Every worker deserves a break. Especially a truck driver who hauls a semi-trailer for up to 14 hours a day.

Enter: Personal Conveyance, or the use of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while off-duty, without affecting hours of duty status. Since electronic logging device (ELD) implementation began, personal conveyance has become a point of confusion for both drivers and fleet carriers alike.

In response, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) issued the following official guidance on personal conveyance, for the first time in over 20 years.

  1. Fleet carriers determine their own personal conveyance rules. Personal conveyance is permitted by the FMCSA, but not required. Should the fleet carrier permit personal conveyance, the FMCSA sets no mileage limits or specific times of day, or what’s allowable. Instead, it’s up to the operator to set limits as part of an official personal conveyance policy. The policy should stipulate what is and is not allowed during off-duty hours, including any time limits specific to the employer, vehicle location, etc.
  2. Personal conveyance has to be just that - personal. In addition to taking place while off-duty, personal conveyance miles cannot advance the load or the driver’s job in any way. If so, it is considered to be “enhancing operational readiness,” i.e., for example, if the driver were to pass the nearest safe parking spot in order to get to another location that’s closer to the driver’s next delivery or pick up, that’s considered “advancing the load,” not personal conveyance. Going to a restaurant, driving to find a safe bathroom or moving the CMV to pursue a personal activity are all examples of personal conveyance.
  3. The CMV can be loaded or empty during personal conveyance. A key change under the new guidance is that a CMV can be loaded or unloaded during personal conveyance. The revised guidance doesn’t require semi-trucks to be unhitched from their trailers or drivers to pull an empty trailer during personal conveyance.
  4. Drivers do not have to return to their last on-duty location post-personal conveyance. FMCSA clarified that there is no requirement for drivers to return to their last on-duty location after personal conveyance. Drivers may resume their on-duty status immediately after an off-duty status, regardless of their location.
  5. Commuting time to and from the terminal or similar location can be considered personal conveyance. Commuting to and from work is a grey area when it comes to personal conveyance. The new FMCSA guidance deemed driving to and from work to be personal conveyance and not subject to any mileage limit by the fleet operator.

Regardless of a fleet operator’s personal conveyance rules, remember to train drivers that they still have a responsibility to continue operating their CMV responsively, whether on or off the clock.

Contact your HUB Transportation Risk Services specialist for more information on how to create and enforce personal conveyance rules with your fleet.