Smartanalysis FAQs

Here you’ll find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Click the question to reveal the answer.

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about our products, services and usage of our website which may be helpful to you. If you have a question which isn’t covered here, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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Common queries about the digital tachograph, smart cards, vehicle units, etc.

  • 1 Where can I get a digital tachograph unit?

    All in-scope vehicles over 3.5 tonnes sold in the UK and the EU after May 2006 are required by law to be fitted with a digital tachograph.

    If you wish to fit a digital tachograph to a truck that does not have one fitted, or replace a broken digital tachograph then you will need to contact one of the tachograph manufacturers direct or your vehicle dealer for advice on suppliers in your area.

  • 2 How often should I download data from my driver cards and vehicle units?

    By law you are required to download driver smartcards at least every 28 days and vehicle unit data every 90 days.

    Ideally you should download driver cards and vehicle units more frequently to ensure you have regular backups of your data and any infringements can be spotted and dealt with quickly.

  • 3 What are the different types of digital tachograph smartcard?

    There are four types:

    1. Driver Card. Carried by your drivers, and which is inserted into the digital tachograph when the driver is on duty.
    2. Company Card. Used by the company for authorising vehicle downloads, etc.
    3. Workshop Card. Available only to approved calibration centres.
    4. Control Card. Available only to VOSA and the Police for carrying out enforcement.
  • 4 Who can supply me with Digital Tachograph smartcards?

    In the UK Driver Card and Company Card application packs are available from the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Call the DVLA digital tachograph helpline on 0300 790 6109, or see further information in our Compliance & Advice pages. 

    Workshop Card application forms are available from VOSA. For further information and to get the required forms call the VOSA helpline on 0300 123 9000, or go to the VOSA – Workshop Cards section of the Business Link site.

  • 5 Why do I need a Card Reader and VU download tool?

    The Card Reader is connected to a PC, and is used to read the information from your Driver’s Card.

    The Vehicle Download Unit is used to read Vehicle information from the Vehicle Unit (the Digital Tachograph).

    The information from both the Driver’s Card and the Vehicle Unit is required by the legislation to be recorded and stored.

  • 6 Which Vehicle Unit download tools can I use with Smartanalysis?

    You can use all of the widely available VU download tools, including:

    Smartanalysis is also fully integrated with the leading remote download devices including:

  • 7 What are the differences between these VU download devices?

    The new remote download devices (including the digiDL and VDO DLD) are the most convenient and efficient means of downloading data direct from your vehicles. These units can be fitted to each of your vehicles and they transmit data wirelessly using either the GPRS network, or WiFi. If you are interested in these devices, please contact our Support Team who will be able to advise on the devices available and the benefits and costs.

    The VDO DLK Pro Download Key and the Digidown are very similar devices. They plug into the Vehicle Unit and allow all or some of the data on the unit to be downloaded and stored on the device. The VDO Download Key uses internal memory for storage, whereas the Digidown uses a removable SD flash memory card. If you choose one of these two devices, you will also need to purchase a separate card reader.

    The OPTAC and the Digidown+ devices are also very similar to each other. Each device allows you to download direct from the Vehicle Unit in the same way as the VDO DLK Pro Download Key and the Digidown, and in addition they incorporate a smartcard reader that reads your digital tachograph cards. The key advantage of the card readers in these two devices is that they can be used while disconnected from a PC. This means that they are completely portable, and can be used by drivers without needing access to a PC. If you choose one of these devices, you do not need a separate card reader.

    The digipostpro is different to the other devices. It uses GPRS over the mobile phone network or your LAN. It does not need to be connected to a PC to send data to Smartanalysis, and is ideal for locations where no PCs and/or Internet connectivity are available. It has a built in smartcard reader, but you still need to purchase a VU download device (e.g. digivu, VDO DLK ProDownload Key, etc.) to get data from the vehicle to the device.

  • 8 I get a ‘Download Fault 12′ message on the tachograph display when I download from a vehicle. Does this mean the download has failed?

    No, the download has not failed.

    When using any VU download device with the VDO digital tachograph the message ‘Download Fault 12′ may occasionally be shown on the tachograph display. This does not indicate a problem with the download process or the downloaded data. Instead it is indicating that the tachograph has not stored any data for one or more days within the download period requested, probably because the tachograph power supply was disconnected for those days.

    Users should allow the download to finish normally and then press the ‘OK’ button on the tachograph to clear the error message.

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