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Hours of Service of Drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles: Proposed Regulatory Guidance Concerning the Use of a Commercial Motor Vehicle for Personal Conveyance

10 Jan 2018 9:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

FMCSA is proposing to revise the regulatory guidance concerning driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while off-duty, referred to as “personal conveyance.” This provision is available to all CMV drivers required to record their hours of service (HOS) who are permitted by their employer to use the vehicle for personal use. The Agency requests public comments on the guidance and its economic impact.

Comments are due by January 18, 2018.

Current Regulatory Guidance

Question 26 under section 49 CFR 395.8 currently reads as follows:

Question 26: If a driver is permitted to use a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) for personal reasons, how must the driving time be recorded?

Guidance: When a driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work, time spent traveling from a driver's home to his/her terminal (normal work reporting location), or from a driver's terminal to his/her home, may be considered off-duty time. Similarly, time spent traveling short distances from a driver's en route lodgings (such as en route terminals or motels) to restaurants in the vicinity of such lodgings may be considered off-duty time. The type of conveyance used from the terminal to the driver's home, from the driver's home to the terminal, or to restaurants in the vicinity of en route lodgings would not alter the situation unless the vehicle is laden. A driver may not operate a laden CMV as a personal conveyance. The driver who uses a motor carrier's Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) for transportation home, and is subsequently called by the employing carrier and is then dispatched from home, would be on-duty from the time the driver leaves home. A driver placed out of service for exceeding the requirements of the hours of service regulations may not drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) to any location to obtain rest.

Proposed Change

FMCSA proposes to replace the above interpretation with the following revised Question 26 and seeks comments on this guidance. FMCSA also seeks public comments and information on other appropriate uses of a CMV while off-duty for personal conveyance, as well as the economic impacts of the proposal. FMCSA proposes to update the guidance for

§ 395.8 Driver's Record of Duty Status to read as follows:

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.

(a) 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 and back to the lodging.

2. Commuting from the last location where on-duty activity occurred to the driver's permanent residence and back to that last on-duty location. This would include 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.

(b) 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 to enhance the operational readiness of a motor carrier. For example, moving the CMV closer to its next loading or unloading point or other motor carrier-scheduled destination, regardless of other factors.

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 in order to pick up another towed unit.

3. Continuation of a CMV trip in interstate commerce, even after the vehicle is unloaded. In this scenario, on-duty time does not end until the driver reaches a location designated or authorized by the carrier for parking or storage of the CMV, such as a permanent residence, authorized lodging, or home terminal.

4. Bobtailing or operating with an empty trailer to retrieve another load.

5. Repositioning a CMV and or trailer at the direction of 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.

Comments

In addition to general comments concerning the guidance, the Agency is seeking information on the following:

1.     Which carriers or drivers would take advantage of the additional flexibilities proposed in this guidance?

2.     Are there particular segments of the industry that would take advantage of this change more than others?

3.     Are there some carriers or segments of the industry that would prohibit their drivers from driving laden vehicles for personal conveyance?

4.     For what reasons would a carrier prohibit drivers from driving a laden vehicle for personal conveyance?

5.     What benefits would the new flexibilities provide to carriers and drivers?

Read the full Federal Register notice at 

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-12-19/pdf/2017-27315.pdf.  

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