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4 Personal Conveyance Rules You Need to Know

by Charlotte Freed | Dec 17, 2018

Truck drives along a bridge
You’re stuck waiting at your last appointment and now, you’re out of hours. What are you going to do about leaving, when you don’t want to break the hours-of-service rules? Which you know you can’t do with ELD tracking

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) saw the trouble with this and let up on their personal conveyance regulations to help driver safety. Still, there’s some confusion around the “can” and “cannots.”. We’ve laid out some basics to help you understand the rules on personal conveyance.

  1. The new guidance looks at the reason the driver is operating the commercial vehicle when off duty, laden (loaded) or not. Here’s what the guidance reads: “A driver may record time operating a CMV for personal conveyance (i.e., for personal use or reasons) as off-duty only when the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work by the motor carrier. The CMV may be used for personal conveyance even if it is laden, since the load is not being transported for the commercial benefit of the carrier at that time. Personal conveyance does not reduce a driver’s or motor carrier’s responsibility to operate a CMV safely.”
  2. You have to go to the closest, safe, and reasonable location to rest – not the most appealing to you personally. If your residence or terminal is the closest, safest, and most reasonable place to find rest after unloading, then that is doable. But if there is another rest stop nearer, that will be your next destination – regardless of whether it’s further away from your final destination. Look at it this way:
    • You’re unloaded at Point B. Point A is 20 miles south of Point B and the location of your terminal and your final destination.
    • You find you have run out of hours at Point B. There is a close, safe, and reasonable location to rest at Point C which is 9 miles north of Point B.
    • Even though you want to end up back at Point A, Point C is closer to Point B. You will need to go to Point C.

    What if the next closest, safe, reasonable rest area is out of parking? Then you can use personal conveyance to travel to the next closest, safe, and reasonable parking spot – just make sure to document that the first closest place you tried to park at was full, preferably with video or photographic evidence with a timestamp showing this. 

  3. The trickiest and most troublesome aspect of the personal conveyance guidance is commuting and personal conveyance.
    • Okay: Using the commercial vehicle to drive home from the terminal or drop lot once you’re off duty
    • Not Okay: Using the commercial vehicle to drive home from the shipper or receiver
    • If you are en route to a site to be dispatched, that is considered work and will count as hours.

  4. What are some other scenarios where personal conveyance would be allowed?
    • Time spent traveling from your lodging or rest stop to food or entertainment is allowed.
    • Moving the commercial vehicle at the request of a safety official during driver’s off-duty time.

A personal conveyance policy must be in place for the company in which you drive for. Understand the specific guidelines of your company’s policy, as they may differ from federal regulations.

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  1. Glenn | Dec 24, 2018
    Thank you, this info is very helpful.
  2. Christopher R. Winn | Dec 18, 2018

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