The U.S. Department of Transportation describes personal conveyance as “the use of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal purposes.” To keep it simple, it’s when you use a CMV for travel not related to work. While this may seem like a trivial issue, it has caused some confusion for drivers and motor carriers alike.
Take note that there are important personal conveyance rules and regulations truckers need to know, and this article will surely provide a guideline of those that will help drivers understand what is allowed by the FMCSA.
The requirements from The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for drivers are to document their hours of service by identifying under one of the four following duty status options:
Personal Conveyance is the use of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while a trucker is in category 4: off duty.
Any CMV movement benefiting the motor carrier should not be considered personal conveyance.
The rules of personal conveyance apply to all fleets that run CMVs. A CMV is defined by the FMCSA as a self-propelled or towed vehicle used in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property that falls under one of the following:
Any motor carrier or driver that operates CMVs should be aware of these regulations and be compliant.
There is an easy way to understand if you’re using a CMV for personal conveyance.
The best and simple way to determine if you are operating under personal conveyance is to ask yourself these questions, as outlined by FMCSA Director of Enforcement and Compliance, Joe DeLorenzo.
Take note that if a driver can answer yes to all of the above questions, then they are operating under personal conveyance.
The statements under MCV uses that qualify as personal conveyance. Just take note though that these examples are not limited to the following:
Below are some examples of MCV use that do not qualify as personal conveyance. Once again, examples are not limited to the following:
No, there is no maximum distance or time that a driver may use personal conveyance. However, off-duty drivers must get adequate rest before returning to driving a CMV.
Yes, drivers may use a loaded vehicle for personal conveyance. The term defines CMV use regardless of whether a vehicle is laden.
A driver can operate a CMV for personal conveyance purposes anytime they are off-duty. They should be completely relieved from work and all responsibility pertaining to the motor carrier.
Motor carriers may establish personal conveyance limitations for drivers operating underneath them. Their rules must remain within the scope of, or be more restrictive than, the FMCSA guidelines. For example, motor carriers may ban the use of CMVs for the personal conveyance or impose a maximum time or distance.
As a driver, it is always a good measure to be aware of your motor carrier’s personal conveyance rules in addition to those laid out by the FMCSA.
A necessary requirement of personal conveyance is that it only occurs during off-duty time. Therefore, under no circumstances should it affect a driver’s on-duty time. Personal conveyance also should not conflict with hours of service (HOS) regulations including the 11/14-hour limitations for truck drivers or the 10/15-hour limit for bus drivers.
To end this article, let's just say that personal conveyance is a concept that may confuse many drivers at first. However, it’s ultimately easy to grasp the basics. It is better that you’re familiar with what types of operations fall under personal conveyance and what the FMCSA regulations are. With that, you’ll know exactly how to stay in line.
If your company or drivers need help understanding this subject matter, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance from Labworks USA. We have years of experience helping motor carriers comply with federal guidelines including drug and alcohol testing concerns. Our DOT Consortium will support your fleet all the way. Know more about Labworks USA and feel free to check out our services here.Back to Blogs