Whilst 2012 was a challenging year for the entire UK commercial vehicle market, HGV registrations grew by 6.4% to 45,702 units in 2012. The lucky transport operators that acquired them will benefit from the latest technological improvements to reduce running costs and maintain roadworthiness. New HGVs also provide an opportunity to safeguard compliance with regulations concerning the download of digital tachograph data. Having this data available in a usable format could also improve compliance with drivers’ hours and working time legislation. New HGVs are likely to have a tachograph installed that can take full advantage of automatic remote download of digital tachograph data using digiDL or VDO DLD remote download devices. These devices were first introduced to the market in 2011 and are now starting to become a standard fit in new HGVs for forward thinking road transport operators. One manufacturer of remote download devices expects to see sales double in 2013 as early adopters move into full deployment. Driver card data must be downloaded at least every 28 days and a remote download solution will ensure that operators never miss a driver card or VU download again. Once you set the schedule for downloading tachograph data it can be submitted for analysis automatically using a service such as Smartanalysis. All this happens in the background over GPRS or WLAN. The company card can stay in the depot and does not need to be moved between vehicles. Existing users (Turners (Soham) Ltd) have made some impressive savings. Remote download works for fleets of all sizes and provides a significant benefit to operators with just a few vehicles (Redlynch Leisure) by eliminating the burden of collecting tachograph data. They can focus on managing their business safe in the knowledge that their tachograph data is always available should the authorities want to see it. Users of Smartanalysis can take automation one step further by having reports on drivers’ hours, driver infringements, utilisation, driver card submissions and much more emailed to them without manual intervention. If you are in the market for a new HGV this year the incremental cost for installing a remote download device will be negligible but the on-going benefits throughout the life of the vehicle will be significant.