Ask the Safety Rep: How does the updated guidance on using a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal conveyance affect drivers and motor carriers?

African American Truck Driver

Great question! On May 31, 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) changed the personal conveyance guidance. According to 49 CFR 395.8, Question 26, “The CMV may be used for personal conveyance even if it is laden, since the load is not being transported for the commercial benefit of the carrier at that time.” This clarification is the primary change. Past guidance did not allow the use of laden CMV’s for personal conveyance. The driver and motor carrier are still responsible for operating the vehicle safely, and while a mileage and/or time limitation for personal conveyance was not established, motor carriers are encouraged to implement their own company personal conveyance policy that is stricter than the FMCSA’s rule.

Consequently, each motor carrier should evaluate its fleet’s personal conveyance practices and determine the level of risk it is willing to tolerate. If allowed, motor carriers should have a clear and transparent written personal conveyance policy for driver use. This policy can include setting mileage limitations and articulating what to do in case of emergency (per §392.3). Once implemented, drivers and operations staff should be trained on the policy’s application and acknowledge in writing their understanding and willingness to comply.

Below is a brief list of appropriate and inappropriate uses of personal conveyance to consider when drafting your company policy.

Appropriate use of personal conveyance:

  • Traveling from a driver’s en-route lodging (truck stop).
  • Commuting between the driver’s terminal and his or her residence.
  • Traveling to a safe location nearby for required rest after loading or unloading.
  • Moving the vehicle at the request of a safety official.
  • Authorized use of the vehicle to travel home after working at an offsite location.

Inappropriate use of personal conveyance:

  • Moving a vehicle to enhance the operational readiness of a motor carrier.
  • Moving a vehicle to a facility to have maintenance performed.
  • Moving a vehicle after being placed out of service due to an hours-of-service violation.

It is recommended for any driver using personal conveyance to annotate in the remarks section of the electronic logging device (ELD) the specific reason he or she is selecting this off-duty status. The motor carrier should then audit this section to ensure usage is in accordance with company policy and FMCSA guidelines. If you have questions about the personal conveyance rule, please reach out to your area safety representative.

Call to Action

  • Conduct a risk assessment to determine if the use of company vehicles for personal conveyance fits into the company’s loss prevention strategy.

  • If personal conveyance is authorized, develop a policy outlining appropriate use.

  • If a personal conveyance policy is developed, train all drivers and operations staff on the policy, and audit driver compliance.

 

Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.

The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent. 

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© Great West Casualty Company 2019. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “© Great West Casualty Company 2019. Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”

This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.

Filed Under:

CMV, Ask the Safety Rep

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