The Updated HOS Personal Conveyance Guidance - Setting Truckers Up For Big Trouble

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
First off, it is important to understand that there have been no new rules created, only a revision to the guidance for a completely unchanged rule. In other words, nothing has changed. Our FMCSA "friends", and I use the term friends very loosely, made some changes to give carriers/drivers some perceived flexibility in the HOS rules. I'm sorry, but when it comes to federal rules, there really is no flexibility unless it is clearly written in "the rule".

That said, let's start this thread off with a copy of the rule, the guidance, and the "examples" offered up following the guidance. Remember, guidance is just vague help in understanding the written rule, and the examples are just that.... Examples. In the end, it is up to the enforcement officer to determine whether you violated the rule, and he/she will ultimately determine whether you understood the rule, the guidance, or the examples properly.

First, The Rule:

Personal conveyance is the movement of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while off-duty. A driver may record time operating a CMV for personal conveyance 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 motor carrier at that time. Personal conveyance does not reduce a driver’s or motor carrier’s responsibility to operate a CMV safely. Motor carriers can establish personal conveyance limitations either within the scope of, or more restrictive than, the guidance provided here.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Now, the guidance. The brief summary, and the full PDF for those who want to dig in.

Guidance: 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. Motor carriers can establish personal conveyance limitations either within the scope of, or more restrictive than, this guidance, such as banning use of a CMV for personal conveyance purposes, imposing a distance limitation on personal conveyance, or prohibiting personal conveyance while the CMV is laden.
 

Attachments

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
A list of examples, from the FMCSA, supporting the use of personal conveyance.

Examples of Appropriate Uses of a CMV While Off-duty for Personal Conveyance
The following are examples of appropriate uses of a CMV while off-duty for personal conveyance include, but are not limited to:
  1. Time spent traveling from a driver’s en route lodging (such as a motel or truck stop) to restaurants and entertainment facilities.
  2. Commuting between the driver’s terminal and his or her residence, between trailer-drop lots and the driver’s residence, and between work sites and his or her residence. In these scenarios, the commuting distance combined with the release from work and start to work times must allow the driver enough time to obtain the required restorative rest as to ensure the driver is not fatigued.
  3. Time spent traveling to a nearby, reasonable, safe location to obtain required rest after loading or unloading. The time driving under personal conveyance must allow the driver adequate time to obtain the required rest in accordance with minimum off-duty periods under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1) (property-carrying vehicles) or 395.5(a) (passenger-carrying vehicles) before returning to on-duty driving, and the resting location must be the first such location reasonably available.
  4. Moving a CMV at the request of a safety official during the driver’s off-duty time
  5. Time spent traveling in a motorcoach without passengers to en route lodging (such as motel or truck stop), or to restaurants and entertainment facilities and back to the lodging. In this scenario, the driver of the motorcoach can claim personal conveyance provided the driver is off-duty. Other off-duty drivers may be on board the vehicle, and are not considered passengers.
  6. Time spent transporting personal property while off-duty.
  7. Authorized use of a CMV to travel home after working at an offsite location.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Finally, a list of examples, from the FMCSA, of uses NOT qualifying for personal conveyance.

Examples of Uses of a CMV that Would Not Qualify as Personal Conveyance
The following are examples of uses of a CMV that would not qualify as personal conveyance include, but are not limited to, the following:
  1. The movement of a CMV in order to enhance the operational readiness of a motor carrier. For example, bypassing available resting locations in order to get closer to the next loading or unloading point or other scheduled motor carrier destination.
  2. After delivering a towed unit, and the towing unit no longer meets the definition of a CMV, the driver returns to the point of origin under the direction of the motor carrier to pick up another towed unit.
  3. Continuation of a CMV trip in interstate commerce in order to fulfill a business purpose, including bobtailing or operating with an empty trailer in order to retrieve another load or repositioning a CMV (tractor or trailer) at the direction of the motor carrier.
  4. Time spent driving a passenger-carrying CMV while passenger(s) are on board. Off-duty drivers are not considered passengers when traveling to a common destination of their own choice within the scope of this guidance.
  5. Time spent transporting a CMV to a facility to have vehicle maintenance performed.
  6. After being placed out of service for exceeding the maximum periods permitted under part 395, time spent driving to a location to obtain required rest, unless so directed by an enforcement officer at the scene.
  7. Time spent traveling to a motor carrier’s terminal after loading or unloading from a shipper or a receiver.
  8. Time spent operating a motorcoach when luggage is stowed, the passengers have disembarked and the driver has been directed to deliver the luggage.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Here are some cases where people are going to get into trouble.

Getting unloaded, and driving home
Until tonight, I really hadn't taken the time to read through the new guidance, definitely not all the examples, but it made it clear to me, at least as far as how I will use it, that I cannot be using personal conveyance to drive home after delivering a load.
Time spent traveling to a motor carrier’s terminal after loading or unloading from a shipper or a receiver.
That quote is example #7 of cases where personal conveyance is not allowed.
Commuting between the driver’s terminal and his or her residence, between trailer-drop lots and the driver’s residence, and between work sites and his or her residence. In these scenarios, the commuting distance combined with the release from work and start to work times must allow the driver enough time to obtain the required restorative rest as to ensure the driver is not fatigued.
That quote is an example allowing personal conveyance to drive home, after arriving at a home terminal, or drop lot, and then driving home.

Let's be honest, many of you folks are going to use personal conveyance to unload at a location 50 miles, maybe even 300 miles or more away from you home, and then deadhead to the house using personal conveyance.

  • If you are a single truck carrier, or own a small fleet, your home is your terminal, or you may have a location close by that you are using to park your truck(s). The distance from where you park your trucks and trailers to your house will qualify, the drive to that location will not.
  • You are leased to a carrier, or even a company driver that is allowed to use personal conveyance. Like it or not, your home is considered a "park location" by most carriers, and I am 99% positive that an enforcement officer will see it this way even if your small fleet does not have this specific designation.
In this scenario: Get involved in an accident, or pulled over by an enforcement officer, personal conveyance is not going to fly. At a minimum, you are getting a citation and put out of service. In the extreme (in the case of an accident), you are in more trouble than you ever bargained for.

Loading/Unloading, then using personal conveyance to find a place to park
Time spent traveling to a nearby, reasonable, safe location to obtain required rest after loading or unloading. The time driving under personal conveyance must allow the driver adequate time to obtain the required rest in accordance with minimum off-duty periods under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1) (property-carrying vehicles) or 395.5(a) (passenger-carrying vehicles) before returning to on-duty driving, and the resting location must be the first such location reasonably available.
In the PDF file that was attached earlier, regarding guidance, FMCSA was very clear on finding the nearest possible location:
The movement from a shipper or receiver to the nearest safe resting area may be identified as personal conveyance, regardless of whether the driver exhausted his or her HOS, as long as the CMV is being moved solely to enable the driver to obtain the required rest at a safe location. T
Once again, this is going to get people in trouble. Be very careful with this. The folks at the truck stop counters and channel 19 are going to tell you that you can drive 75 miles, 150 miles, or some arbitrary number that they made up because they have no idea what the rule and the guidance are themselves, they just talk so they can hear themselves.

Park at the nearest location, don't get caught abusing this.

Don't get caught leaving a shipper/receiver that allows parking simply because you want to go to a truck stop. While you might get away with it, you might also get caught. Don't abuse this by driving 80 miles down the road, and passing up multiple parking locations to get to the location where you want to stop, or for the purpose of getting closer to the next pickup or delivery. The consequences are simply not worth it.

Running out of hours, continuing to drive home or to a truck stop via personal conveyance.
Yes, I have already seen this posted countless times by uninformed folks on Facebook. Worse yet, everyone believing it.

Folks, if you are driving, it is your responsibility to stop before you run out of hours. Personal conveyance does not apply here under any circumstance. Get caught, and it will be expensive. Get involved in an accident, and the stakes just got much higher. Again, not worth it.

Finally, getting adequate rest
This one is going to sneak up on people.

"Adequate Rest" is mentioned multiple times in the guidance following the use of personal conveyance, but there is nothing specific in regards to what defines it. I am going to clear this up for you.

Who defines "adequate rest"? Not you, not your carrier, not your dispatcher, and definitely not the broker. Adequate rest will be determined by A) The enforcement officer who is checking your log book, and B) the lawyer that is looking to pin the fault of an accident on you because you were fatigued or shouldn't have been at a location at a specific time.

If you are at a shipper for 4 hours, drive 1 hour to find a parking spot, then take 5 more hours before leaving that parking spot, you have a 10 hour break according to your ELD software and you are technically legal to drive again. You may get away with this, but in the event of being pulled in for a log book inspection, or in the event of an accident, you have opened yourself up for trouble. Same goes fro being told to move your CMV by a safety official. You can now move it, but it's up to powers beyond you as to whether your break was interrupted or not.

Under the guidance, you can use your truck for personal use. Things such as moving, or transporting something for a friend. It's not classified as work, and can therefore fall under personal conveyance. With an ELD, this movement will be noted. If you spend 2,3,5,8, or whatever hours performing these tasks, then go get a load and head out under a load, this could come back to haunt you for the same reasons as listed above. And enforcement officer, or a lawyer may very well decide you didn't have adequate rest before operating your CMV.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
There is plenty more to debate here, probably plenty of disagreement with what I said. I am saying this, however, to keep people from getting into trouble. I'm not telling you how I am going to do it or not do it, I am telling you how I think you should do it in terms of staying out of trouble.

In the end, we have a rule, and we have some guidance. It is up to the carrier to determine what they deem as allowable under this rule and guidance, and it is up to the driver to determine both what is allowable under not only the rules and guidance, but under whatever additional restrictions the carrier has put into place.

As a motor carrier, good idea to put some strict guidelines in place regarding this, that way you are less likely to be held accountable in the event a company driver, or driver leased to you, is found in violation of this rule. Especially if that violation takes place in the event of an accident.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Everyone is encouraged to weigh in on this topic. Trolling, and any other non productive nonsense will be removed. There needs to be at least one place here where this new guidance and it's limitations can be productively discussed.
 

Sinister

Order of The Gilded Flip Flop
Staff member
Supporter
At Quality Carriers our rule was:

100 miles
2 hours total drive time
Cannot use to advance to next load

I don’t see much changing for that type of operation because I was never up against any sort of HOS at all (and the pay reflected that).

At Walmart it won’t be an issue either.

But I can certainly see his it is of great concern for single truck owner operators, and even drivers leased on to outfits.

If I were to get a truck, I probably could not get a trailer into my yard at home. I could a tanker, and MAY HAVE parked a few loads of peroxide at my house a time or two so I just went off duty there.

As I understand it, let’s say I’m leased to a carrier on the other side of town.

I park my trailer there, go off duty, then bobtail home.

That’s fine, correct?
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
As I understand it, let’s say I’m leased to a carrier on the other side of town.

I park my trailer there, go off duty, then bobtail home.

That’s fine, correct?
I would see that as perfectly acceptable under the FMCSA guidance and the examples they provided.
 
You guys are missing the important part. I haven’t had my logs looked at in almost two years.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to worry about this stuff. It’s good to keep up on current rules. But why worry about things no-one looks at?
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
You guys are missing the important part. I haven’t had my logs looked at in almost two years.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to worry about this stuff. It’s good to keep up on current rules. But why worry about things no-one looks at?
Because the point here is not about whether you are going to get checked, it's about being legal in the even you are checked, or worse, you are involved in an accident.

Also, because some here has more skin in the game than others. There are startup carriers out here ( and more coming everyday) that will have to send in 30 days worth of logs for each driver under their authority as part of their new entrant audit.

At any time, a carrier could have to submit up to 6 months worth of logs in the case of an audit.

Also, people are having logs checked on a daily basis out on the road. The odds of being checked are slim, but it happens. Those that don't want to make this gamble need to know what is right and what is wrong.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
The point of the change in guidance was to help drivers find safe, legal parking after you've been detained. Nothing more than that.

Many DCs do not allow on-site parking, and local ordinances prevent side-of-road parking anywhere near the DC. All this change does is allow you to move to the nearest safe location.

Concerning what happens with your logbook. It's not whether your logs have been looked at recently that counts. If you've been involved in a fatality accident, an attorney hired by the survivors of the victim will subpoena your logs - they're taught to do this. If they show a pattern of violations using PC to advance loads, move to not the neatest parking location but the location of choice, you can be sure that this behavior will be used against you to assess both blame, and monetary penalties in a civil case, or even criminal culpability.

30-day audits: you can't even be sure that a FMCSA log auditor will even interpret use of the 8/2 split provisions correctly, let alone use of PC.
 

RamblingPete

Well-Known Member
It's funny you mention returning home because I just posted something I found that differs from , or seems to , personal conveyance about using a cmv as a personal vehicle to cross state lines .
It says the HOS rules don't apply if using the cmv to return home or from home to terminal as long as it's not advancing a load ... intentionally it seems . That's why I posted both the link for 390.5 on FMSCA website and the question and answer provided by the site , which seemed clear cut .
 

dchawk81

Well-Known Member
So if I bought a truck in, say, Missouri, I could drive it home to PA off duty since I'm not working it yet?
 

oldhippietommy

Well-Known Member
I bobtail using PC 35 miles to the dc
I log on duty there and grab a trailer
I make my run in under 8 hours.(usually)
When I return to the DC,I drop the trailer and hit PC
I bobtail home.
I have at least 13 hours off the clock

legit?
Thats what I been doing

my logg book hasn`t been looked at in many years..I can`t remember the last time ,it has to be 3 or 4 years,but I`m ready,got nothing to hide but that spare eld
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
So if I bought a truck in, say, Missouri, I could drive it home to PA off duty since I'm not working it yet?
In the time it takes you to do that, and get things done to make it happen, I'm sure doing it on-duty wouldn't make one bit of difference to your overall clock situation.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I bobtail using PC 35 miles to the dc
I log on duty there and grab a trailer
I make my run in under 8 hours.(usually)
When I return to the DC,I drop the trailer and hit PC
I bobtail home.
I have at least 13 hours off the clock

legit?
Thats what I been doing

my logg book hasn`t been looked at in many years..I can`t remember the last time ,it has to be 3 or 4 years,but I`m ready,got nothing to hide but that spare eld
That’s totally legit
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
It's funny you mention returning home because I just posted something I found that differs from , or seems to , personal conveyance about using a cmv as a personal vehicle to cross state lines .
It says the HOS rules don't apply if using the cmv to return home or from home to terminal as long as it's not advancing a load ... intentionally it seems . That's why I posted both the link for 390.5 on FMSCA website and the question and answer provided by the site , which seemed clear cut .
You can use your truck for any personal use that you want, for any length of time that you want.

You can’t use it to complete a job, then use PC from there back home.
 
Commuting between the driver’s terminal and his or her residence, between trailer-drop lots and the driver’s residence, and between work sites and his or her residence. In these scenarios, the commuting distance combined with the release from work and start to work times must allow the driver enough time to obtain the required restorative rest as to ensure the driver is not fatigued.

I pull campers out of Indiana. I live in Arkansas. I typically make runs to Texas because it gets me home often and fuel is cheaper down here. I drive a regular old Chevy pickup truck. When I leave home headed back to Indiana I'm not under dispatch. I typically don't get my next load dispatched until I get back to Goshen. I've always logged that time but the way this reads it doesn't sound like I have to. Now mind you I don't drive up there pick up a load and then hit the road somewhere. I'll usually drive up on a Sunday and grab a hotel and then get up Monday morning and go get a load. The way this reads it sounds like to me I wouldn't have to log it as on duty and have it count against my 70 hours. Am I wrong?
 

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