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13.3 Determining On-duty And Off-duty Time

Four Types Of Duty Status

There are four types of duty status you can log in your logbook:

  • Off Duty
  • Sleeper Berth
  • On Duty (not driving)
  • Driving

The hours of service rules will determine when you can drive based upon the amount of time you have spent either on duty or driving versus sleeper berth or off duty. First, let's talk about on-duty time.

What Is Considered On-duty Time?

The 60 / 70-hour limit is based on how many hours you work over a 7 or 8-day period. Just what kind of work is considered on-duty time? It includes all time you are working or are required to be ready to work for any employer.

Here are some specific activities that are considered to be on-duty time:

  • All time spent at a plant, shipping / receiving facility, terminal, or other facility of a motor carrier, unless you are in your sleeper berth or have been relieved of all work-related responsibilities.
  • All driving time.
  • All time loading, unloading, supervising, or attending your truck; or handling paperwork for shipments.
  • All time spent doing any other work for a motor carrier, including giving or receiving training and driving a company car.
  • All time inspecting or servicing your truck, including fueling it and washing it.
  • All other time in a truck unless you are resting in a sleeper berth.
  • All time spent providing a breath, saliva, hair, or urine sample for drug / alcohol testing, including travel to and from the collection site.
  • All time spent doing paid work for anyone who is not a motor carrier, such as a part-time job at a local restaurant.

The bottom line is that on-duty time includes:

  • All time you are working for a motor carrier, whether paid or not
  • All time you are doing paid work for anyone employer.
  • All the time you are required to be ready to work for any employer (on-call)

What Is Considered Off-duty Time?

By understanding the definition of on-duty time, you will get a good idea of what they consider off-duty time. For time to be considered off duty, you must be relieved of all responsibility for performing work and be free to pursue activities of your own choosing.

If you are not doing any work (paid or unpaid) for a motor carrier, and you are not doing any paid work for anyone else, you may record the time as off-duty time.

Personal Use Of A Commercial Motor Vehicle

Occasionally, you may use a truck for personal reasons and not for commerce. You may move your personal belongings to a new house or, as a hobby, you may take your horses to a horse show. As long as the activity does not support a business, you are not operating in commerce. If you are not operating your truck in commerce, you are not subject to the hours of service regulations.

Personal Conveyance

Personal conveyance is the movement of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while off-duty. A driver may record time operating a CMV for personal conveyance 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 (loaded) since the load is not being transported for the commercial benefit of the motor 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 the guidance provided by the FMCSA.

There is a provision allowing personal conveyance in a CMV. Your ELD provides a way to put yourself on personal conveyance. This is recorded in the off-duty section or line 1 of your logs. When you decide to make a personal conveyance move, you must set your ELD to that mode. Failure to set it properly can cause you considerable grief. If not set for personal conveyance, the moment you start moving your truck, the ELD will show your movement as driving time. That could conceivably mess up whatever break you are trying to achieve.

Let’s say you are taking a 34-hour reset. It’s a Friday night, and there is a local football game you’d like to go see. You can change your duty status from off duty to personal conveyance. You can then drive your truck over to the local ball game and put yourself back on off duty while watching the game. This will not affect your reset, and after you’ve finished watching the game, you just switch back to personal conveyance and reposition your truck back at the truck stop you were previously at. Once you have it parked, you switch back to off duty, and you are good to go. Your ELD will calculate all that time, including the time you drove to the ball game and back as off duty. You will be able to complete your 34-hour reset even though you drove your CMV for a small amount of personal use during that time. This same procedure can be used for going to the grocery store or to a local store for supplies.

Always put notes into your ELD indicating what you are doing when you make a duty-status change, especially when using the personal conveyance move. The note can be as simple as “going to get a meal” or “going to the grocery store for supplies.” Just make it clear in case someone questions you later about what you were doing.

Before experimenting with any personal conveyance moves, make sure you understand your company’s policy on the subject. We have found that some companies limit these options when they set up their ELDs. It is always best to make sure what is allowed before messing up your reset or getting yourself into trouble with management.

Personal conveyance is not to be used for advancing your load. You cannot use personal conveyance because you have run out of driving hours but still have 30 more miles to your destination. Personal conveyance is a privilege allowed in the regulations. It provides some much-needed flexibility when using ELDs. There’s plenty of reason for them to take it away from us if we abuse it.

Yard Moves

The DOT has given us the ability to move trailers around within a yard without the movement of the tractor counting against our drive time. This is especially helpful at giving us some liberty to take care of needed duties without those same duties penalizing our ability to maximize our driving hours during our work shift.

It is important to remember the yard move feature in the ELD will show up as on-duty time. It counts against your 14-hour clock and your 70-hour clock. It does not count against your 11-hour clock because it is not applied to driving time. It differs from personal conveyance, which is recorded as off duty. A yard move is always recorded as on-duty time. Do not attempt a yard move when you need to complete an off-duty break. The yard move may mess up your ability to reset your clock when you expected. You can perform a yard move during your 30-minute break since on-duty time is allowed for the 30-minute break.

We are finding that many trucking companies set their ELD devices to only allow yard moves on property that is owned or leased by the carrier. The rule has some ambiguity to it. The way it is written appears to allow movement under the yard-move provision on any private property. It is clearly not to be used on a public roadway. We recommend each driver clarifies his company’s policy on yard moves before using this provision.

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Question #569 (1 of 9)

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What is personal conveyance?

  • The movement of a commercial motor vehicle for personal use while off-duty
  • When driving your tractor without the trailer attached
  • When a commercial driver is driving his/her own personal vehicle
  • Moving a commercial motor vehicle after being put out of service by the DOT
Personal conveyance is the movement of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while off-duty. A driver may record time operating a CMV for personal conveyance 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 (loaded), since the load is not being transported for the commercial benefit of the motor 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, the guidance provided by the FMCSA.
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Question #565 (2 of 9)

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There are four duty types you can log in your logbook. What are they?

  • Off duty, on duty, driving, and break
  • Break, on duty, driving, off duty
  • Driving, off duty, personal time, break
  • Off duty, sleeper berth, on duty, and driving

There are four types of duty status you can log in your logbook:

  • Off Duty
  • Sleeper Berth
  • On Duty (not driving)
  • Driving
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Question #567 (3 of 9)

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Which of the following is an example of on-duty time for the logbook?

  • All these are considered on duty
  • All time spent providing a breath, saliva, hair, or urine sample for drug / alcohol testing, including travel to and from the collection site.
  • All other time in a truck unless you are resting in a sleeper berth.
  • All time inspecting or servicing your truck, including fueling it and washing it.

Here are some specific activities which are considered to be on-duty time:

  • All time spent at a plant, shipping / receiving facility, terminal, or other facility of a motor carrier, unless you are in your sleeper berth or have been relieved of all work-related responsibilities.
  • All driving time.
  • All time loading, unloading, supervising, or attending your truck; or handling paperwork for shipments.
  • All time spent doing any other work for a motor carrier, including giving or receiving training and driving a company car.
  • All time inspecting or servicing your truck, including fueling it and washing it.
  • All other time in a truck unless you are resting in a sleeper berth.
  • All time spent providing a breath, saliva, hair, or urine sample for drug / alcohol testing, including travel to and from the collection site.
  • All time spent doing paid work for anyone who is not a motor carrier, such as a part-time job at a local restaurant.
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Question #573 (4 of 9)

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What status does your ELD record a yard move?

  • Driving
  • On duty
  • Off duty
  • Sleeper berth
It is important to remember the yard move feature in the ELD will show up as on duty time. It counts against your 14-hour clock and your 70-hour clock. It does not count against your 11-hour clock because it is not applied to driving time. It differs from personal conveyance, which is recorded as off duty. A yard move is always recorded as on-duty time. Do not attempt a yard move when you are needing to complete an off-duty break. The yard move may mess up your ability to reset your clock when you expected. You can perform a yard move during your 30-minute break, since on-duty time is allowed for the 30-minute break.
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Question #566 (5 of 9)

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What do they consider on duty time to be for the logbook?

  • All the time you are in the truck or on the dock
  • Any time spent in the truck, whether driving or not
  • All the time you are working or are required to be ready to work, for any employer.
  • All the time you are on the clock for your current employer
Just what kind of work is considered on-duty time? It includes all time you are working or are required to be ready to work, for any employer.
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Question #570 (6 of 9)

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When can a driver record time operating a CMV for personal conveyance as off-duty

  • When the driver is driving a tractor without the trailer attached
  • When the driver is out of driving hours but has less than 100 miles to go to the destination
  • When the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work by the motor carrier
  • When the company wants the driver to begin driving toward a customer even though the driver does not have the load information yet
Personal conveyance is the movement of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while off-duty. A driver may record time operating a CMV for personal conveyance 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 (loaded), since the load is not being transported for the commercial benefit of the motor 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, the guidance provided by the FMCSA.
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Question #571 (7 of 9)

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Which of the following is NOT true about personal conveyance in a commercial motor vehicle?

  • Motor carriers can not make personal conveyance limitations that are more restrictive than the guidance provided by the FMCSA
  • Personal conveyance does not reduce a driver’s or motor carrier’s responsibility to operate a CMV safely
  • A driver may record time operating a CMV for personal conveyance 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 (loaded)
Personal conveyance is the movement of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while off-duty. A driver may record time operating a CMV for personal conveyance 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 (loaded), since the load is not being transported for the commercial benefit of the motor 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, the guidance provided by the FMCSA.
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Question #568 (8 of 9)

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In order for time to be considered off duty for the logbook:

  • You must be relieved of all responsibility for performing work and be free to pursue activities of your own choosing.
  • You must not be performing any job duties even though you are on-call for your employer, ready to work
  • You must be driving or performing some duty related to work
  • You must not be driving, but you can do other job-related tasks
In order for time to be considered off duty, you must be relieved of all responsibility for performing work and be free to pursue activities of your own choosing.
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Question #572 (9 of 9)

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Which of the following is NOT true about recording a yard move in your ELD?

  • A yard move counts against your 14-hour clock and your 70-hour clock
  • A yard move does not count against your 11-hour clock because it is not applied to driving time
  • The yard move feature in the ELD will show up as off duty time
  • Do not attempt a yard move when you are needing to complete an off-duty break. The yard move may mess up your ability to reset your clock when you expected
It is important to remember the yard move feature in the ELD will show up as on duty time. It counts against your 14-hour clock and your 70-hour clock. It does not count against your 11-hour clock because it is not applied to driving time. It differs from personal conveyance, which is recorded as off duty. A yard move is always recorded as on-duty time. Do not attempt a yard move when you are needing to complete an off-duty break. The yard move may mess up your ability to reset your clock when you expected. You can perform a yard move during your 30-minute break, since on-duty time is allowed for the 30-minute break.
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