To clarify personal conveyance, the FMCSA provides drivers with several examples of appropriate off-duty usage of CMVs that would count as personal conveyance. According to the FMCSA, drivers who find themselves in the following situations are considered to be in use of personal conveyance:
From temporary lodging to a restaurant: Time spent traveling from a driver’s place of lodging during a trip, such as a motel or truck stop, to restaurants or entertainment facilities is personal conveyance.
Between home and work: A driver’s journey back and forth between their home terminal and their residence, between trailer-drop lots and their residence, and between work sites and their residence all count as personal conveyance, with the following caveat: The commuting distance and time must be short enough to allow the driver to get enough sleep to return to work in an unfatigued state.
Travel to a nearby safe location to rest after loading or unloading: Finding a safe place to park and rest is the most crucial element of personal conveyance for drivers on the road. The chosen rest location must be close enough to allow the driver time to get enough sleep before returning to work. The rest location also needs to be the nearest one that's reasonably available, even if that means the trucker will have to drive farther when they are back on duty.
Repositioning of a CMV at the request of a safety official during the driver’s off-duty time: If a driver is required to move a vehicle while off duty, this counts as personal conveyance.
Time spent traveling in a motorcoach without passengers to en route lodging or to restaurants and entertainment facilities and back to the lodging: The driver, provided they are off duty, can claim personal conveyance for time spent traveling without passengers to a motel or truck stop, for example, as well as from their lodging location to a restaurant. Other off-duty drivers may be on board the vehicle; they are not considered passengers.
Time spent transporting personal property while off duty: If, for example, an off-duty driver takes their CMV to a used auto parts shop and picks up a part for a car they are restoring at home as a hobby, this is considered personal conveyance.
Authorized use of a CMV to travel home after working at an off-site location: This particular scenario is intended for construction and utility companies that set up base camps near a major job and operate from there for days or weeks at a time. These remote locations are considered off-site locations. Travel between home and that off-site location qualifies as personal conveyance.
What is not considered personal conveyance?
To shed more light on what does and doesn’t count as personal conveyance, the FMCSA also provides several examples of movements that would not qualify as personal conveyance. In each of these examples, the movement is for a purpose that benefits the motor carrier and thus would not be considered personal conveyance:
Moves to improve the operational readiness of a motor carrier: “Operational readiness” movements refer to those made with the intent of shaving miles off the next day’s work under the guise of being off duty. One example of improving operational readiness would be a CMV driver choosing to bypass resting locations to choose one closer to the next loading or unloading point or other scheduled motor carrier destination. Because this move would benefit a carrier by reducing a driver’s driving time, which can potentially cut labor costs, it would not count as personal conveyance.
After delivering a towed unit, returning to pick up another towed unit: After delivery, the towing unit no longer meets the definition of a CMV. If the driver is directed by the motor carrier to pick up another towed unit, then personal conveyance does not apply either.
Bobtailing or pulling an empty trailer to retrieve another load or reposition a tractor or trailer: Bobtailing (driving a truck without a trailer) or pulling an empty trailer for a business purpose (such as going to the next loading location) does not qualify as personal conveyance.
Time spent driving a passenger-carrying CMV while one or more passengers are on board: While driving with passengers on board, the driver is considered to be on duty. If there are only other off-duty drivers on the bus, they are not considered passengers when traveling to a common destination of their own choice so this would count as use of personal conveyance.
Time spent transporting a CMV to a facility to have vehicle maintenance performed: Travel to a repair shop to service a CMV is not considered personal conveyance because such a trip is for business purposes. The situation may seem confusing if the truck was driven home from the truck terminal or work site under personal conveyance. However, the trip to the repair facility for the purpose of servicing or repairing the vehicle is to ensure the truck or tractor-trailer is in top shape and will continue to generate revenue. Since the maintenance visit benefits the motor carrier, it’s not considered personal conveyance.
After being placed out of service for exceeding maximum on-duty hours permitted: When a driver has reached their 14-hour on-duty limit permitted under HOS regulations, the time spent driving to a rest location does not qualify as personal conveyance, unless directed by a DOT officer or police officer at the scene.
Travel between two work locations: For example, time spent traveling to a motor carrier’s terminal after loading or unloading from a shipper or a receiver does not qualify as personal conveyance.
Motorcoach operation, even with no passengers, if for the purpose of delivering luggage: While there are no passengers on board in this scenario, the bus is still being operated for a business purpose and thus benefits the carrier. As such, it falls outside the scope of personal conveyance.