Updated: Sep 15, 2022
Trucksafe's president Brandon Wiseman recently addressed personal conveyance misuse and its consequences in Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine. The following is an excerpt from that article. Click the link below to read the full article.
There’s nothing quite as amorphous as personal conveyance in FMCSA’s safety regulations.
Personal conveyance (also called PC) describes time spent by regulated drivers operating commercial vehicles for personal use in off-duty status. PC time is not counted against the drivers’ available hours. In essence, it’s a limited exception to the requirement that all time spent at the operating controls of a commercial motor vehicle be logged as driving time on the driver’s records of duty status.
As you might imagine, the idea of logging driving time as off-duty is fraught with the potential for misuse to conceal hours-of-service violations. For example, if a driver has reached his or her 11-hour driving limit but is still 30 miles from the destination, there’s certainly a temptation to flip over to off-duty personal conveyance status to complete the move and avoid a substantive HOS violation. Therein lies the problem.
In the age of electronic logging devices, personal conveyance is one of the few remaining ways unscrupulous carriers and drivers can hide HOS violations. But more often than not, it comes back to bite them in a big way.
Personal conveyance is not a mandatory duty status, meaning the regulations don’t compel carriers and drivers to use it. They can, instead, log all driving time — even if it’s not work-related — as “driving.” The question is whether the benefits of using PC outweigh its potential downfalls. Consider the following points as you work to answer that question.