How to Keep Your Flexibility
The electronic logbook rule doesn’t change the hours of service rules, but you will probably have to start using two duty statuses that you didn’t use before: "Personal Conveyance" and "Yard Move." That’s because now, whenever the truck is in motion, the electronic logbook is activated.
In the days of paper logs, the driver probably would've just left a yard move off, and no one would’ve batted an eye. But now when the driver moves the truck, even if it's just backing up to the dock, it’s going to be automatically recorded. Train your drivers to mark those as "yard moves" in their logbooks.
Learning how to take advantage of the personal conveyance rule will also be key to protecting your drive time. You have to meet 3 criteria to qualify for the personal conveyance exemption.
- The driver has to have been relieved from work and all work-related responsibilities
- The vehicle is traveling a short distance
- The vehicle isn’t loaded with any freight
FMCSA has left the second part vague, so it might be a good idea for carriers to create their own policies for what qualifies as "short distance" and include that as part of being relieved from work. For reference, in Canada you can’t travel more than 75 kilometers under personal conveyance – about 47 miles.
So if a driver is leaving a receiver and heading to a hotel, he or she can select "personal use" on the ELD, and the driver would be considered off-duty. The same is true for leaving the hotel for a restaurant, or the driver's commute between a work location and home. If the driver has been dispatched from home, then the driver is considered on-duty.
See how it works