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Some weeks ago an article about the OUT mode in tachograph aroused great interest of Trans.INFO readers. Since many questions were asked after this publication concerning specific cases and situations, we asked an expert to clarify the most frequently raised doubts. All the questions were answered by Mariusz Hendzel from the ITD-PIP Transportation Law Firm.

  1. For example, if I transport grain from one client to another client – a distance of about 80 km, can I transport it in OUT mode, or it doesn’t apply to me anymore?

Mariusz Hendzel, Expert of ITD-PIP Transport Law Firm: This case is treated as normal road transport – it is not possible to use OUT mode in the tachograph.

  1. If I transport my goods, which I sell to farmers (including cereal seeds) and have my own transport, do I have to use tachograph, or can I do it in OUT mode?

In this case, you have to use your tachograph, as transport for your own needs (sale of your goods) is generally subject to regulations. Please note that only farmers transporting their produce up to 100 km from their farm are exempt from the rules, but a supplier other than a farmer is not.

  1. “The OUT mode can also be used by the driver during a journey that is not suitable for transporting goods, e.g. when he is travelling using only the tractor unit” – that is, if I send the tractor from Poland to Germany to pick up a new semi-trailer, I can drive all the way in OUT mode and no one can accuse me of anything, right?

In one direction, yes, but the tachograph must be used normally on the way back, and the journey by the tractor alone must already be documented manually on the card as “other work”. Driving in the OUT mode is not rest and despite the exemption from the obligation to register this driving, there is no exemption from showing this time as “other work” time. This is the same situation as if we were driving a vehicle under 3.5 tonnes.

  1. I was told that the OUT function can only be used on the base or on non-public roads.

I suggest reading Articles 3 and 13 of Regulation 561/2006. City buses, roadside assistance, transport of municipal waste, road maintenance (Sanders) – all these vehicles drive normally on public roads, are equipped with tachographs and use the OUT function and everything is compliant with the regulations. 5. According to the regulation, if the company premises are fenced and not everyone can get access to them (this is how private land is described in the law), then the OUT mode can be used. Please comment on this case.

Yes, because such a vehicle does not use a public road. Going further – the driver does not have to have a driving license – leaving aside the fact that as an employee he is bound by health and safety regulations. 6. A reader was fined in the following situation: For a service drive of fewer than 50 minutes, at which we had a service stamp on a tachograph printout, BAG gave us a fine of EUR 750. I have appealed three times and because of the costs of administrative proceedings, the fine has risen to EUR 1300. I would like to add that the drive was in Poland. Why was the fine imposed?

There may be several reasons. Most often such situations do not concern the penalty for driving as such, but for “pretending” that the driver had a break at that time. In other words, it is about not showing “other work” at that time. In other cases, switching on the OUT mode and indicating the journey as a service drive is simply not treated as reliable (e.g. a journey along a route where there are no services).

You have to take into account that inspectors too often have to deal with an attempt to abuse these rules, so they assume in advance that the situation has to be verified very carefully and for this purpose they take a deposit until the situation is clarified. The costs of appeal and proceedings are not an argument here, since the situation was not entirely clear from the beginning. Therefore, if someone does not believe in the provisions of Articles 3 and 13 of Regulation 561/2006, it is better not to try to apply them. Please remember that we are not required to do so.

Photo: Trans.INFO

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