be followed if:

  • A driver is dealing with an emergency e.g. a major disruption to public services or danger to life
  • A driver operates a vehicle for less than four hours a day in a week

If a driver operates a vehicle for more than four hours for up to two days a week, then they will not need to follow the rules. However, they will need to:

  • Follow the rules for daily driving limits and the length of the working day
  • Start and finish their duties within a 24-hour period
  • Take a rest of 10 hours before the first duty and immediately after the last duty

The benefits of remote fleet management

Managing a fleet of road-going vehicles is a complex and challenging process. Keeping up to date with ever-changing regulations, staying in control of fuel costs and insurance premiums, and maintaining safety are all demanding and time-consuming tasks.

Fortunately, here at Brigade we have the solution to effectively and efficiently manage your multi-national fleet. Brigade’s MDR with BRIDGE enables fleet managers to live track vehicles, providing numerous benefits for operators.

This includes location tracking so that managers can find their fleet anytime and anywhere, geo-fencing capabilities so managers can identify when vehicles are entering or leaving specific areas and trigger warnings that instantly notify fleet managers of incidents. For drivers, they can also send an instant notification in the event of an emergency. All these features greatly improve the fleet management experience and improve safety both on and off the road.

As well as supporting fleet management, fitting vehicle CCTV provides a range of other benefits. These include improving driver training, providing proof against insurance claims, providing protection for drivers who may have been wrongly accused as to the cause of an incident, providing irrefutable evidence in the case of accidents and legal proceedings, and encouraging driver best practice, resulting in less vehicle damage and fewer accidents. Additionally, vehicle CCTV also helps to deter vandalism and offers peace of mind for passengers and drivers.

For further information about Brigade and our safety products, please get in touch.

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