FMCSA about Special Driving Statuses
The way truck is used by drivers is likely to change due to the approach made by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) concerning it. A proposal has been issued with the aim of modifying the current guidelines for the use of trucks as personal means of movement to motel, restaurant or home.
However, the guide is not the ELD mandate, but it shall focus mostly on hours-of-service regulations. The used of trucks as personal vehicles have gained attention since December 18, 2017, as the ELD mandate became compulsory.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposal as suggested the removal of the law which required that CMV (commercial motor vehicles) must first be unladen in order to be used for personal purpose. If this is possible, the truck driver will be able to use their truck for personal conveyance even if it is for carrying load-related or work materials.
In the next 30 days, FMCSA shall post a notice in Federal Register concerning the proposed changes and will need feedback from the stakeholders.
Special Driving Statuses
A subsection on special driving statuses; 395.25 of the e-CFR (Electronic Code of Federal Regulations) stated the following:
- Motor Carrier Options: ELD can be configured to allow the driver to show that he is operating a commercial motor vehicle in any of the special categories like Yard moves or authorized personal use.
If a logging device is set as personal conveyance mode, its location function will change because it tracks the vehicle by a lower level of accuracy through GPS which is approximately a 10-mile radius rather than the one-mile radius needed for on-duty recording.
FMCSA confirmed it on the FAQ page of its site.
Once a driver choose the personal conveyance status as permitted and configured by the motor carrier, the commercial motor vehicles (CMV) location will be recorded with a lower precision level.- That is about 10-mile radius.
Subsection 395.28 on special driving statuses stated that a truck driver who is operating a commercial vehicle under any of the following (in paragraph (a)(1)) special driving categories must:
- Choose the ELD appropriate for the special driving category before starting the status and deselect at the end of the indicated status.
- When requested by the ELD, explain the driver’s ELD Record telling the driver’s activity.
It seems that the FMCSA expects tractor and trailer drivers to leave their trailer before using their trucks for personal use.
Based on the notice from the FMCSA regarding the proposed changes, truck drivers shall be permitted to use their truck when they are off-duty for “time spent traveling from a driver’s en route lodging” (for example; truck stop or a motel) “to entertainment and restaurants and also back to the lodging.”
The time spent on “traveling from the place where the on-duty activity began to the permanent residence of the driver and back to the last on-duty location was also included, and even driving from trailer drop-off point to a driver’s home and between work sites and residences.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) pointed out that personal conveyance in the revised guidelines doesn’t cover truck movement to improve operational readiness, like moving closer to a pickup point or drop-off location.
The below acts are likewise prohibited from personal conveyance use:
- Driving bobtail or an empty trailer to a place to carry another load.
- Driving an empty truck to a designated parking space after being unloaded.
- Repositioning trailer or commercial motor vehicles (CMV) towards the motor carrier.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is requesting for feedback from the stakeholders in the industry to know more about other scenarios and circumstances where personal conveyance would be suitable.
Always check our website for more updates and news from the trucking industry. We shall inform our audience once the full notice is available.