Not sure when to use Personal Conveyance or "Personal Use"? We'll walk you through some easy ways to figure it out.
What is Personal Conveyance?
Simply put, Personal Conveyance, or Personal Use, duty status was created to provide an explanation of recorded driving time when Off-Duty. Before getting into the details, it’s important to note that carriers can restrict or even deny Personal Use, as granted by the FMCSA. The regulations outlined in this article are the maximum allowances within the exception.
The FMCSA defines Personal Conveyance as the movement of a CMV for personal use or while off-duty, whether laden or unladen, assuming that the vehicle is not being transported for the commercial benefit of the carrier.
When to Use Personal Conveyance
As mentioned, Personal Conveyance can be used to perform off-duty driving, barring any attempts to extend your driving window or simply advance closer to your loading/unloading destination.
Some accepted forms of Personal Conveyance include:
- Travel to a nearby and safe rest area or parking area to obtain the required rest in accordance with minimum off-duty periods under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1) (property-carrying vehicles) or 395.5(a) (passenger-carrying vehicles) before returning to on-duty driving. The resting location must be the first such location reasonably available.
- Travel to and from lodging (hotel/truck stop), restaurants, and entertainment.
- Authorized travel commuting home after completing duties.
- Commuting to home terminal or dispatch location.
- Moving the CMV during off-duty hours at the request of law enforcement.
- Time spent transporting personal property while off-duty.
Keep in mind that while these are acceptable occasions for Personal Conveyance according to the FMCSA, they may not be for your carrier. Check your carrier’s policy or rule book for their exact Personal Conveyance rules.
Additionally, none of these situations can be used to simply extend your driving window. Furthermore, drivers are still responsible for safely operating the CMV and gauging fatigue.
Where to Use Personal Conveyance
Let’s clarify some important distinctions about where the above scenarios can be applied.
- When seeking out a rest area or parking area, the driver may not bypass reasonable options to advance closer to their terminal or loading/unloading destination.
- Similarly, if you are moving your CMV at the request of an officer, in order to travel to restaurants, lodging, or entertainment, or commuting to or from home, they must be within a reasonable distance of the origin of your release from duty.
How to Use Personal Conveyance
Within the ELDS HOS driver application, Personal Use can easily be selected in the Duty Status options. In some cases, you may have a button on your home screen that says “Personal Use”.
Please note that your carrier must enable this status for you. If you do not see “Personal Use” or “Personal Conveyance” in your list of duty statuses, please contact your carrier or ELD admin to request access.
Why Can’t Personal Conveyance Be Used?
Here are some examples of scenarios that are not appropriate to use “Personal Use” or Personal Conveyance:
- Transporting the CMV to a repair shop for scheduled or unforeseen maintenance.
- Driving to a parking or rest area after being placed out of service, unless otherwise instructed by the law officer onsite.
- Traveling back to the home terminal or yard after loading/unloading.
- Moving a CMV at the direction of a carrier or continuing a trip in interstate commerce for non-personal purposes, such as bobtailing or driving an unladen CMV to pick up a load and/or trailer.
The easiest way to determine whether you can use Personal Conveyance is by asking yourself if you are driving by the direction of your carrier or dispatch. If you’re not and you’ve been relieved of your duties, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re safe to use Personal Conveyance.
Find more information at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/personal-conveyance