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FMCSA adds a few words to clarify its rules on personal conveyance

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A small change in the guidance of the personal conveyance rules established several months ago by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration clarifies that a truck being used for personal conveyance doesn’t need to be empty.

The new guidance reads as follows: “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 carrier at that time.” A spokesman for FMCSA said the phrase “even if it is laden” was added for clarification.  

Under the new guidelines for personal conveyance released earlier this year, personal conveyance could mean moving a truck into a rest spot in a period of time that exceeded the limits on for on-duty hours.  However, some truckers apparently read the rule and found it lacking in making clear that the truck being moved into place didn’t need to be empty. The “even if it is laden” phrase should clarify that.

(FreightWaves’ initial story on the new rules released at the end of May makes clear that a laden truck was considered acceptable for personal conveyance: “It will be acceptable to make that move in a truck that is laden. FMCSA said that is a reversal of past practice.” )

There will always be some ambiguity surrounding the personal conveyance guidance on moving a truck into place during time past the end of the HOS. How many minutes past the end of the HOS can you go? How many miles? And if the rule is that you can’t use personal conveyance time to move further toward the destination you’re headed to once your on-duty clock starts moving again, does that mean a trucker needs to go south to find a parking spot even if the next-day destination is north…and there might be closer parking that way?

Personal conveyance rules were one of the key areas of discussion at a session held by FMCSA chief counsel Jim Mullen at the recent American Trucking Associations’ annual meeting in Austin, and that ambiguity was front and center at the session.  

There also was some earlier guidance set by FMCSA on personal conveyance to find a “nearby, safe location to park” that could be viewed as having not specified that the truck could be laden.


  1. Please understand, I’m 64 years young and I love trucking. I own several different kinds of trailers from dirt to conestoga flat beds. As a Independent I chose the place company and time I want to go to work off the load board. I’m never in a hurry because venturing out is a paid vacation for me. ELDS are a problem for my life style. I stop rest and enjoy the ride and scenery alot. Its a pleasure. Not a JOB…

  2. How about If we want to bobtail to go shopping on our time off or go to the movies or out to dinner. I use to drop my trailer all the time now with ElD I can’t do that it’s bullshit wish Trump would cut some of these regulations..

  3. All I have to say about the wording is this is my job, this is what feeds my family.. IT’S NOT MONOPOLY OR ANY OTHER BOARD GAME…( advancing my position ) this crap reads like they think it’s a game, I’ve had the ELD in my truck for 4 years now , yes I’m a owner operator, every rule they put in place is a rule somebody will find away around it. My truck, my family and my money.
    Take your Milton Bradley board game rules and stick ’em!

  4. LOL, well that really made it so much clearer, Not….
    I’m sure the safety department said the same, clear as mud and leaves it wide open for a DOT officer to interpret it his own way…

  5. The broad brush that paints us all the same must be diverse. There’s at lease three or more categories of truckers. The Independent: A TRUCKER; That ownes their truck and trailer. The Owner Operator: A TRUCKER; That ownes their tractor but operates someone elses trailer. And then there’s the Driver, whose only responsibility is to follow orders pickup and deliver loads. This paint brush cannot paint us all the same fairly.

  6. The comment about needing to change direction to not advance the load hit the nail on the head.

    My company still is not allowing drivers to move loaded after HOS.
    Way too much gray area that DOT officer has at their discretion deciding whether or not violating HOS driving to parking.

John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.