The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released new guidance earlier this month
regarding the use of Personal Conveyance time associated with hours of service regulations. The introduction of PC time back in May afforded drivers the much-needed flexibility to perform their duties. We covered the use of personal conveyance in a previous blog post, but after the recent clarification issued by the FMCSA, we feel it is important to revisit the subject.
The updated hours of service interpretation released on the FMCSA website now states that
Drivers can log Personal Conveyance even when under a load as long as the driver is off work.
The exact text, which can be found here, is as follows:
Personal conveyance is the movement of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while off-duty. A driver may record personal conveyance as off-duty only when the driver is relieved from work. 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 motor carrier.
To help avoid confusion, the FMCSA offers a number of examples as follows:
Proper use of PC time
- Time spent traveling from a driver’s en route lodgings such as a motel or truck stop.
- 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. In these scenarios, the commuting from work and start to work times must allow the driver enough time to obtain the required restorative rest as to ensure the driver is not fatigued.
- Time spent traveling to a nearby, reasonable, safe location to obtain required rest after loading or unloading. The time driving under personal conveyance must allow the driver adequate time to obtain the required rest in accordance with minimum off-duty periods under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1) (property-carrying vehicles) or 395.5(a) (passenger-carrying vehicles) before returning to on-duty driving, and the resting location must be the first such location reasonably available.
- Moving a CMV at the request of a safety officer during the driver’s off-duty time
- Time spent transporting personal property while off-duty.
Not qualified for PC time
- 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.
- Continuation of a CMV trip in interstate commerce for a business purpose, including bobtailing or operating with an empty trailer in order to retrieve another load.
- Time spent transporting a CMV to a facility to have vehicle maintenance performed.
- After being placed out of service for exceeding the maximum periods permitted under part 395, time spent driving to a location to obtain the required rest, unless so directed by an enforcement officer at the scene.
- Time spent traveling to a motor carrier’s terminal after loading or unloading from a shipper or a receiver.
Most of these examples are common sense but some have been issues of heated debate between logistics professionals. Pay special attention to item number 3 above. It is a common misconception, especially among owner-operators, that taking their equipment in for service or repairs affords them the ability to log this time as off duty. This is not the case. According to hours of service regulations, a driver should log the transit time to a repair facility as on duty.