The ELD mandate became mandatory on December 18, 2017, which only emphasized the importance of personal conveyance and special driving statuses. Commercial drivers have been asking questions about personal conveyance, and to make things easier for truckers, the FMCSA has now come up with a proposal to slightly alter the personal conveyance guidelines.
The current guidance allows drivers to use their trucks as personal vehicles when traveling to their home, a restaurant, or a motel along their route. The same guidance, however, states that before a truck is used for personal conveyance, it should be unladen.
The FMCSA is looking to remove the requirement which states that commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) must not be carrying any work- or load-related materials before being driven for personal use.
The proposed guidelines would allow truck drivers to use their vehicles for personal conveyance even if loaded with work- or load-related items.
The agency will put a notice in the Federal Register in the coming days regarding the proposed changes and will seek comments from members of the trucking industry for the next 30 days.
The FMCSA proposed that drivers can use their truck when off-duty and even if filled with cargo for “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.”
The time spent by a driver on “commuting from the last location where on-duty activity occurred to the driver’s permanent residence and back to the last on-duty location” is included, as well as traveling from trailer drop-off sites to a driver’s residence, and between worksites and residences.
However, the FMCSA emphasized that personal conveyance under the revised guidance excludes “movement of a (truck) to enhance operational readiness” like moving closer to a pickup or drop-off point.
Other activities that are disallowed are driving bobtail or with an empty trailer to a location to pick up another load, driving an unloaded truck to a designated parking area after being unloaded, and repositioning a CMV or trailer in the direction of the motor carrier.
When an electronic logging device is in personal conveyance mode, the device’s GPS monitors the CMV within a 10-mile radius instead of the one-mile radius required for on-duty reporting.
The FMCSA has also confirmed this on its website, where the following is written:
“When the personal conveyance status is selected (as allowed and configured by the motor carrier), the CMV’s location is recorded with a lower level of precision (i.e., an approximate 10-mile radius).”
Although the ELD mandate has been implemented, the FMCSA is still working to make things as easy as possible for truckers — especially before April 1, 2018. After April 1, 2018, vehicles without ELDs will be placed out of service, and ELD violations would also affect a carrier’s CSA scores.
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