Knowledge Straight from the Manufacturer – the VDO Academy Now Offers Online Courses
- All the information in one place – online training courses for the tachograph and dates for attendance seminars and webinars, all bundled on one website
- Learn whenever and wherever it suits you – driver training courses are now available online
- More than just fulfilling duties – in future webinars, fleet managers and workshop staff will receive tips on how to simplify their everyday lives with DTCO data
Villingen-Schwenningen, 30 January 2020 – The technology company Continental is expanding its range of basic and advanced training courses in all aspects of the digital tachograph. Interested parties can register now for the newly established central platform, VDO Academy, at www.vdo-academy.de. There they can find, book and pay for the entire range of tachograph training courses, from classroom dates and regional contacts to online training courses and webinars (which are new to the program). Participants will save travel costs and valuable time with these online courses – and they can also arrange their training flexibly to match their needs.
“There’s a huge wealth of knowledge at Continental, and especially in Villingen, where the tachographs and sensors are manufactured,” explains Marcello Lucarelli, Head of the Commercial Vehicle Fleet Services Business Segment Europe and Middle East (EMEA). “Any tachograph user who has ever marveled at the complexity of the device can easily imagine how challenging it is to design and manufacture it.” The technology company now intends to share this wealth of knowledge with the transport industry to a greater extent. “This is also an aspect of sustainability,” says Lucarelli, “because if we can help every transport company to avoid a fine caused by incorrect use of the DTCO just once a year, we’ll be helping the industry to invest more in urgent and socially important issues such as finding and retaining drivers, vehicle safety and reducing CO2 levels.”
Legal compliance for drivers and transport companies alike
Marcello Lucarelli’s colleagues are also highly specialized, because for many years now, they have been mastering the challenges involved in driving & rest periods and meeting the stringent requirements associated with digital tachographs – and in the future, they will pass on this wealth of knowledge online in the VDO Academy. The computer courses will start with driver training in compliance with Article 33 of Regulation (EU) No. 165/2014. This particular course will teach the important points of tachograph operation and the information that has to be entered, ensuring that drivers and transport companies stay on the right side of the law.
The fact that the training courses will also be available online in the future has several advantages. Drivers can learn during the week instead of at the weekend. They can study on their own time in the office, at home or on the road, eliminating the need for travel and the associated costs. If they wish, participants can also take several days to complete the modules one after the other, in line with their own time schedules and learning capabilities. When the course is finished, the drivers take a test and receive a certificate. “We’re creating a virtual classroom, where drivers and workshops can learn how to operate the DTCO safely – and no one has fixed learning dates or deadlines,” explains Volker Gut, the responsible project manager at Continental.
Continental also offers webinars (virtual live seminars) free of charge. Topics are for example how to use the WorkshopTab test computer or how to read out and verify the DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communication) interface on the intelligent tachograph. Practical pop-up messages on the WorkshopTab will also inform workshops about the latest training offers. In the future, webinars tailored to the needs of fleets and their service providers will also be offered. Initially, the courses will only be available for Germany, but Continental is currently preparing the courses for other countries.
VDO Academy – comprehensive information geared to practice
Courses that provide legally required training to workshop personnel, training courses for drivers and entrepreneurs, and seminars for teachers and authorities – Continental and its partners offer a comprehensive training program through the VDO Academy. Thanks to these courses, the entire industry can learn all about the tasks and duties associated with the digital tachograph. There is yet another advantage for participants, because they are taught by the experts – the people who actually manufacture the DTCO. The topics range from initial and refresher training courses in compliance with Section 57 b/d of the StVZO (German Road Traffic Licensing Regulations) to DTCO introductory training (b/d of the StVZO) and workshop tablet training courses – and the range of products is being continuously expanded.
Just thinking about all the things that can go wrong when operating the DTCO makes some drivers nervous – and fleet managers also get nervous when they realize that some of their drivers might be unsure enough to enter the wrong data... but neither drivers nor managers have to worry if they acquire the relevant knowledge. In a short interview, Markus Weide from Continental talks about the most common operating errors and their consequences – and, most importantly, how they can be avoided.
Markus Weide has been working for Continental in the tachograph division since 2001. He has been responsible for training & qualification since 2008 and is currently a senior lecturer at the VDO Academy.
What do people forget most often when they’re operating the digital tachograph?
The time group switch is often incorrectly set, because the driver forgets to switch to the correct time group when the vehicle is stationary. Likewise, there are always uncertainties when entering the country details and the same applies to entering all the activities since the last time the driver card was removed.
What are the consequences of these mistakes?
Each of the above-mentioned points can sometimes result in substantial fines for the transport companies during roadside inspections. A missing country entry, for example, costs up to €75 in Germany and up to €40 in Austria – per day!
How can fleet companies counteract this?
Knowledge is the key here. Quite simply, drivers must learn how to operate the DTCO. There are no shortcuts. However, when they have acquired the knowledge and become familiar with the tachograph and its functions, they can easily operate it safely – it’s really not complicated. Regular training courses, such as those offered by the VDO Academy, ensure security for drivers and the transport companies. Then that uneasy feeling some drivers get – as if they’re being tested by the tachograph – will quickly be replaced by confident operation.