Drivers

FMCSA Looking at How it Defines Personal Conveyance

December 19, 2017

By David Cullen

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Photo: Virginia Tech Transportation Institute


 
Photo: Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

With the electronic log rule now in effect, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is considering revising a much older but related regulation. Per an announcement published in the Federal Register for Dec. 19, the agency is proposing to revise its regulatory guidance on commercial-vehicle drivers legally using trucks as “personal conveyance” while off duty.  

FMCSA noted it is seeking public comment on this guidance and its economic impact for a 30-day period ending on Jan. 18. 

At this point, the agency said it is considering only a narrow change in its guidance on personal conveyance. FMCSA stated it now wants to “focus on the reason the driver is operating a CMV while off duty, without regard to whether the CMV is or is not laden.”

FMSCA said the original personal conveyance guidance — unchanged since 1997-- required the truck to be "unladen" and was written with combination vehicles in mind, “where the driver could readily detach the trailer and use the unladen tractor for personal conveyance.”

The agency now contends that 20-year-old interpretation “had the inadvertent effect of not allowing drivers of single-unit work trucks that carry loads, as well as tools of [the] trade and related materials, on the power unit to document this off-duty time on the RODS.” 

For such drivers, it notes, “these loads, tools, and other equipment cannot reasonably be offloaded, left unattended, and reloaded after the power unit has been used for personal conveyance.” 

FMCSA stated that this proposed revision would simply “eliminate the requirement that the CMV be unladen and thus the disparate impact created by the previous guidance.”

The issue of personal conveyance has been the source of quite a few questions under the new electronic logging device mandate, since those miles will now be recorded. Carriers are advised to have a policy in place regarding personal conveyance, train drivers on it, and document it.

Comments on the proposed changes, bearing Docket ID FMCSA-2017-0108 may be submitted via any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments

Mail. Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001

Hand Delivery or Courier. West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays

Fax. 1-202-493-2251

The agency also noted that as part of the ELD rule now in effect, ELD manufacturers are required to include a special driving category for personal conveyance. “This may be used at the motor carrier's discretion, based on their operations,” stated FMCSA. “In addition, motor carriers may grant drivers authority to operate a CMV under personal conveyance without preconfiguring the ELD with the personal conveyance special driving category.”

Comments

  1. 1. Richard Davis [ December 20, 2017 @ 08:30AM ]

    The people in the FMCSA are a bunch of MORONS and IDIOTS. They pass these STUPID regulations and they have NO idea what they just passed. Then they want to turn around and then put it on the carriers to fix it. Every company I ever worked for, I was kinda responsible for the truck I was assigned too from the time I pulled off the yard. So in other words, I was on duty technically 24 hrs. a day as long as was away from my terminal or my home, if I was allowed to bring my truck home. They make everything so hard and complicated. Why do they want to make { personal-conveyance } so hard to understand? I figure PERSONAL means doing personal things, not work-related. Why try and make a big deal out of that. But then again this is your STUPID Government at work.

  2. 2. CHRIS [ December 22, 2017 @ 04:01AM ]

    THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SAFETY! IF IT DID THEY WOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE CRAZY 4WHEELERS CUTTING YOU OFF ALL DAY LONG. ITS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY! ITS GOING TO BE MORE ACCIDENTS THAN EVER JUST WANT AND SEE.

  3. 3. Jon [ December 22, 2017 @ 04:41AM ]

    What are you talking about?
    This is about dropping your trailer at the shipper receiver, and driving over to Walmart or the nearby truck stop to take your break. Or dropping your trailer at your drop yard, and going home.

    This also concerns the people that has a work truck such as a mechanic's, tow truck, plumber, or Carpenter and being able to log off duty miles.

  4. 4. Dayne Creveling [ December 22, 2017 @ 05:06AM ]

    It will be meaningless unless all companies are required to show the 'line 5' on the ELD AND allow it to be used. Right now most company drivers cannot use the personal conveyance simply because their employer has the option blocked off to them.

    When all driving is counted as on duty by your company provided ELD, you simply don't have this legal option available.

  5. 5. Justin [ December 22, 2017 @ 05:13AM ]

    This is the typical result of too many lawyers and too many politicians in the same room at the same time trying to make rules. Everything way more complicated than it ever needed to be.

  6. 6. LNICHOLS [ December 22, 2017 @ 08:13AM ]

    Tow trucks ,plumbers ,carpenters ,as a rule are not INTERSTATE company's . So your statement is not relevant. My company driver has a letter stating he is OFF DUTY when we say he is. When sending our truck to Texas and he needs some time off to rest ,visit family, do a restart ,He is not in commerce , even if he has a load on the truck it may not deliver for 4 days .So his time starts when he goes to deliver it.

  7. 7. NAPOLEON VANOYE [ December 22, 2017 @ 02:33PM ]

    DOT OFFICIALS ARE CAREER POLITICIANS...AND AS SUCH THEY HAVE TO JUSTIFY ANYTHING THEY DO....
    ELDS ARE NOT IN EFECT FOR SAFETY REASONS....ITS ALL ECONOMICS....AT $600 A PIECE EQUIPING 3 MILLION TRUCKS ITS A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT TO BE MOVED PLUS INSTALATION COSTS AND MANAGMENT OF SERVICES.....NOW AS WE SEE IN THIS DANCE OF BILLIONS...OF COURSE POLITICIANS THAT RELAYS THEIR LIVEHOOD IN COMPANIES WILLING TO PAY THEIR CAMPAIGNS TO MANTAIN THEM IN OFFICE THOSE POLITICIANS WILL GLADLY AGREE TO PASS RULES "IN THE NAME OF SAFETY OR ANYTHING" TO MAKE THAT MONEY FLOW TO THEIR MASTERS,,,SAFTEY MAY BALLS..!!!

  8. 8. Albert [ December 22, 2017 @ 08:50PM ]

    Trump wake up! Don't listen to idiot's from ATA. The mandate is not about safety. There will be more accidents and more people will die. It will cause economic crisis. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  9. 9. Jude [ December 23, 2017 @ 06:07AM ]

    As so many have correctly observed and I concur, this is NOT about "safety". If it were, EVERY driver would be required to use logs for ALL driving. Can you imagine the fuster cluck resulting from mandating log use by four wheelers and the amount of overtime they would lose from their jobs if they were subject to these rules? Mandate it for EVERY highway user or ban it for all.

  10. 10. Jason Vierkant [ January 24, 2018 @ 07:32AM ]

    If I am understanding this right, the proposed change is to make it so you dont have to drop your load to use personal conveyance. Which would be huge, this would make it possible to get to trucks stops and/or home without using hours of service. Currently if you are under load you can not use personal conveyance period.

  11. 11. Matt [ January 29, 2018 @ 07:36AM ]

    You can use personal conveyance as long as you don't have a load. As long as you are not using it to go get a load and also wherever you start your personal conveyance you have to go back to that location to start your on duty driving time again. When you're back on duty you can't just park somewhere put on personal conveyance go home and then personal conveyance to wherever else you want to go to get your load. You have to put yourself on duty because you are technically on load once you're dispatched. Again wherever you started your personal conveyance is where you have to return to to start your driving on duty.

 

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