Today’s Pickup: FMCSA looks for clarity on personal conveyance

( Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Raunet )

Good day,

One of the big mysteries around hours of service is personal conveyance. When can a driver use a vehicle for personal reasons without it counting against their driving time? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is now attempting to clarify that usage through regulatory guidance.

The current law requires an off-duty driver to be relieved of all work and responsibility for performing work. It allows drivers, with company permission, to the use the vehicle to get to and from work or for other “short” trips, such as going to get something to eat or shop.

A key part of the law, FMCSA said, is that the vehicle be “unladen.” The agency believes that has penalized operators of vehicles where a trailer could not be detached and therefore the vehicle could never be unladen.

FMCSA is seeking comment on the proposal which would eliminate the unladen part of the rule. This would not only affect drivers of straight trucks, but also may impact tractor-trailers, allowing drivers to take the trailer with them while loaded while operating under personal conveyance. In addition, the agency is seeking comment on the appropriate use of a CMV while off-duty and any economic impacts.

Did you know?

Traffic congestion in Los Angeles costs trucking fleets $1.3 billion per year, according to TomTom Telematics.


“Today, jurisdictions around the country are implementing the ELD requirement. Enforcement personnel have been trained in anticipation of the ELD rule and now that it is in effect, inspectors will be verifying hours-of-service compliance by reviewing records of duty status requirements electronically.”

Collin Mooney, CVSA executive director

In other news:

Delivery companies under increased pressure

The final leg of the holiday shopping season has arrived, and with Christmas falling on a Monday this year, there is even more pressure on FedEx, UPS and USPS to delivery on time. (Wall Street Journal)

Congestion costs $7.7M per day

According to a TomTom Telematics survey, trucking fleets waste $7.71 million per day in productivity and $1.7B per year in just five cities. (CCJ)

Republicans infrastructure push cuts out Dems, possibly needed votes

Republicans and President Trump are preparing an infrastructure proposal, but the process has cut out Democrats, putting any potential vote to pass a bill in jeopardy. (The Hill)

Economists see growth in GDP next year

Economists are continuing to predict solid growth next year for GDP, albeit not as high as the Trump administration would want. (FTR)

The future of freight

A recent roundtable discussion in San Francisco took a look at what panelists see for the future of freight, and it’s heavily digital. (Supply Chain Brain)

Final Thoughts

FMCSA is hoping to clarify the personal conveyance rule that currently requires a driver using a CMV for personal use to be unladen. It also is asking for comment on appropriate use of a CMV for personal use, which is where much of the confusion on this law exists. Hopefully it will listen to the commentators and come up with a cleaner, clearer rule on personal conveyance.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.