On May 31, 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released final guidance on two long-awaited items: agricultural hauling and personal conveyance. The full language from the FMCSA can be found here for agricultural hauling and here for personal conveyance.
To highlight key items and reduce redundant language in the published guidance, we are providing a summary of what you need to know. The guidance is organized by regulation numbers and question numbers on the FMCSA’s website, which are included below for easy reference to the appropriate areas of the guidance.
Personal conveyance will be addressed under regulation 395.8 in question 26
(Question 26: Under what circumstances may a driver operate a commercial motor vehicle as a personal conveyance?)
There is an allowance for personal conveyance when the vehicle is laden. In all allowances, it does not diminish or change the requirements for the driver to be relieved from duty and be in off-duty to use personal conveyance. The driver must be given the opportunity to get required rest and off-duty time as the regulation identifies; that does not change.
The fact that the motor carrier can limit the use of personal conveyance is called out in this guidance. This is a carrier-defined policy for drivers to allow, disallow, or restrict usage.
Remember that under the electronic logging device (ELD) regulation, personal conveyance is allowed or disallowed only. It does not change the requirements within the ELD for the recording or identification of personal conveyance (PC). Suppliers may issue warnings, but that cannot automatically change from PC to Drive, should the carrier policy restriction be exceeded.
Omnitracs’ Hours of Service software allows for warning to the driver based on time or relative miles; it may vary on product specifications when personal conveyance is allowed.
Where personal conveyance is allowed
In all allowances for personal conveyance, the driver must get the required off-duty time as defined in 49 CFR 395.3 (a)(1) for property-carrying vehicles, as well as passenger vehicles – 395.5(a).
Drivers can use personal conveyance:
- For short commutes to hotels, truck stops, restaurants, etc. (the same as the original PC)
- When commuting between personal residences and carrier facilities, drop lots, terminals, etc.
- After loading or unloading, to the first reasonably-available location for rest
- To move the vehicle under the request of a safety official during the off-duty time
- When traveling in a motor coach with no passengers to lodging, a motel, or a truck stop (other off-duty drivers may be in the vehicle)
- When transporting personal property
- With the authorized use of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) to travel home after working at an off-site location
Where personal conveyance is not allowed
Personal conveyance is not allowed:
- For advancing the load and bypass available resting locations when drivers need to get closer to the next location that is required by the load (meaning: loading, unloading, or any scheduled carrier destination)
- After delivering a towed unit when the vehicle no longer qualifies as a CMV and the driver returns to the point of origin to get the next load
- When continuing an interstate commerce trip for a business purpose, inclusive of a bobtail or empty trailer in position to receive another load or reposition at the direction of the carrier
- When driving a motor coach with passengers on board or with just luggage on board for delivery
- For any time spent moving the CMV to have vehicle maintenance performed
- For time spent driving to a location to receive required rest after being put out of service for exceeding the maximum periods defined in 395
- For time spent traveling to the carrier terminal after loading or unloading from the shipper or receiver
Transportation of agricultural commodity guidance within 395.1 has been added or updated in questions 34-37
The agricultural hauling guidance addresses:
- Agricultural commodities taken beyond the 150-air-mile exemption
- Unladen vehicles picking up agricultural commodity or returning from the delivery point
- How to determine the source of the commodities
- What happens when agricultural commodities are loaded at different locations in a trip
Driving within the 150 air-mile radius
(Question 34: Does the agricultural commodity exception apply to drivers while driving unloaded within 150 air miles of the place where an agricultural commodity will be loaded, and to that portion of an unloaded return trip which occurs within a 150-air-mile radius of the place where the agricultural commodity was loaded?)
The agricultural exemption can be used if within 150 air miles of the loading location, when the only products within that area are agricultural commodities, and the only purpose of the trip is pickup and delivery. In this situation, none of the requirements of 49 CFR 395 apply.
Driving beyond the 150 air-mile radius
(Question 35: Does the agricultural commodity exception apply if the destination for the commodity is beyond the 150-air-mile radius from the source?)
The 150-air-mile radius exemption applies to trips that go beyond this requirement. The exemption applies to the first 150-air-mile radius and then 49 CFR 395 rules apply to the remainder of the trip until the CMV returns within the 150-air-mile radius from the loading location. Upon returning inside the 150 miles, 49 CFR 395 does not apply.
Source of agriculture commodity
(Question 36: How is the "source" of the agricultural commodities determined?)
The source is the location where the agricultural commodity is loaded. This could be an intermediate location from the farm or field, if the commodity has not been altered by processing or packaging. The 150 air mile is defined by the first trip of a commodity and is terminated once all product is delivered. If there is a new trip with a new source then that will be the determination of the 150 air mile for that trip.
Source determined if multiple stops to pick up same commodity
(Question 37: How is the "source of the agricultural commodities" determined if the driver makes multiple pick-ups of the commodity en route to the final destination?)
If the driver loads a commodity at a source and loads additional commodity on route, the 150 air-mile radius is determined at the initial loading place.
Remember, the agricultural waiver from the use of ELD ends on June 18, 2018. Any agricultural hauler that has not implemented an automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD) prior to December 18, 2017 needs to have an ELD installed when they are required to maintain a Record of Duty Status (RODs).