8 Incorrect Off Duty Uses for Personal Conveyance

Mark Schedler

The new Personal Conveyance interpretation which is an updated version of question 26 from §395.8 is below, including FMCSA’s examples of what is allowed and not allowed as PC:

Question 26: Under what circumstances may a driver operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as a personal conveyance?

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.

Examples of Uses of a CMV that Would Not Qualify as Personal Conveyance

In our last post we discussed appropriate uses personal conveyance. Here are some additional 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.”

 

Additional Legal Considerations

Hours-of-service regulations have not changed. However, the electronic logging device mandate has brought to light many of the operational challenges posed by operating within those regulations. Carriers must recognize that what is “appropriate use” in this interpretation may be viewed differently in a court room. FMCSA was clear that liability determination after a crash is outside FMCSA authority, and is a matter to be based on factors such as the principles of tort law. When crafting and disseminating a personal conveyance policy, consider the tradeoff of increased potential liability for this new-found flexibility.

Download a copy of our Personal Conveyance Guidance factsheet to learn more.

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