The situation of double manning usually creates a lot of confusion when people attempt to interpret the relevant Tachograph Rules. This brief article explains to you how the system works.
When is a vehicle considered to be double-manned?
A vehicle is considered to be double-manned if, at any driving period, in between two daily or a daily and weekly rest period, the vehicle has two drivers on board (who are able to drive and have a tachograph card). The first hour of this driving time is optional, which means it is possible to pick up the second driver within one hour after the shift has started. In general, the same tachograph rules apply to both drivers, except for the daily rest rules. If double-manned, each driver must have a daily rest period of 9 hours within a 30-hour period that starts after the last daily or weekly rest period has ended.
Double manned duties
In the situation where a vehicle is double-manned, the total driving time of a single truck can be extended. The maximum driving time in the most ideal situation is 20 hours, before a daily rest for the drivers is required. 20 hours is only possible if both drivers are eligible to drive 10 hours (the extended daily drive time).
Our tachograph expert about double manning:
Double-manning is an issue which confuses most people. It’s usually favoured by companies setting out on long distance trips. It’s tempting to overestimate the possibilities it opens up for almost 24/7 continuous running of a vehicle, but it’s not quite that straightforward. The regulations which complicate things, as always, are the Working Time regs
These state, that unless the vehicle is parked in the Operating Centre when the driver takes over the vehicle, then the time spent travelling to the vehicle must be logged as Other Work (even if the journey is by car/train or other means of transport).
The other problem is that while a work break (WTD) break, or a driving break (Drivers Hours regs) may be taken in a moving vehicle, a Daily Rest cannot.
If you bear those two things in mind, it will tell you why double manning is not the way to keep a vehicle running 24/7.
The other thing is the stipulation that, in order to qualify as a double-manned vehicle, the co-driver MUST be either in the vehicle with the first driver at the start of the journey, or MUST be picked up within one hour of the journey start, if he is collected along the route. If not, the journey can’t be driven under double-manned rules. And, at the latest after 30 hours, BOTH those drivers would have to take a Daily Rest.
Creative interpretation is possible
The second driver does not have to be the same driver from the first shift that is stated as part of a ‘double-manned shift’. The first driver can be accompanied by any number of drivers, as long as he and the second drivers stay within the regulations of their own shifts.
The actual possibilities of total driving times of the “crew” depend on the duties of the individual drivers. Creative planners can get the best out of a truck’s utility.