By Dave Osiecki, President of Scopelitis Transportation Consulting LLC, and ELD Consultant to PeopleNet
On May 31, 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued its long-awaited, revised guidance on personal conveyance (PC)—an operating status that allows a driver to record time operating a CMV for personal reasons as off-duty when the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work by the motor carrier. The first thing many will notice is the ability of drivers to use the PC status even if the CMV is laden.
This new, and significantly longer guidance replaces the Agency’s advice and direction of the topic originally issued way back in the mid-1990s. It’s likely to be more helpful than past guidance since it provides examples to drivers, carrier safety personnel and the enforcement community that are designed to help determine if a “…movement of a CMV is an appropriate off-duty use.” A link to FMCSA’s new guidance is provided at the bottom of this article.
Below are FMCSA’s examples of what it calls “appropriate uses” of a CMV while off-duty for PC:
Numbers 3 & 4 above are likely to be welcomed by many professional drivers since they address commonly encountered situations with shippers, receivers and law enforcement officials in some States.
Examples of uses of a CMV that, according to FMCSA, “would not qualify” as PC, are:
While FMCSA’s new guidance is clearly intended to help drivers better understand the PC operating status, and when it can be legally used, the Agency also makes clear that 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.” In other words, carriers still have discretion on whether, and what, it will allow for PC use by employee drivers.
Whatever path a carrier chooses—to allow, restrict, or prohibit PC use by its employee drivers—the company should have a written PC policy and clearly communicate it to the drivers.
For more information on the finer points of the ELD Mandate, be sure to visit our Resource Page to ensure you and your fleet stay compliant with the regulation.