FAQs answered by Mark Schedler How can drivers use annotation of their logs to help clear up any potential confusion in certain situations?
Any instance where an exception to the regulations is being used or when a driver goes over an hours-of-service limit, should be accompanied by an annotation (comment). Details in the annotation can assist enforcement in determining whether the driver had a valid reason for using an exception or the reason for a violation (which may not be a true violation due to the use of the exception). If there are no annotations, the enforcement officer has nothing but a regulation violation to review. If a driver is waiting to be unloaded, can he log off-duty?
Drivers are allowed to log off duty if they are allowed to rest in or on their truck. The key is that the driver must be free to pursue activities of his or her own choosing and be relieved of all responsibilities. This also can mean that the driver is generally able to leave the vehicle or premises where it is parked versus having to attend to the vehicle to move it at a moment’s notice. On the other hand, if the driver must stay with the vehicle on the customer’s property and be available to work when needed due to the carrier’s or customer’s instructions, and the driver is not allowed to get into the sleeper berth, the driver must log on duty. When can a driver use the “Yard Move” option on an ELD?
A driver can use the YARD MOVE option when the driver is on property that is not considered a “highway” (gates or signs which prohibit public travel) in accordance with §390.5 below:
“Highway means any road, street, or way, whether on public or private property, open to public travel. “Open to public travel” means that the road section is available, except during scheduled periods, extreme weather or emergency conditions, passable by four-wheel standard passenger cars, and open to the general public for use without restrictive gates, prohibitive signs, or regulation other than restrictions based on size, weight, or class of registration. Toll plazas of public toll roads are not considered restrictive gates.”
A driver or a mechanic can use the “yard move” option as long as they have an ELD account. If there is no account for the individual, the person would have to move the truck on a yard as an “unassigned event” and it would require a back-office associate to annotate the event with details as to why it was not assigned and what the move entailed.
If a customer’s yard is closed to public travel as defined above, the driver can use the “yard move” option. Many docks are at locations that are stores and the public is not prohibited from traveling near the docks at the rear of the store. The “yard move” option would not be allowed in that situation.
A carrier should have a company policy that clarifies when the ELD-related options (see §395.28) of “yard move” and “personal use” can be used if they are authorized by the carrier. When can a driver use the 150 air-mile short-haul exception to logging and what are the details of this exception?
The 150 air-mile short-haul exception to logging is only for drivers of non-CDL vehicles and is authorized by the regulation found in §395.1(e)(2), which allows a time record be kept in lieu of a record of duty status/log if all conditions are met as noted below.
§395.1(e)(2) states that a non-CDL vehicle driver is exempt from the log requirements in §395.8 and the 14-hour rule in §395.3(a)(2) if:
The driver operates within a 150 air-mile radius of the location where the driver reports to and is released from work, i.e., the normal work reporting location; and
The driver returns to the normal work reporting location at the end of each duty tour; and
The driver does not drive after the 14th hour after coming on duty on 5 days of any period of 7 consecutive days, or after the 16th hour after coming on duty on 2 days of any period of 7 consecutive days; and
The motor carrier maintains for 6 months accurate records showing the time the driver reports for duty each day, the total number of hours the driver is on duty each day, and the time the driver is released from duty each day (and the total time for the preceding 7 days for drivers used for the first time or intermittently, per §395.8(j)(2)).
Drivers using this exception remain subject to the 10-hour off-duty rule, the 11-hour driving rule, and the 60/70-hour limits in §395.3 and any 7-consecutive-day period may be reset with a qualifying 34-hour restart.
The days on which the driver does not qualify for the short-haul exemption (example - outside the 150 air-mile radius), the driver must complete a record of duty status/log in accordance with §395.8, take the minimum 30-minute rest break within the last break of 30 minutes or more, and maintain supporting documents in accordance with §395.11.
Note: 150 air miles are equivalent to 172.6 statute miles.
What FMCSA regulations apply to a charitable organization, such as a church or the scouts, that operates a bus to events but does not collect money from passengers?
A church that leases or has purchased a bus for the private transportation of their group, that doesn’t collect compensation in any manner for group activity trips is considered a non-business private motor carrier of passengers (PMCP) if they provide private transportation that is NOT in the furtherance of a commercial purpose. This means that no compensation can be received directly from passengers for the cost of the transportation or indirectly as part of a group event package.
Non-business PMCPs are subject to the same regulations and exceptions as for-hire carriers, but are exempt from many paperwork requirements. Specifically, these operations are exempt from:
Insurance requirements (Part 387);
Driver minimum-age restrictions;
The need for drivers to provide a list of violations from the past 12 months;
Employment applications, driving-record checks, previous-employer inquiries, and annual reviews (Part 391, Subpart C);
The requirement for drivers to be medically examined and carry a medical exam certificate (but drivers are not exempt from the minimum physical qualifications in Sec. 391.41(b));
Driver qualification and investigation files;
Records of duty status (logs);
Maintenance records as required under Sec. 396.3(b); and
Daily post-trip vehicle inspection reports.
If a charitable organization collects money for transportation from passengers is considered to be collecting direct compensation which makes the operation a for-hire carrier subject to all applicable FMCSRs.
What is the “8 in 30” exemption from logging on ELDs?
An ELD is not required for any driver that logs on grid logs 8 or less times in any rolling 30-day period, not a 30-day period as defined by the carrier or a calendar month. Enforcement auditors will count 30 days back from today and count the number of paper grid logs in that period. However, at the roadside, the driver is not required to have proof of their prior 30 days' of logs or exempt log/timecard recordkeeping documents with them in the truck.
If the officer has a concern about a driver claiming to be exempt from using an ELD due to the “8 in 30” exception, the enforcement officer will have to contact the carrier’s office which would likely occur at a date/time after the roadside inspection.
Products written by Mark Schedler
Everyday Transportation Safety Management
FMCSA Compliance Manual for Passenger Carriers
Fleet Management Pro