Earlier this year we wrote about HGVs and Drivers' Working Hours. One area which creates some confusion is how the 'Ferry Mode' on a digital tachograph should be used correctly.
When making a ferry crossing you may ignore interruptions to your daily rest as long as you do not interrupt it more than twice (once to get on the ferry and once to get off). These interruptions musn't be more than 1 hour in total. They do not count towards your rest period.
If you have interrupted your rest with a ferry crossing, then you must take a regular daily rest of at least 11 hours. You cannot reduce this rest period. In a situation where your interruptions exceed 1 hour in total you will be required to take your full daily rest as normal and all events prior to the rest will be included in your previous duty.
Most modern digital tachographs will have a 'ferry / train' mode or equivalent setting. If the ferry crossing is going to be part of your daily rest, arrive at the port, check-in and then join the lane to wait for boarding. Put your tachograph on Rest mode. Just before you board, select the Ferry mode option. This will mark the data with the reason you are interrupting your Rest period.
When you begin to board the mode will change to driving automatically. Once on-board select Rest mode again.
When disembarking the ferry and if you have completed your 11 hour rest period, change the tachograph mode to ‘Other Work’ or similar setting.
If you are going to complete your rest period on land, select the Ferry mode again. It will mark the data with the reason you are interrupting your rest. Leave the ferry and when you are parked up change the mode to Rest. When you have completed your rest, change mode to ‘Other Work’ or the equivalent setting.
Essentially, the Ferry mode is the digital equivalent of writing on the back of a chart the reason for interrupting your rest. It should only be used if a driver is using the ferry crossing as part of their daily rest.