How many hours drive over drivers
Tachograph rules for double occupancy
The double occupancy situation usually only creates confusion when people try to apply the relevant tachograph rules to this case. This short article explains how the system works.
Table of Contents
When is a vehicle considered to be double occupied?
A vehicle is considered to be double occupied if the vehicle has two drivers on board (at any point) between two daily breaks or a daily and weekly break (the drivers can both have a driver card). The first hour of this travel time is optional, which means it is possible to pick up the second driver within an hour of the shift starting. In general, the tachograph regulations apply to both drivers - apart from the rules on daily rest periods. In the case of a double occupancy, each driver must have a daily rest period of 9 hours within 30 hours, which begins after the end of the last daily or weekly rest period.
Double staffed service
If a vehicle is occupied twice, the total driving time of a single truck can be exceeded. Under ideal circumstances, the maximum driving time is 20 hours before the drivers' daily rest periods are necessary. 20 hours are only possible if both drivers can drive 10 hours (the extended daily driving time).
Our tachograph expert on double occupation
The double cast confuses most people. It is usually preferred by companies planning to travel long distances. It's easy to overestimate the possibilities that double occupancy offers and assume that you can leave the vehicle in motion 24/7, but it's not that simple. The rules that complicated it are, as always, the rules on working hours.
These state that the time it takes to get to the vehicle must be logged as “other work” (even if the journey is via car / train or other means of transport), except when the vehicle is in the Operations center is parked.
The other problem is that the daily rest break cannot be taken in a moving vehicle - as opposed to work time breaks (WTD) or a break in driving time.
If you consider these two things, you will understand why double occupancy is not an option to have the vehicle on the move 24/7.
Another problem with these regulations is, so that a vehicle is considered to be double occupied, the second driver MUST either be in the same vehicle as the first driver when starting the journey or MUST be picked up within the first hour after starting the journey if he is on the way. If this does not happen, the journey cannot be driven under the double occupancy regulations. And finally, BOTH drivers have to take their daily break after 30 hours at the latest.
Creative interpretations are possible
The second driver does not have to be the same driver from the first shift named as part of the "double shift". The first driver can be accompanied by any number of drivers, as long as he and the second driver adhere to their respective shift regulations.
The exact possibilities of the entire travel time of the "crew" depend on the duties of the individual driver. This enables creative planners to get the most out of their trucks.
Also read our short summaries on tachograph regulations in the EU and the fines for tachograph violations.
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