Questions about 30-Minute Breaks, Personal Conveyance & More Answered by Law Enforcement Officials
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice. These interpretations were made on March 20, 2023.
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Q: If I drive for 2 hours, stop to use the restroom, walk the dog for 15 minutes, then resume driving, I have not driven for consecutive hours. Therefore, I have another 8 hours of consecutive driving before I need to take a 30-minute break. Am I correct in this interpretation?
A: Provided by Retired Texas Trooper Monty Dial: Under the current regulations for the 30-minute rest break found in Part 395.3(a)(3)(ii), driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes. What this means is once you start your duty clock, you have to stop and take a 30-minute rest break before going past a total of 8 hours on total duty hours. In your scenario, you only stopped for 15 minutes. If you had extended the rest break to 30 minutes, you would be required to take a second rest break because you would reach 8 hours driving before you reach a total of 11 hours driving for the day.
Q: By the new rules, can a driver take the 30-minute break before the eighth hour of driving and have it count for the break rule, or drive the full 8 hours and then take the break?
A: Provided by Retired Texas Trooper Monty Dial: Under the new Final Rule issued by FMCSA, 395.3(a)(3)(ii) was changed to reflect not more than 8 hours of driving before stopping and taking the required 30-minute rest break. The rest break must be logged on-duty not driving. Be sure and look up the definition of on-duty not driving so you will know what activities you can do and claim on-duty not driving. The previous rule required a driver to take the 30-minute rest break before reaching their eighth hour of coming on-duty and the rest break must either be in the sleeper berth or off duty. The new Final Rule went into effect 120 days from the date FMCSA published the Final Rule in the Federal Register.
Q: How far off can a location be? The ELD I was using would be 40 to 50 miles off of the actual location. For example, I park my truck in Newcastle, Ontario, Canada, and my ELD shows me 15 miles east of Oshawa. Also, when I’m in Buffalo, NY my ELD says I’m 50 miles south of Toronto.
A: Provided by Trooper Brent Hoover, Indiana State Police: 220.127.116.11. CMV Position states: (a) An ELD must determine automatically the position of the CMV in standard latitude/longitude coordinates with the accuracy and availability requirements of this section. (b) The ELD must obtain and record this information without allowing any external input or interference from a motor carrier, driver, or any other person. (c) The CMV position measurement must be accurate to ±0.5 mile of absolute position of the CMV when an ELD measures a valid latitude/longitude coordinate value. (d) Position information must be obtained in or converted to standard signed latitude and longitude values and must be expressed as decimal degrees to hundreds of a degree precision (i.e., a decimal point and two decimal places). (e) Measurement accuracy combined with the reporting precision requirement implies that position reporting accuracy will be on the order of ±1 mile of absolute position of the CMV during the course of a CMV’s commercial operation. (f) During periods of a driver’s indication of personal use of the commercial motor vehicle, the measurement reporting precision requirement is reduced to tenths of a degree (i.e., a decimal point and single decimal place) as further specified in section 4.7.3 of this appendix. (g) An ELD must be able to get a valid position measurement at least once every 5 miles of driving; however, the ELD records CMV location information only during ELD events as specified in section 4.5.1 of this appendix. So, based on your question and the answer provided, there are problems with the ELD and I would suggest getting with the provider to see if it can be corrected.
Q: I am confused about Personal Conveyance (PC). I drive for a large company and have a dedicated run from Stanwood, MI to deliveries in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. I live west of Stanwood, MI. When I bobtail home for my 34-hour restart, I am in PC. After I finish that restart, the company has me in Drive time to return to Stanwood. If I am in Stanwood waiting on a load and I wish to bobtail to get food, can I use PC to the eatery and back? Or can I, for my 34-hour restart, drop my trailer and PC both ways? Or can I take the trailer home with me from Stanwood on my 34-hour restart and PC in both directions?
A: Provided by Retired Texas Trooper Monty Dial: PC can be used to travel to and from home, provided you drive back to the last point you dropped your trailer. The same can be said while during an enroute trip to a shop, to get something to eat, or to go for entertainment. However, if your motor carrier requires you to log the trip(s) as driving vs PC, that is something the motor carrier can require. A motor carrier is not required by regulations to allow drivers to use PC. You can find what is exactly allowed under Personal Conveyance by looking up the interpretation found in Part 395.8, Question #26.
Q: Who can stop us for an emissions check, and what happens if you do not have any? Is it just a ticket or can I be put out of service?
A: Provided by Retired CHP Sgt, Commercial Unit, Pete Camm: The California Air Recourses Board (CARB) does their own emissions testing, used to perform snap idle tests, with all their equipment in cargo vans, and CARB would issue a civil citation. I do not know if they have authority to place a CMV out-of-service, but they may have the authority to not allow a CMV into a controlled area such as a port or railyard.
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