Photo credits @ Stoneridge

Hauliers urged to prepare for smart tachograph deadline by tachograph manufacturer

In response to the looming deadlines, European tachograph manufacturer Stoneridge Electronics has issued an open letter to the transport industry. Peter Österberg, CEO of Stoneridge Electronics, reiterates the urgent need for transport companies to replace their tachographs promptly to avoid a surge in workshop installations later this year. In particular, the final and unalterable deadline for this operation is 31 December 2024.

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Österberg stresses the importance of this transition due to upcoming legislation that will come into force in 2024. This legislation requires owners of analogue tachographs and 1B digital tachographs used in international transport to replace them. With time running out, the pressure on the industry is mounting.

At Stoneridge Electronics, the manufacturer of the Smart 2 tachograph, we are seeing demand in the marketplace fall far short of what was planned. It is worrying that the European transport industry is delaying the upgrade of tachographs. The direct consequence could be an underestimation of production with a rush of installations in service at the end of the year. In order to protect our customers from delays and longer waiting times at garages, we urge you to take precautionary measures and start retrofitting vehicles from April 2024, the letter reads.

Österberg also emphasises the need for commitment from all stakeholders in the transport industry to communicate that the EU mobility package will be implemented and enforced within an appropriate and unchanged timeframe.

Stoneridge Electronics’ CEO also highlights the proactive attitude of responsible hauliers who have already started replacing tachographs, taking advantage of the availability of equipment and the lack of queues at workshops. However, the company warns of potential challenges towards the end of the year, when all hauliers will be forced to quickly replace the equipment in their trucks, which is likely to result in high levels of activity at service centres. This, in turn, could disrupt the smooth running of hauliers and affect their normal operations.

It is worth noting that from 1 January 2025, the Road Transport Inspectorate will start checking that vehicles are fitted with 2nd generation smart tachographs. Companies that fail to comply with the replacement requirement will face heavy fines.

In line with these developments, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) has urged the International Road Transport Union (IRU) to raise awareness among its members of the upcoming deadlines for mandatory retrofitting of the Smart Tachograph v2.

A letter from Kristian Schmidt, Director General of DG MOVE, to Raluca Marian, IRU’s Delegate General to the EU, outlines these deadlines. Vehicles operating in a Member State other than the one in which they are registered must be retrofitted with the latest smart tachograph technology by 31 December 2024 if they are currently equipped with an analogue or non-smart digital tachograph, and by 18 August 2025 if they are currently equipped with a smart tachograph v1.

DG MOVE estimates that hundreds of thousands of vehicles across the EU will need to be retrofitted by these deadlines. The letter warns of the potential consequences, including increased costs, difficulties in finding workshops with capacity, and even missed deadlines and restrictions on vehicle use.

To mitigate these problems, DG MOVE encourages the IRU to advise its members to plan for the upgrade process as soon as possible. Taking advantage of the upcoming regular tachograph inspections, which take place at least every two years, can facilitate the v2 upgrade. In addition, the letter reassures the IRU that tachograph manufacturers currently have sufficient stocks to meet demand and underlines DG MOVE’s commitment to monitor the situation and support a smooth transition to the smart tachograph v2.