Mister Tacho
Franchise Opportunity

WHY IS MISTER TACHO A SUCCESSFUL SYSTEM?

 For an employing company to comply with current regulations regarding their driver’s compliance with European Driving Hours Regulations as well as the Working Time Directive, they are obliged to record, and keep records, of their driver’s activities while at work, as long as the driver is in charge of a vehicle larger than 3.5 tonnes gross weight, or is a bus or coach driver. Such vehicles are fitted with Tachographs – electronic recorders which record driving time, driving speed, driving distance and time spent either working (while not driving), Period of Availability (waiting in the vehicle for instruction, but not working or driving) or at Rest. The Tachograph may be analogue (a round paper disc with a wax surface which is scratched away by needles in the Tachograph unit) for older vehicles. Each day requires a new disc. If a driver is using a vehicle fitted with an analogue Tachograph then he is required by law to carry with him the last 28 days discs in case they are requested for inspection by DVSA or a police officer. After 28 days they should be returned to the company, who must store them for 12 months, in case of inspection. After 42 days they MUST be returned to the company.

Since May 2005 all vehicles being first registered have been required to be fitted with a digital Tachograph. This performs the same functions as the analogue Tachograph, but the information is stored digitally. To use a digital Tachograph, a driver must be in possession of a digital Driver Card, which is issued by the DVSA. Thus a digital Tachograph is intended to consist of two elements – the VU (Vehicle Unit, otherwise known as the Head Unit) and the driver card. The driver must insert his/her card at the beginning of the shift. As the vehicle commences moving, the time spent driving is recorded to BOTH the driver card and the VU. If the vehicle stops moving for a predefined period (one whole minute in 1st generation Tachographs, 30 seconds in 2nd generation units) then it defaults to “Work” mode. If a driver wishes to indicate that the time is to be spent in POA (see above) or Rest, then he/she must manually set the VU to that setting. If the vehicle moves after it has been set to POA or Rest, it automatically defaults again to Driving and records that time. The VU will store this data, for each driver who drove this vehicle, for a minimum of 365 days. The driver card will store this data, for each vehicle the driver may have driven, for a minimum of 28 days.

To comply with current legislation the company is required to download and safely store the data from:
The driver card every 28 days maximum
The VU every 90 days maximum.

 

The employer is also responsible for analysing the data from these downloads for infringements against the European Driving Hours Regulations and the Working Time Directive.

Many small and medium sized companies are missing either the computer expertise necessary for download and analysis, or a competent person to oversee such downloads and compliance with the regulations, or both. Traditional Tachograph analysis companies offering analysis will stipulate that the company must do the downloads themselves, and electronically send the digital data, and send by post the charts from analogue Tachographs. The analysis bureau then perform the analysis for infringements and send reports back to the company either digitally or by mail.

This approach works well where there IS a competent person, who is able to monitor the schedule as well as carry out the downloads, and understands the regulations and any infringements which may have occurred. Smaller companies, as stated above, often do not have that expertise in house and as a result often end up in trouble with DVSA and/or police officers inspecting for infringements. This can
lead to loss of the company’s Operating Licence and/or fines, which can be severe.

Such companies are the customers of Mister Tacho. WE schedule the download according to the regulations, WE carry out the downloads of driver cards and VU, and scan into digital format any analogue charts which may comprise part or all of the fleet. The data is then analysed for infringements against the current legislation, using specialised computer software. The results are then reported back to the company, with individual letters for each driver to sign to acknowledge that infringements have been pointed out to them. The company then is free to concentrate on generating income, rather than spending time and resources ensuring compliance.

It is the personal touch and physical presence which makes Mister Tacho such a unique concept in the Tachograph analysis industry. Offering a turnkey system, where nothing is left for the customer to do, is what makes the concept so successful. The cheque they give you each month for your services is a small price to pay for the quality of service and the peace of mind they receive in return.

As a Mister Tacho franchisee YOU can decide how much time you wish to devote to the business, either running it part-time or full-time, according to the number of customers you take on.

WHO CAN BECOME A MISTER TACHO FRANCHISEE?

There are no formal qualifications required to offer your services as an analysis bureau for Tachographs. So pretty much anybody could theoretically become a Mister Tacho franchisee. But that’s theoretically. In practice, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Aside from a solid understanding of the various rules and legislation (which are imparted during your initial training), there are also personal traits which are just as essential.

You will need to be a “people person”, if you want to grow and develop your business. While you don’t need to be a super salesman, you will need to acquire new customers to achieve a level of business which suits what you wish to achieve – either a supplementary income or a full-time business. If you are the right kind of person, able to build a good relationship with your customers, many of your new customers will be referrals from existing ones. This can save you money spent on advertising, which goes straight into your profit.

You will need to be reliable as YOU will be the person ensuring that the companies you support will be compliant with download schedules and infringement management.

You will need to be computer literate, with a reasonable working knowledge of Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10.

Mister Tacho systems do not currently run on iOS (Mac) systems.

You will need to be reasonably physically fit. The VU’s are situated in the cabs of LGV’s. They used to be called HGV’s (Heavy Goods Vehicles) but they are now called Large Goods Vehicles. And the “Large” bit is why you need to be reasonably fit. You may well end up with a customer with a fleet of 20 – 40 vehicles, possibly more. If you schedule to do all the downloads on one day (which is the most effective way of doing it) then you will need to climb up into the cab, then climb down again when the download is complete. Working on the basis that you will of necessity be downloading more than one vehicle at a time, you would climb up (set the download going), then climb down again, repeating this till all your download tools are in action. Then you would have to retrieve them, climbing up and down again. So for forty lorries you would be climbing up or down 160 times at least. For that reason it is not an occupation to be recommended if you suffer from serious knee, ankle or back injuries.

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Track record of success

We have a developed a method of doing business that works well and produces successful results.
Strong Brand – One of the biggest advantages of franchising is that the company is building a brand on a regional or national basis that should have value in the eyes of customers you’re trying to attract.

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Training programme

We have a training programme designed to bring you up to speed on the most successful methods to run the business. We have reference materials to assist you in dealing with whatever comes up while you’re running your business.

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Ongoing operational support

We have staff dedicated to providing ongoing assistance to franchisees. You’re not alone when you’re building and running your business, and you can always call on experienced people when you hit a rough spot or want to share new ideas for growing the business.

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Marketing assistance

We will offer you marketing assistance to provide you with proven tools and strategies for attracting and retaining customers.

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Purchasing power

As a franchise you can take advantage of the buying power of the entire system to negotiate prices for everything you need at significantly lower levels than you could achieve as an independent operator.

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Risk avoidance

The biggest reason to buy a franchise is that, if you’re smart, it will help you avoid much of the risk of starting a new business.

TOOLS YOU WILL NEED

Transport As your “office” is essentially no more than a laptop and some download tools, there is no absolute need to have your own transport. However, many LGV depots are in out of the way locations, and you will usually be doing the downloads early in the morning (before they start for the day) or late in the afternoon or weekends, when they have finished. It is therefore likely that your own transport will be necessary to enable you to get to awkward places and at awkward times. Signage can be purchased from Mister Tacho to advertise your services on your vehicle whilst travelling, pulling in new business from LGV drivers on the road.

Office space Again – not absolutely essential but you need to have somewhere where you can analyse the data for infringements, print out the reports, invoices etc – all the usual stuff involved with running your own business. A small home office is entirely sufficient, unless you wish to develop a fully-fledged business of your own, with people working and generating income for you. At that stage, you might require a slightly larger office.

Download tools Each download requires a download tool to be attached to the VU, and a company card to be inserted to activate the download. Company cards are purchased from the DVSA, through Mister Tacho Ltd. Download tools can be purchased through Mister Tacho. Depending on the size of fleets you are supporting, anything from one, up to six or more, may be required. Depending on the type of tool chosen, the data is transferred to the computer either directly via USB or via a removable SD card. If a removable SD card, then a card reader will be needed, either external or built in to the computer.

Smart card reader The driver data is stored on so-called “smart cards”, which have an integrated chip. In order to copy the data from the chip to the computer a smart card reader is required. The data from the card is downloaded directly from the driver card to the computer via USB.

Computer You will need a laptop computer running Windows software.

Colour inkjet or laser printer To output the reports and information. The colour helps to highlight areas which may require management attention.

Analogue chart scanner It was envisaged that analogue Tachographs would be outlawed by 2020.

However, there are still a great deal of companies running vehicles with analogue Tachographs.

To digitise the data and perform analysis an analogue chart scanner is required, if any of your customers run analogue-only or mixed digital and analogue fleets. With experience, you can analyse an analogue chart visually, making it possible to do without the use of an analogue chart scanner. This means though, that the data is then missing from the analysis software, so a manual assessment of total weekly driving hours and working hours would need to be undertaken. Alternatively, use our central scanning office for a small charge.

Mobile phone A smartphone is recommended to enable mobile use of email, calendars etc in organising your business. A number exclusively for business will enable you to fully offset the cost against the business, and allow you to identify business calls, as unknown numbers may well be new customers who you might ignore on your private mobile. Most mobile phones now allow “tethering”, whereby you can use your mobile phone as a wifi “hotspot”, allowing you to access the internet on the move. This is especially useful if you wish to instantly assess driver’s activities.

Internet access You will need to upload the data for safe storage and analysis, as the data held in the VU and on the driver card is encrypted, and cannot be read without special software. You will probably also find it useful to have mobile broadband with a “dongle”, (or a mobile phone with a contract which allows tethering, as above) to allow you to access and display the data while you are at your customer’s premises.

WHAT DOES IT COST ME TO BECOME A MISTER TACHO FRANCHISEE?

There is a one-off payment of £15000 plus VAT. This will provide you with:

  • 1 laptop, with installed software
  • 1 smart card reader
  • 1 download tool
  • 24 days training – theory and practice

There is no analogue chart scanner included at startup, as this will only be required if you are analysing data from companies who still use older vehicles. It can be purchased as an option, or you may decide to have the analogue charts scanned and digitised at Mister Tacho centrally. This will incur a fee per chart.

Once you commence trading you will be liable to pay an ongoing franchise fee of 15% of turnover. This entitles you to:

  • The right to use Mister Tacho trade marks in your business stationery and signage, and the Mister Tacho name when advertising your business.
  • Ongoing information and updates to enable you to keep abreast of new developments and regulations.
  • The Mister Tacho system handbook
  • The right to attend Mister Tacho training sessions (for which a fee may be chargeable)
  • Bi-annual meetings to enable the exchange of ideas with your fellow franchisees.
  • Telephone and email support for any questions which may be posed by your clients to which
    you may not have an answer.
  • Customers referred to you from Head Office if within the area allocated to you on signing.

WHAT ARE THE ONGOING COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE BUSINESS?

As a franchisee, you are a businessman in your own right. You, therefore, are the person who decides what costs to bring into it. But things you will necessarily have to pay for include:

  • Book keeping and accountancy
  • Telephone/Broadband/mobile Broadband
  • Analysis of the data, using the software in use by Mister Tacho, to ensure compatibility of information.
  • Business banking
  • Laptop/other hardware replacement
  • Vehicle costs (discuss with accountant first – it may be better to claim mileage)
  • Stationery and postage
  • Wages/NI etc if you employ people
  • Ongoing Franchise Fee (15% of turnover, as outlined above)

WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES AS A FRANCHISEE?

  • To schedule and carry out downloads within the time frameworks specified by legislation (currently 28 days driver card, 90 days VU).
  • To upload the data to the analysis software required by the franchisor and in use at the time.
  • To analyse the data for infringements as set out in the minimum requirements for analysis laid down in the franchise manual (which will satisfy DVSA and your clients).
  • To report back to your clients quickly, using the report templates and infringement letters to the drivers.
  • To do nothing which may harm the reputation of Mister Tacho.
  • To report any misuse of the Mister Tacho name and/or trade marks immediately it comes to your attention.
  • To submit for approval, prior to printing, any signage or stationery which uses the Mister Tacho name or any trade marks associated with the company.
  • To keep abreast of all current legislation with regard to European Driving Hours Regulations and the European Working time Directive as applicable to drivers.
  • There is just no escaping the fact that running your own business can be hard work. However, you are doing it for yourself and the rewards of a Mister Tacho Ltd franchise will be there for you to see from day one.

If you possess the following attributes then Mister Tacho Ltd franchise could be just what you
have been looking for:

A willingness to work hard, because there is simply no substitute for hard work.

A willingness to persevere, because there will always be times when things don’t go
according to plan.

The desire to work for yourself, and take proper control of your own destiny.

The desire to work with others who all share your commitment to the highest standards.

If everything you’ve read so far makes sense, and you think that a Mister Tacho Franchise is something you want to know more about, we should talk further.

For further information and contact details about this Franchise Opportunity, please fill in the form below to download a free information pack. Fields marked * are required.

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If you want to find out about our franchise services, or if you would like a free review of your business without cost or obligation, contact us today.