How to select ferry mode on a digital tachograph?

How to Select Ferry Mode on a Digital Tachograph?

In the world of commercial driving, managing rest periods and driving hours is of paramount importance for both safety and legal compliance. With the advent of digital tachographs, this task has become more streamlined and efficient.

One essential feature of digital tachographs is the “Ferry Mode,” which allows drivers to properly account for interruptions during their daily rest periods due to ferry crossings. In this blog, we will delve into the details of how to use the Ferry Mode on a digital tachograph and why it matters.

Understanding Ferry Mode on Digital Tachographs

Ferry Mode: How does it work?

When incorporating a ferry crossing into your daily rest period, follow these steps to utilise the Ferry Mode effectively:

Arrival and Check-In: Upon reaching the port, complete the necessary check-in procedures and position your vehicle in the designated lane for boarding.

Switch to Rest Mode: Activate the “Rest” mode on your tachograph. This ensures that your rest period is accurately recorded.

Select Ferry Mode: Just before boarding the ferry, opt for the “Ferry” mode on your tachograph. This step is pivotal as it annotates the data with the reason for interrupting your rest period.

Managing Interruptions: During the ferry crossing, you can disregard interruptions to your daily rest, provided they don’t surpass two interruptions. These interruptions should only occur when boarding and disembarking from the ferry, and their combined duration must not exceed 1 hour. Importantly, these interruptions do not count towards your total rest period calculation.

The Purpose of Ferry Mode:

Think of Ferry Mode as the modern equivalent of jotting down the reason for interrupting your rest on a traditional chart. It’s a feature designed specifically for instances where a driver includes a ferry crossing as part of their daily rest.

Applying Ferry Mode: Regulations and Guidelines

Rest After Interruptions:

If you’ve encountered interruptions due to a ferry crossing, adhere to these rules:

  • Following a ferry interruption, you must take a regular daily rest of at least 11 hours. This rest period cannot be shortened.
  • If the total interruptions exceed 1 hour, you’ll be required to take a complete daily rest as usual. All activities that occurred before this rest will be incorporated into your previous duty cycle.

Selecting Modes on a Digital Tachograph

Changing Modes on a Digital Tachograph:

Transitioning between modes on a digital tachograph is a straightforward process:

Vehicle at a Halt: Ensure that the vehicle is stationary.

Driver and Co-Driver Modes: With the driver card inserted in the tachograph, select button 1 for the driver and button 2 for the co-driver. Use quick, repeated presses to cycle through and choose your desired mode: Work, Rest, or Available.

Exploring Tachograph Modes

The Four Modes of the Tachograph:

Digital tachographs offer four distinct modes to precisely document driver activities:


  • Driving: This mode indicates that the driver is actively engaged in operating the vehicle.
  • Period of Availability (POA): POA mode reflects the driver’s availability for work activities other than driving.
  • Other Work: “Other work” mode is selected when the driver is logged in and engaged in tasks other than driving.
  • Rest: The “Rest” mode signifies that the driver is in a designated rest period.


 Key points to bear in mind:

  • A regular daily rest period, usually 11 hours (or 12 hours if split), can only be interrupted twice due to ferry or train transport.
  • The total interruption caused by ferry or train crossings must not surpass 1 hour in total.
  1. By adhering to these regulations, drivers can prioritise both their safety on the road and their compliance with legal rest period requirements.
  2. In conclusion, the Ferry Mode on a digital tachograph is an invaluable tool for commercial drivers to manage their rest periods while incorporating ferry crossings into their schedules. By comprehending the process of utilising Ferry Mode, following the associated regulations, and acquainting themselves with the various modes of the tachograph, drivers can adeptly manage interruptions, ensuring their safety and adherence to legal standards.
  3. For a more comprehensive understanding of digital tachographs, and How to Select Ferry Mode on a Digital Tachograph and their functions, and the pictograms associated with them, consider exploring the informative resources available at NTP Online Learning. This platform can enhance your knowledge and ensure that you’re well-equipped to make the most of this essential tool in the transportation industry.

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