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FMCSA Updates Personal Conveyance Guidance
3 mins read

JUNE 6, 2018 – Prompted by the many questions and concerns that have arisen since the ELD mandate, the FMCSA has issued official guidance on personal conveyance for the first time in two decades. Due out in the Federal Register this week, this guidance clarifies how personal conveyance can be used – including a few key changes that will give carriers more flexibility in using the status.

Of particular note, is the ability for carriers to use personal conveyance whether they’re driving a laden or unladen vehicle. This makes the status available to millions of additional truck drivers, who weren’t previously able to use personal conveyance because they drove a straight truck. Equally as significant, is clarification that the status can be used once a driver runs out of hours as long as they’re driving for the sole purpose of parking their truck for rest. “FMCSA recognizes that much of the pressure on drivers . . . results from delays during the loading or unloading process, causing a driver to run out of hours,” the agency stated. “This guidance will have a positive impact . . . by giving drivers the flexibility to locate and obtain adequate rest.”

Some other highlights of the guidance being released this week includes the following:

  • Although personal conveyance is a legal hours of service status, whether a driver is able to use it is up to the sole discretion of the motor carrier for whom he works.
  • If it is allowed, there are no federal limits on how many miles a driver can go while using personal conveyance. There are also no time a day restrictions. However, motor carriers can put such restrictions in place if they choose to do so.
  • In order for time to count as personal conveyance, the driver must be completely off duty. That means they can’t be purposefully traveling in a direction that advances their current load or gets them closer to their next pickup.
  • Drivers don’t need to return to their last on-duty location following personal conveyance time.
  • If a driver is asked to move their vehicle by an enforcement officer during their 10-hour break, that will count as personal conveyance and won’t require a restart of their off-duty hours.

Once the guidance is published in the Federal Register, it will remain in effect for five years. At that point, it will either be reissued for an additional five years, withdrawn or included into the federal safety regulation.

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