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What is Personal Conveyance – Rules and Regulations

personal conveyance rules and regulations

Information zooms along the nerves of the human body at about 400kmph. It is a fascinating fact about the human body, but what does it have to do with driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV)? 

As a CMV driver, you process a lot of information on the road – such as traffic signs, signals, hazards, and other vehicles. You also make quick and safe decisions based on that information. 

But sometimes, you may get tired and use your commercial vehicle for personal reasons while off-duty. These reasons include borrowing the CMV for approved personal tasks during free time. 

While Hours of Service (HoS) limits driving time to avoid fatigue, personal conveyance (PC) means using a CMV for personal reasons while you are completely off duty (and as per rules). 

Hours of Service (HoS) possible use case-

  • Taking a mandatory break after reaching the maximum drive limit of 11 hours.
  • Pull over and take a short break to rest if you have fatigue and regain alertness before continuing your journey.

Personal Conveyance (PC) possible use case (we will discuss it in detail in the below sections)

  • Running errands on your off-day, such as picking up groceries or visiting the bank in the CMV.
  • Parking trailer at a nearby location near your home while off duty.

In this blog, we will explain 

  • what personal conveyance is;
  • who can use i;
  • how to use it;
  • and why it matters;

We will also answer some common questions and provide examples of personal conveyance. 

Matrack has been in the fleet industry for over a decade. Our team constantly seeks updates and modifications on the industry regulations to keep our readers and clients informed. 

So, by the end of this blog, you will have an assured better understanding of personal conveyance and how it benefits you as a driver.

What is Personal Conveyance?

Personal conveyance is when you drive a commercial truck for personal reasons while not working. You may call it off-duty if your carrier has confirmed that you have finished working. 

You may still use the truck for personal reasons even if it is loaded with goods, as long as you are not delivering anything for your company. However, do not equate this with the freedom to drive unsafely. 

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has laid some guidelines that the carrier should roll out for drivers to follow.

Who can use Personal Conveyance?

Any commercial motor vehicle can use personal conveyance if it complies with HoS guidelines. Some carriers may not allow drivers to use personal conveyance due to concerns about the potential misuse of company resources. They might also not allow it in a loaded truck due to a risk of potential strain of heavy goods on the truck components.

Note the off-duty and on-duty status in your ELD and HoS logbooks. You may take a PC if you take the truck home after delivering the goods.

When Can Drivers Use Personal Conveyance?

The FMCSA mandates that drivers must take a required number of off-duty hours. If a driver does not use a PC, authorities will consider the time spent with a commercial vehicle as on-duty.

Moreover, if they move the truck off-duty, it will not affect their available hours of service.

Personal Conveyance Rules for Commercial Truck Drivers

The FMCSA’s criteria for classifying vehicle use as personal conveyance might be confusing for some. Don’t worry, and read the below list by FMCSA of possible scenarios where you might use personal conveyance. 

  • Using a commercial vehicle for personal purposes when off duty is known as personal conveyance. For example,  it is a personal conveyance if you go from a motel or truck stop to a movie theater.
  • Using a commercial vehicle to reach a safe resting place after work falls under personal conveyance. This rule applies if you have adequate time to rest before resuming work, and if the location is the first reasonable and available option. For example, transporting goods and driving your truck to a rest area constitutes personal conveyance.
  • You engage in personal conveyance when you take the vehicle to or from home. It qualifies as personal conveyance if you have enough time to rest. This includes driving between your home and the terminal, the trailer-drop lot, or the work site.
  • Going for vehicle maintenance when off-duty constitutes personal conveyance. However, it does not qualify as personal conveyance if you do so due to a problem with the vehicle or to fulfill the motor carrier’s requirements. For instance, taking the truck to a mechanic after noticing a flat tire does not fall under personal conveyance.
  • Spending time driving a commercial vehicle to enhance the motor carrier’s operations while off-duty involves personal conveyance. However, it does not qualify as personal conveyance if you do so to get closer to the next delivery point or other destination determined by the motor carrier. 
  • When you drive a commercial vehicle at the request of a safety official while off-duty, it is not personal conveyance if you do it to comply with the safety official’s instructions. For instance, if an officer tells you to move your truck to another location, you are not using personal conveyance.
  • When you drive a commercial vehicle after delivering a towed unit while off-duty, it’s not personal conveyance if you’re doing it to fulfill a business purpose. For example, it is not personal conveyance if you tow a trailer to a construction site and then drive back to the towing company to get another trailer.

What Happens if Personal Conveyance is Misused?

Incorrect use of personal conveyance has consequences. If a law enforcement officer determines misuse of the PC HOS duty status, they can issue a DOT violation. 

Recently, FMCSA introduced a specific violation code to track improper usage. In 2022, many drivers made this violation as per Roadcheck Inspection

During roadside inspections, officers review ELD records, and if they find a misuse, they usually issue a violation of 49 CFR 395.8(e)(1)PC

It often results in the driver being put out of service, fined, and delayed in their duties. The driver and carrier receive a 7 to 9 CSA point violation, which may lead to increased enforcement and compliance reviews. 

These reviews uncover further violations and result in hefty fines. It eventually leads to an Unsatisfactory Conditional Safety Fitness Determination. Ultimately, insurance premiums and access to loads through load boards could be affected.

How Can Companies Prevent Personal Conveyance Abuse?

To prevent personal conveyance abuse, companies must establish clear policies and guidelines. They shouldn’t automatically permit drivers to use their trucks during off-duty hours unless they’re owner-operators. 

The FMCSA encourages all trucking companies to develop and enforce personal conveyance use policies. These policies should clearly outline expectations and limits, such as allowed distances from job sites to residences or designated parking areas for loaded trucks overnight. 

Many carriers require drivers to obtain permission from dispatch before using personal conveyance. Company management should actively monitor drivers’ use of personal conveyance and enforce disciplinary action for any deviations from the policy. 

Log falsification violations are serious transgressions and have negative consequences for trucking companies. It is crucial to ensure that drivers understand the criteria for using personal conveyance appropriately and to document all related activities thoroughly. 

Things to Remember while Using Personal Conveyance

1. No vehicle maintenance during personal conveyance

You can’t have vehicle maintenance done during personal conveyance. According to FMCSA regulations, driving the truck to or from a maintenance facility is driving time. Since maintenance is part of the trucking company’s business interests, it doesn’t qualify as personal conveyance.

2. Maintain ELD records carefully

Most ELDs will switch you to driving mode automatically if they detect you are traveling above a certain speed, usually 3 to 5 mph. 

If you forget to change your status to Personal Conveyance before moving the truck, it might automatically switch back to Driving status.

Then, you must go back and edit your log, add comments, and fix the issue. If you are not using Matrack’s easy and quick ELD solution, you may find it tricky on other ELDs. It is best to switch your duty status before you start driving.

3. PC mileage limit

In the US, there’s no exact limit on how many miles a driver can travel using personal conveyance. Canada limits it to 75 km, or about 46 miles, per day.

Also, there is no specific time limit for personal conveyance. However, personal conveyance is designed for short trips, as seen in the above situations.

Why Do You Need Matrack’s ELD Solution for Personal Conveyance Records?

Good ELD software is crucial for personal conveyance. It helps drivers record this time accurately and comply with rules. It also tracks location precisely, monitors usage, and prevents violations.

As seen above, it might be a problem if you do not maintain a proper record of off and on-duty timelines and fail to maintain the HoS logbook properly. 

So, how do you ensure that the records are maintained well? Invest in good ELD software like Matrack. It is a leading ELD software solution with over 10+ years of industry presence. 

The best part is that the Matrack team constantly works on the user feedback and updates the devices to match user preferences. Thus, many people like you trust Matrack ELD solution because they actively participate in our surveys and feedback drives.

Bottom Line

Knowing about personal conveyance is crucial for truck drivers and fleet managers. Having clear rules and using good ELD software like Matrack helps make sure everyone follows the rules and avoids getting in trouble. 

There is no limit on the use of personal conveyance. However, it is advisable to use it for smaller distances only. By handling personal conveyance properly, drivers stay safe and keep everything running smoothly for their fleet. 

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