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Tachograph Data – How Fleets Can Find the Ideal Download Tool

  • Four questions lead to a customized solution
  • Tachograph data can provide a great overview of drivers and vehicles – if used for reports
  • Associated infographic provides quick orientation

Villingen-Schwenningen, February 18, 2020. The obligation to save digital tachograph driver and vehicle data applies equally to all companies, whether they are small one-man enterprises or large transport companies. That seems clear enough – but the experts from the technology company Continental point out that it’s up to each individual enterprise to decide just how it’s going to fulfill this obligation. The various offers, from download keys to hardware for automatic downloading, raise many questions for those concerned – and hardly anyone has the time or inclination to create a detailed analysis and weigh up the pros and cons in the stressful everyday life of a transport company. This creates frustration – and means that companies fail to use their potential to improve their efficiency. “Neither of these scenarios has to happen,” says Diego Santos-Burgoa, who advises many customers in his position as Head of Aftermarket Sales in Continental’s Commercial Vehicle Fleet Services business segment. The company has already sold more than 500,000 of its VDO download keys, 200,000 of which are of the latest generation. “We usually find the right choice for a specific fleet by asking four simple questions during a conversation,” adds Santos-Burgoa. The experts have summarized these questions and explained which tool is best suited – and when. A quick orientation is also provided by the associated infographic.

1.    How much can be budgeted?

For fleets with small budgets, download keys are the right choice. However, if a fleet company needs a large number of download keys and many vehicles have to download their data manually, it pays to consider a different option. For example, an upload terminal can transfer some of the data from the tachograph to the archive automatically. A VDO SmartTerminal can be set up in the company’s premises and drivers can manually transfer their tachograph data to it. From here the data is fed by Wi-Fi into the company network. “The important thing is to keep the total costs in mind,” says Santos-Burgoa. 

2.    Can tachograph data be downloaded manually or should it be sent automatically?

At present, many transport companies have an employee who goes to the depot when many vehicles are present and walks from vehicle to vehicle with the download key, reading out the data manually. Sometimes even the owner performs this task. Companies that want to cut back on this and save time should invest in automatic solutions. An upload terminal like the VDO SmartTerminal relieves them of part of this work because drivers submit the data themselves. With automatic wireless downloading via SIM card, companies can cross this job off of their to-do lists. Downloading is performed automatically at preset times. There is more time to deal with important matters, like e.g. in the evaluation of their tachograph data by means of automatically generated reports.

3.    Will the solution ensure compliance with legal requirements? 

There’s no reason to worry. By downloading all of their data and backing it up, transport companies fulfill their legal obligations. Backup copies can be saved on a hard disc, a server or an SD memory card that can be inserted into a download key. However, when vehicles do not return to a depot regularly, an automatic solution like DLD Wide Range II with remote data transmission is almost imperative. Otherwise there is a risk of not meeting deadlines. By law, driver card data must be read and archived at intervals of no more than 28 days. For vehicle data the maximum interval is 90 days.

4.    What about evaluation of tachograph data?

Many companies are not yet making full use of the information contained in their tachograph data. That is because they often think that the path from downloading to creation of a finished report is long and complicated. But it’s not true. Solutions exist that can fully or partially automate this process. The data can flow directly to the archiving software or – in the case of driver data – with a single click. Many of these programs can also evaluate the data immediately. Then, with only a few more clicks, fleet managers can obtain an overview of the fleet and drivers and increase their efficiency. An example is VDO TIS-Web from the tachograph manufacturer Continental, which generates a number of reports from the data. This software was developed in conjunction with the digital tachograph and the download tools. It also displays violations that were registered by the tachograph – so fleet managers can act quickly and avoid fines.

The infographic provides a quick orientation which download tool is best suited – and when.

What Continental’s individual tools can do

Continental offers fleets of all sizes the perfect infrastructure for the tachograph:

DLK Pro Download Key S – easy manual download 
This is a cost-effective solution in compact format for easy manual downloading and archiving of driver card and mass memory data, which can be transferred to a PC via the USB interface.
https://www.fleet.vdo.com/products/dlk-pro-download-key-s/

DLK Pro TIS-Compact S – first step for data evaluation 
With the DLK Pro TIS-Compact S, you can do more than just download and archive data manually – the device also enables initial data evaluations. The data can be transferred to other PC applications via the export function. https://www.fleet.vdo.com/products/dlk-pro-tis-compact-s/

VDO SmartTerminal – staying independent of office hours
The terminal is a stand-alone solution. No PC in the background is required for reading out the driver card and transmitting data from the download key – and this makes it ideal for fleets in which the drivers work independently of office hours. Users operate the terminal via a large touchscreen display similar to that of a tablet, and data transfer from the terminal to the PC takes place via Wi-Fi or network connection (Ethernet LAN). https://www.fleet.vdo.com/products/vdo-smartterminal/

DLD Wide Range II – automatic download on the road
This is the perfect hardware solution for downloading data while on the road. The DLD Wide Range II is linked to the digital tachograph and it automatically sends the encrypted vehicle and driver card data via SIM card at fixed intervals. https://www.fleet.vdo.com/products/dld-wide-range-ii/

TIS-Web – Evaluating tachograph data and keeping track of fleets 
The software TIS-Web DMM 5.0 enables fleet managers to comply with all the legal requirements for archiving data (Section 2a, German Ordinance on Crews of Vehicles, FPersV). They can see at a glance if something is amiss. Reports, statistics and automatic reminders simplify their everyday work. In addition, TIS-Web Motion provides dispatchers with real-time information on drivers and vehicles. https://www.fleet.vdo.com/products/tis-web-dmm-50/

Contact

Oliver Heil

Oliver Heil Manager Media Relations Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket Continental Phone: +49 69 7603-9406 Fax: +49 69 7603 88 9406 E-mail: