FMCSA clarified rules for the personal use of trucks

April 5, 20220

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has come up with more explicit definition of the term “personal conveyance” in relation to commercial trucks.

Last week, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) asked the FMCSA to provide a more specific definition for the “personal conveyance”.

According to the CVSA, this term “needs to define with the maximum distance and / or period of time during which a truck driver can use his vehicle for personal purposes.”

The FMCSA manual says the following:

Question 26: Under what circumstances may a driver operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as a personal conveyance? 

Guidance:  A driver may record time operating a CMV for personal conveyance (i.e., for personal use or reasons) as off-duty only when the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work by the motor carrier.

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.

Personal conveyance does not reduce a driver’s or motor carrier’s responsibility to operate a CMV safely. Motor carriers can establish personal conveyance limitations either within the scope of, or more restrictive than, this guidance, such as banning use of a CMV for personal conveyance purposes, imposing a distance limitation on personal conveyance, or prohibiting personal conveyance while the CMV is laden. 

The CVSA argues that some truck drivers may misuse the personal vehicle provision because of incorrect current definition.

A clearer definition is expected to allow more drivers and carriers to use this option without breaking the hours-of-service regulations.


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