Directors and Transport Managers who are occasional HGV drivers: Are you recording your other work properly?

The appearance of DBM Haulage Limited at a Public Inquiry (before the Deputy Traffic Commissioner for the Southeastern and Metropolitan Traffic Area) was recently published and it has some interesting information in it.

(The full decision can be found here).

One aspect of the case involved a director that occasionally drove an HGV and the failure to record his other work properly.

It’s an issue which crops up fairly regularly, particularly with smaller, family-style businesses.

Similarly, but more rarely, we come across Transport Managers and mechanics who also occasionally drive, but don’t record their other duties on their tachograph.

In this case, the analysis of tachograph records of the director showed that he was failing to keep records of the non-driving time he spent working as a director.

This problem should be easy enough to spot by anyone looking at the tachograph analysis thoroughly.

It’s certainly something operators and Transport Managers should be aware of.

If someone has office-based duties, for example, you should expect to see large amounts of manual entries on their tachograph showing their other work.

If a director is driving, and there is no other work showing, how are they running the business or monitoring licence compliance?

Either they’re not running their business properly and potentially failing in their fiduciary duties, or they are not recording their other work. The latter being much more likely.

The long and short of it is this: If someone who drives an HGV does not record their other work, they are committing criminal offences and could be prosecuted.

Furthermore, it makes the analysis of the tachograph data meaningless because you’re not actually analysing their true hours.

What appears to be a lawful daily or weekly rest may in fact have been broken up by the completion of other unrecorded duties.

Not only is this unlawful, but it is potentially dangerous.

If a director is getting into a vehicle, without having the appropriate rest, tired from the stresses of running the business, they are a risk to themselves and other road users.

I would suggest that any driver showing an unusually low amount of data on their tachograph for that particular business, is an indication that something should be investigated:

  • Are they part time or semi-retired? Does that explain the limited data?
  • If they are an agency driver, are they driving or working elsewhere and not recording it?
  • Is the driver pulling their card? The missing mileage report will help answer that question.
  • Do they undertake other duties within the business, such as mechanic, director, manager? If so, why aren’t these duties being recorded on their tachograph?

Alternatively, if you’re seeing a director driving full-time, you know you have problems.

For further information or guidance in this matter, please contact Jared.