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Dream Assurance Group

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers spend long hours on the road, navigating deliveries and ensuring vital goods reach their destinations. But what happens when they clock out?

Enter the concept of personal conveyance, offering some freedom and flexibility during off-duty time. On this page, we will be addressing key questions, exploring rules and guidelines, and ensuring safe and compliant journeys for all truck drivers.

What is Personal Conveyance?

Imagine finishing a delivery and driving home in your work truck. That’s personal conveyance in action! It refers to using a CMV for personal errands, activities, or travel while officially off duty from your designated work shift. This allows drivers to run errands, grab groceries, or even take weekend trips with their families in their familiar vehicles.

What is Considered Personal Conveyance

Here are some more specific examples of personal conveyance for commercial drivers, categorized by their purpose:

Moving between locations

  • Traveling to driver’s en route lodging (motel or truck stop) for rest.
  • Commuting from the driver’s residence to the motor carrier’s terminal or work site.
  • Traveling from a trailer drop-off location to your residence.

Personal activities

  • Running errands during your break, like grocery shopping or picking up medications.
  • Taking your family out for dinner or a weekend trip.
  • Attending personal appointments or social events.
  • Going to the gym or engaging in recreational activities near your destination.

These are just some examples, and the specific details can vary depending on your employer’s policies and individual circumstances. Always check with your supervisor or fleet manager if you have any doubts about what constitutes permitted personal conveyance use.

How Long Can You Drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle on Personal Conveyance

Unlike on-duty driving, there’s no specific time limit for personal conveyance for commercial drivers. While personal conveyance offers flexibility, it’s crucial to remember that Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, company policies, and FMCSA personal conveyance rules still apply.

These federal rules dictate how long commercial motor vehicle drivers can operate their vehicles within a specific timeframe.

Hours of Service regulations

You still need to comply with your daily and weekly driving limits. Exceeding these limits, even while on personal conveyance, is a violation and can lead to fines and other penalties.

Make sure you’re well-rested and within your allotted hours before and after using your CMV for personal reasons.

Company policies

Your employer might have specific personal conveyance policy, such as:

  • Mileage restrictions: They might limit the total distance you can drive for personal use.
  • Designated parking areas: You might need to park your CMV in specific locations during personal time.
  • Time restrictions: Some companies might restrict the duration of personal conveyance trips.

Always check your company handbook or consult your fleet manager for details on their personal conveyance policies.

Fatigue and safety

Regardless of the time limit, prioritize safety and avoid driving if fatigued. Even short trips can be dangerous if you’re not well-rested. Obtain adequate rest at available resting locations and take breaks as needed to avoid fatigue-related accidents.

Overall, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how long you can drive on personal conveyance. But remember, prioritize safety and follow the rules to avoid violating regulations, company policies, or putting yourself and others at risk.

Common Personal Conveyance Violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) plays a crucial role in ensuring truck driver safety and compliance with HOS regulations. Their guidelines establish the framework for responsible personal conveyance, promoting safety and preventing accidents.

When it comes to personal conveyance for commercial drivers, there are several common violations to be aware of. These can lead to fines, penalties, and even disciplinary action from your employer.

Here are some of the most frequent violations off-duty drivers make:

Exceeding Hours of Service limits

This is a major violation, regardless of whether you’re on duty or using personal conveyance. Pushing your driving limits can lead to fatigue, accidents, and hefty fines.

Remember, the clock keeps ticking even when you’re off duty, so make sure you’re well-rested and within your allotted hours before hitting the road for personal reasons.

Using the commercial vehicle for commercial purposes

This includes running errands for the company, picking up side gigs, or making deliveries while on personal conveyance.

Blurring the lines between personal and commercial benefit can land you in hot water. Always use your Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) strictly for personal activities during your off-duty period.

Violating company policies

Each company may have specific rules regarding personal conveyance, such as mileage restrictions, designated parking areas, or time limitations. Ignoring these policies can result in disciplinary action, including termination. Always familiarize yourself with your company’s handbook and clarify any doubts with your supervisor.

Operating the vehicle while fatigued

Fatigue is a major safety risk, even during personal conveyance. Driving tired can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence.

Make sure to obtain required rest before and during your personal trip. If you feel tired, don’t hesitate to take a break or postpone your journey.

Falsifying logs or records

Attempting to manipulate your HOS logs or record false information about your personal conveyance activities is a serious offense and can lead to severe consequences.

Always be honest and accurate when logging your driving time on a electronic logging device (ELD).

Transporting unauthorized passengers

Some companies may have restrictions on who can ride with you during personal conveyance. Always check with your employer and adhere to any passenger limitations.

Improper use of company fuel or resources

Using company fuel or resources for personal trips is a violation and can be considered theft. Make sure you only use company resources for authorized purposes.

Disregarding safety regulations

Even while on personal conveyance, you’re still responsible for operating the vehicle safely and adhering to all traffic laws. This includes avoiding distractions, driving under the influence, and following speed limits.

Personal Conveyance Limitations and Rules: Frequently Asked Questions

A trucker looking outside her cab

Personal conveyance rules can be confusing to motor carriers. To clear out the confusion, here are some FAQs regarding personal conveyance.

Can you use personal conveyance after 14 hours?

Yes, you can use personal conveyance after 14 hours, but only if you’re officially off duty, haven’t exceeded your HOS limits, and are well-rested.

Think of it like using your company car for personal errands after work.

Can truck drivers use personal conveyance to return to their normal work sites or motor carrier’s terminal?

No, drivers cannot use their personal conveyance status to return to their normal work sites or driver’s terminal after completing a dispatched trip at trailer drop lots or at an unloading point.

This is because returning home or to the terminal from a dispatched trip is considered part of a driver’s on-duty time and not personal conveyance or driver’s off duty time.

Can personal conveyance be combined with off-duty time to complete a 10-hour break?

Yes, use of personal conveyance can be combined with off-duty time to complete a 10-hour break. Since personal conveyance counts as an off-duty status, adding it to your regular off-duty period can reach the required 10 hours for rest.

Can drivers use personal conveyance to find parking?

As long as it doesn’t violate HOS or company policies, drivers can often use their PC duty status to find parking after finishing their duty period and logging off-duty.

Exceptions exist when drivers run out of hours before reaching a safe location.

Why is Personal Conveyance Time Important?

Two drivers logging their duty status as on-duty

Personal conveyance offers truckers a break from the road, allowing them to run errands, unwind with family, or simply grab a bite. But knowing when to shift from personal to commercial mode is key to staying compliant and safe.

Ultimately, the use of personal conveyance is a privilege, not a right.

Use it responsibly, prioritize safety and compliance, and enjoy the convenience of getting to your personal destinations off the clock while remaining a responsible driver on the road.