Tachograph symbols

Tachograph symbols.

Labels on the tachograph communicate important information to drivers, enabling them to track the status of their driving at any given time. Through such symbols, these labels can indicate errors and violations, which can be beneficial to all transportation companies.

The key labels on the tachograph include driver status (driving or resting), errors and violations, speed, date, and time. Each label has a specific symbol or a combination of letters and numbers that represent a particular activity or status.

Tachograph symbols are standardized at the European Union level to ensure their understanding across borders, which is particularly crucial for transit between countries. Furthermore, standardized labels on the tachograph facilitate monitoring driver behavior compliance with traffic regulations.

Recognizing the importance of correctly using the tachograph, transportation companies often organize training on the usage and interpretation of symbols. Below, we will present several important labels for the digital tachograph to provide you with an overview of the basics of labeling on this device.


Symbols on the Digital Tachograph

The digital tachograph is a device used in commercial vehicles to record driver-related data, such as driving time, rest periods, and speed. Each tachograph uses different symbols to label various functions and statuses. Here are some common symbols found on the digital tachograph:



The symbol for driving is typically an icon of a car that represents the driving activity. It is often depicted as a silhouette of a vehicle with an arrow indicating the direction of travel.



The bed symbol indicates rest for the driver. Sometimes, a chair symbol is also used to represent a break.


Break Period

Break periods, which differ from rest periods, have a distinct label. They can be represented by an icon of a stopped clock, a coffee cup, or another symbol indicating a temporary stoppage.


Error or Warning

The symbols of an exclamation mark, a question mark, or a triangle with an exclamation mark indicate that there is an error related to the driver or a malfunction of the tachograph.



The speed label can be an icon of a speedometer with a displayed number or a vehicle silhouette with the indicated speed value. This symbol represents the vehicle’s speed at a given moment.


Driver’s Activities Other Than Driving

The symbol of two crossed hammers is used when you are not driving but engaging in other activities such as loading or unloading cargo, boarding passengers, cleaning the vehicle, and similar tasks.


Driver’s Availability

The availability for driving is indicated by a symbol of a square with a diagonal line inside. This sign should be used when you are not driving but are available for driving if required.


Card Expiration

This symbol appears when the expiration date of the driver’s smart card is approaching. It serves as a reminder for the driver to renew the card before it becomes invalid.


Rest Break Violation

Displayed when the driver exceeds the maximum allowed duration of a rest break, this symbol serves as a warning that the driver may be in violation of driving regulations and should adjust their rest schedule.



This symbol appears when the tachograph system requires calibration or recalibration. It serves as a reminder for the driver or the vehicle operator to schedule the necessary maintenance.


Data Download

This appears when the tachograph data needs to be downloaded or transferred to the central system for further analysis and compliance purposes.



The calendar icon displaying the current day, month, or year, or simply the date presented using numbers, represents the date on the tachograph.



Time refers to the moment when the data was recorded. It can be displayed as a clock symbol, digital numbers, or clock hands.

In addition to clear European standardization in terms of labeling, it is important to note that specific symbols and their appearances may slightly vary depending on the brand and model of the digital tachograph device. Drivers usually receive user manuals that explain the symbols and their meanings for their specific tachograph system.

Author: Nikola Srećković