New Personal Conveyance Guidance Gives Flexibility to Find Truck Parking

- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration just announced regulatory guidance that gives drivers a way to deal with one of the most vexing problems with the electronic logging device mandate – finding a safe place to park for the night. FMCSA on May 31 published new guidance documents providing more detail of the “personal conveyance” provision of federal hours of service rules, including a key change from the 1997 guidelines, as well as clarifying the longstanding 150 air-miles hours-of-service agricultural commodity exemption. Personal conveyance is not a new part of the hours of service regulations. Motor carriers may, at their discretion, authorize drivers to use a commercial motor vehicle while off-duty for personal conveyance. This must be documented in a driver’s logs, whether electronic or on paper. ELD manufacturers are required to include a special driving category for personal conveyance.

The previous guidance, in 1997, explicitly excluded the use of “laden” vehicles as personal conveyance. The new guidance focuses instead on the reason the driver is operating the commercial vehicle while off-duty, without regard to whether it’s loaded or not. This opens it up to the ability to be used by drivers who run out of legal driving hours while delayed at a shipper or receiver so they can get to the nearest reasonable safe place to park.

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