This guide uses the Continental Automotive (formerly Siemens) Digital Tachograph VU in most images, as this is by far the most common type of VU currently in use. For user notes for each type of VU, please consult the relevant appendices at the end of this guide.
Basic use of the VU
Before carrying out any procedure involving the VU, you must ensure that the vehicle ignition is turned on.
When starting a working period you must insert your Driver Card into the correct slot of the VU, ensuring that the ‘chip’ is facing upwards and towards the front of the tray (i.e. away from you).
If you are to be the driver of the vehicle for this period of activ ity, you must ensure that you insert your card into ‘slot 1’. I f the vehicle is being double-manned and you are the crew member, you must insert your card into ‘slot 2’. Once a Driver Card is inserted into either slot on the VU, that slot is locked in the closed position whilst the vehicle is being driven. The slot can only be opened again once the vehicle is stationary.
The vehicle should NOT be moved or driven until your card has been successfully inserted into the VU.
If you attempt to insert your Driver Card into the VU once the vehicle is moving, a warning message will be shown on the VU screen to indicate that a card has been inserted whilst driving. You should stop the vehicle, acknowledge and clear the warning and then insert your Driver Card in the normal way. The VU will store an electronic record of an attempt being made to insert a Driver Card while the vehicle was in motion, and this will be made available to the Operator as part of the regular download of the VU.
Once your Driver Card has been accepted and verified, the time of last withdrawal will be displayed and the VU will start processing. Data will be stored in the internal memory of the VU a copy of that data will be written to the Driver Card as required. If you have carried out any recordable duties since your card was last withdrawn, details of these must now be entered manually. If manual duty entries are not required you can either tell the VU that this is the case, or simply start driving which will cause the VU to terminate the manual duty entry procedure automatically.
Once you have completed the card insertion procedure, and until you start driving, the VU will record your mode of activity as ‘Other Work’ both in the VU and on your Driver Card.
Once the vehicle starts moving, the display will default to a ‘standard’ view.
Typically this standard view will display a confirmation that a valid Driver Card has been inserted into ‘slot 1’ and the current mode of work being recorded against the driver, the mode that ‘slot 2’ is set to (irrespective of whether or not a card has been inserted), the local time, the current speed of the vehicle and the current odometer reading. For more detailed descriptions of the standard view, please consult the relevant appendix in this document or the User Guide for your specific VU.
As soon as the vehicle begins to move, the VU will automatically record ‘Driving’ as the activ ity against the card in ‘slot 1’ - irrespective of the mode displayed before the truck started to move - and this data will be copied onto the Driver Card. As the VU is programmed to record data at all times, any vehicle fitted with a Digital Tachograph that is moved or driven without a valid Driver Card being inserted in the VU will record this movement as ‘driving by an unknown driver’.
There is no function available that will allow any movement of the vehicle to be
recorded and calculated as anything other than a period of ‘Driving’.