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What The Heck Is Personal Conveyance?

A person driving a car alone on an open road represents personal conveyance.

What the Heck Is Personal Conveyance?

Dan’s Definition:

Personal conveyance is operating a vehicle for personal use, like going from the hotel to the restaurant. A bit simpler, right?

The crucial thing to remember with personal conveyance is that you can’t be doing any work for the company. This includes fueling up, moving from yard to yard, and taking the truck to the next stop.

Why did they create personal conveyance? Well, when they made having an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandatory for trucks newer than 1999 that don’t qualify for exemptions (like short haul or utility), the ELD automatically records the vehicle’s movement. They also stated that all movements must be assigned to a driver.

Imagine you’re working out of town, staying at a hotel or rental house. When you start that truck and go to dinner or the grocery store, that movement is now recorded. And that time and movement have to be claimed by a driver.

What happens if you’ve already worked a 14-hour day and need groceries for the week? It would cause a violation in your logbook! That’s why they created this personal conveyance status.

So, let’s dive a bit deeper into what would be considered valid reasons to use personal conveyance:

  • Time spent traveling from where the driver is staying (like a motel or truck stop) to restaurants and entertainment facilities.
  • Commuting between the driver’s yard and their residence.
  • Time spent traveling to a nearby, reasonable, and safe location after loading or unloading, with the resting location being the first available.
  • Moving the vehicle at the request of an officer during the driver’s off-duty time.
  • Time spent transporting personal property while off-duty.
  • Authorized use of a CMV to travel home after working at an offsite location.

What wouldn’t be considered personal conveyance?

  • Driving a CMV to make it easier for the company, like bypassing available resting locations to get closer to the next loading or unloading point
  • Returning to the point of origin under the direction of the motor carrier to pick up another trailer after delivering one, the truck no longer qualifies as a CMV.
  • Time spent driving to a shop for maintenance.
  • After being placed out of service, unless directed by an officer.
  • Driving to the shop after loading or unloading to get another load.

The last thing I want to touch on is how this affects company drivers vs. owner-operators. The truth is, it’s the same rule for both types of drivers. The key difference is that most companies have a DOT team that provides advice and guidance (even if it’s sometimes wrong, haha).

So, maybe a company driver doesn’t have as much leeway, or maybe they have a team that knows the rules inside and out, working to protect the drivers and the company. The rule itself doesn’t change depending on the circumstances. What changes is how you interpret the rule and what you or the company see as gray areas.

I hope this helps! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to add or adjust.

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