On March 29, 2022, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) petitioned FMCSA to begin rulemaking for a more straightforward definition of Personal Conveyance (PC). Among CVSA’s recommendations is a request that FMCSA impose time or distance restrictions, although CVSA did not offer specific metrics. CVSA said the agency should focus on the fact that the purpose of existing HOS rules is to reduce cumulative fatigue and not to arbitrarily restrict commercial vehicle operations.
One of the noteworthy features of electronic logs is that all drive time is captured and logged. To accommodate those instances in which a truck is driven exclusively for personal use, electronic logging systems provide for a fifth duty status called “Personal Conveyance,” allowing drivers to change their personal driving to “Off-Duty Driving.”
“Personal Conveyance” often means different things to different people. Understanding the law is critical to avoid the risks of misusing the personal conveyance provision of hours-of-service regulations and can save you time and money as well as reduce your risk of a crash.
There are many gray areas when it comes to logging personal conveyance. Example: you are on home time for the weekend and decide to bobtail to the truck stop to get your truck serviced, have your someone pick you up there and go shopping, then bring you back to pick up the truck and drive it back home. Is that considered PC time? The way you manage it could be the difference between operating legally or receiving a citation. And even if you are right but still get cited, you should consider the cost of fighting a bad citation. Is it worth losing $500-$1,000 by parking your truck for a day and going to court? You should also consider whether it is smart business to log PC even when your total on-duty hours are not going to be close to the 60-70 for the week.
In response to CVSA’s petition, FMCSA established a new violation code in the roadside inspection software to collect data on the frequency of PC violations. As of March 25, 3,475 drivers have received violations so far in 2022 under new violation code 395.8E1PC, improper use of personal conveyance.
In anticipation of rulemaking, ICSA members should acknowledge growing efforts by law enforcement to crack down on PC. You should closely monitor your own use or that of your drivers to ensure the PC provision is being used properly, and that all drivers are getting the rest they need.
Get answers to frequently asked questions regarding personal conveyance and FMCSA’s recent regulatory guidance. Also see FMCSA updates the guidance for § 395.8 Driver’s Record of Duty Status.
Mike has an extensive, life-long background as a driver, a mechanic, and an independent owner/operator. Before joining ICSA, he spent 23 years at Knight Transportation, where Mike was promoted to Regional Safety Director, and ultimately to Corporate Director of Safety for all Knight companies. In 2008, Mike moved to Phoenix as Knight’s Director of Recruiting and Driver Development, where he enjoyed being part of Knight’s growth and steadily improving safety performance.
Mike's position as Safety Consultant at ICSA enables him to continue working to improve highway safety. Mike understands the trucking business from both a driver’s and a fleet’s perspective. He has experienced the challenges independent carriers face as they juggle profitability while minimizing the risks of accidents or legal challenges. Have operational or safety questions? Mike Hitchcock is your go-to.