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Off Duty Driving - 7 Things to Remember

[fa icon="calendar"] Tue, Jun 23, 2015 / by Stuart Wood

Driver in cab of truck

Personal conveyance, simply put, is any personal trips you make during your off-duty time. There are currently no restrictions to off-duty driving time, but be warned you must be clear of all of your on-duty activities.

However, there is a situation when personal conveyance muddies the waters of hours or service compliance: using a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as personal transport.

While there are no regulations against this, the FMCSA does offer some guidance. That said, using a CMV as a personal transportation often causes confusion so here’s what you need to know to be able to log your personal conveyance time as off-duty.

1. How far can you go?

Folded-MapIn Canada, the rules are clear on how far you can travel. The daily limit is up to 75 kilometers, almost 47 miles, for using a CMV for personal conveyance. In the United States, however, no limit is currently set. Obviously, traveling hundreds of miles isn’t going to be considered personal conveyance by a DOT inspector. Think of personal conveyance with a CMV as the need to travel short distances for rest and sustenance.

2. You need to drop a few pounds

Ditch the trailer and drive bobtailYou cannot operate a CMV for personal conveyance that is laden. This means you should not be carrying any freight at all. You are also going to have to drive bobtail if you are operating a tractor-trailer. Even pulling an empty trailer is considered as being laden.

3. Off-duty means absolutely no work

Fueling a CMV would be on duty timeYou have to be completely free of all your work and on-duty tasks. Absolutely no company work is permitted when logging off-duty personal conveyance time. Things like fueling or taking the vehicle in for maintenance are not personal conveyance and must be recorded in your on-duty time.

4. Home or away keep it personal

It's personal time. Eat some food and get some restYou must only be commuting to and from locations that are of a personal nature. This includes things like travel between your home or motel as well as short trips to restaurants or the grocery store. Anything that could be considered as work related, like picking up some parts for the truck is not considered personal conveyance.

5. Yeah, I’m going to need you to go ahead and grab another load

If you get called in from home you'll need to go back on duty as soon as you set out.After returning home in a CMV if you are then dispatched from your home to pick up a load you can longer using the vehicle for personal conveyance. You would now be on-duty from the time you leave your home.

6. What about the ELDs?

Electronic logging devices will have provisions for personal conveyanceThere are provisions for the personal use of a CMV as part of the ELD Mandate. Any driving for personal purposes would be recorded as off-duty time and not driving. Currently, there are no limits set for the amount of driving but the data recorded by the ELD can be used to determine if personal conveyance was used appropriately.

7. Struck out

You can't drive your truck home if your out of service for hours of service violationsYou cannot drive a CMV to a rest location for personal conveyance if you have been placed out of service from hours of service violations. Find out how BigRoad can help you eliminate hours of service violations.

Topics: HOS, trucking, truckers

Stuart Wood

Written by Stuart Wood

Stuart Wood is part of the marketing team at BigRoad. In his spare time, he's an avid home brewer.

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