Driving rules for heavy vehicles when transporting goods across Europe
Take a break until you make it – the importance of pausing when driving
Drivers of heavy vehicles must take necessary breaks and not drive for too long. This is regulated by compulsory daily and weekly rest periods pursuant to common European regulations and registered by a digital tachograph in the vehicle. The tachograph is connected to a global navigation satellite system and automatically records the speed and distance together with the driver’s activity during the working day.
The regulations apply in the EEA (European Economic Area) and Switzerland. If you are driving into, from, in or between countries outside the EEA, the AETR agreement (European Agreement concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles engaged in International Road Transport) applies. These rules are largely identical to the rules that apply in the EEA.
What exactly do the driving rules mean for professional drivers?
In practice, the driving rules mean that after a maximum of four and a half hours of driving, the drivers must take a break for at least 45 minutes (main rule) and that within every 24 hours they must rest for at least eleven consecutive hours, or at least three hours plus nine hours of rest (main rule). A weekly rest period of at least 45 hours must be taken no more than six days after the previous weekly rest period (main rule), and if the drivers are having this rest in Belgium, France or Germany, they are not allowed to stay in their truck.
As a customer, how do the driving rules affect my shipment?
As a customer, one of the most important things is to get your goods to the final destination in time and in the very same condition as when they were shipped off. The purpose of the regulations is to improve drivers’ working conditions, increase road safety and ensure a level-playing field among shipping companies. When the driving rules are followed the risk of accidents on the roads is much reduced as there are no heavy vehicles with exhausted drivers behind the wheels, and the chance of your goods arriving safely and on time is much increased.
Truck driving bans in Europe may affect delivery times
However, most of the countries in Europe, except for Scandinavia, have a general truck driving ban when it is Bank Holiday and Sunday. In addition, some countries also have a general truck driving ban the evening before a Bank Holiday as well as on Saturdays. When summer is coming, some countries will expand the truck driving ban within a certain period of time starting from the first of June and ending on the 31st of September. This means that you as a customer may be affected by the increased road traffic leading to longer delivery times.
Unsure of when and where drivers are not allowed to drive? Here you will find useful information about truck driving bans across Europe.
Greencarrier takes responsibility for the delivery of your goods
But – in addition to making sure everything is done “by the book” – it is our responsibility as a freight forwarder to always do our very best to make sure you are happy with your delivery! Supplier declarations are collected from our subcontractors so that we can be certain that our partners abide by the regulations and do not contribute to social dumping. To us, at Greencarrier Freight Services, it is important to care about everyone involved in the shipping process including importers, exporters, customs agents, shipping companies, consolidators, carriers, drivers and so on. This is simply part of our CSR and how we do business.
This is where I will end this blog post – I hope it was useful! Curious about our road services? We offer FTL, LTL, PTL services and much more! Still unsure of the rules? Contact me, and I am happy to help you with more detailed information.
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