If a carrier pushes so hard that an Employee Driver has to take a 34hr restart away from home there is an obvious benefit to the carrier at the Drivers expense. The same applies to an Employee Driver who has to take the 10hr break even though they may only be an hour away from home.
Under these circumstances the Driver is preforming the Job Duty of “Not Working” as their time is being “controlled or required by the employer and pursued necessarily and primarily for the benefit of the employer and his business.”.
Actually, In one respect, the current PC language has more flexibility than the proposed PC language. I can go home from 300 miles away, take time off while doing a 34hr Reset and then start logging from my house to my next load provided I am unladen when going home. As I am an “Irregular Route” Driver there is not an established pattern to be had that would identify me as abusing PC.
The new language has me going back to where I started PC even though it may take me in the wrong direction. Because of this, it could force a Driver to do a 34 Reset before going home which may mean they then can’t afford to go home.
Those I have spoken with agree that the Driver should operate within the 11hr and 10hr duty statuses when using PC to travel long distances.
As the Driver is not using the CMV “for the commercial benefit of the carrier” when going home for Requested Time Off, the 60hr or 70hr restriction should be waved provided the CMV is operated safely and responsibly by following the “Driving” and “Off Duty” requirements.
Remember, Part 392.1 and 392.2 places the burden on the carrier to ensure that the Driver operates in full compliance. This gives the carrier ownership of the Drivers Time when the Driver is operating commercially under the carriers authority. The non- commercial use of the CMV under PC conditions still has the Driver operating a CMV under the carriers “Authority” and “Insurance”. The carrier has every right to decide how, when and under what conditions their equipment is to be used.
As an OTR Driver, I may need to go to a wedding or funeral of a close friend or family member. Time may not be available, due to the nature of the job, for me to first go home and then to some other part of the country to do so.
From the point of destination at which the Driver took “Requested Time Off” the OTR Driver would need to start their next multiple day, week or month working duty status as it would be impractical to return to the point at which PC originated.
To allow the Driver to go home or any other place that their personal business requires of them to take “Requested Personal Time Off” would be beneficial to both the Driver and the carrier.
The question now becomes “How does the Driver document their personal travels” and “What amount of time off” should be required to constitute legitimate use of the CMV for these purposes?
The ELD would document that the Driver operated within the 11hr “Driving” and 10hr “Not Working” windows while using PC.
Vacation receipts, obituaries or wedding invitations would document the purpose for the PC travel leaving the necessity to establish an acceptable time frame to be taken “Off Duty” before resuming commercial operation.
Would a 34hr Reset be adequate under these circumstances?
I believe so provided that the time frame in which PC was used did not count towards the 34hr Reset. The 34hr Reset clock should only start once the Driver is located where “Requested Personal Time Off” would be taken.
Again I go back to the ELD as it documents the Drivers normal operating cycle making it possible to distinguish those who are gaming the system.
From my point of view and as expressed in my comments to the FMCSA, an OTR Driver must be able to function in a manner that allows them to survive while being away from home.
Under the current guidance, we can not drop our trailers to go shopping when it is laden. Lack of Parking is a known problem that eliminates the possibility of dropping a laden trailer.
We can not commute between work place and resting place without penalty when we are laden or under dispatch. These circumstances should require that the Driver to return to the place where PC was initiated.
This clause “The movement of a CMV to enhance the operational readiness of a motor carrier, for example, moving the CMV closer to its next loading or unloading point or other motor carrier-scheduled destination, regardless of other factors.” sums it up very well except for the the final words “regardless of other factors.”. Other factors must be considered to distinguish the true intent of the Driver and or carrier.
An Officer of the law is in no position to weigh all contributing factors. The Officer must call it like he see’s it and let the Court make the defining decision. For this reason an explanatory citation could be issued. This should not be considered an “Out of Service’ event.
This alone gives the Driver and the carrier purpose to consider the reasoning behind specific uses of PC.
As the carrier is the responsible party for ensuring that the Driver operates in full compliance, the carrier must have decision making power as to how PC will be used and under what circumstances.
The documentation gained and the GPS capabilities from the use of ELD’s make it possible to rewrite the PC Guidance.
For this reason “We The Drivers” need to comment at
before January 19th, 2018.
In addition to general comments concerning the guidance, the Agency is seeking information on the following:
1. Which carriers or drivers would take advantage of the additional flexibilities proposed in this guidance?
2. Are there particular segments of the industry that would take advantage of this change more than others?
3. Are there some carriers or segments of the industry that would prohibit their drivers from driving laden vehicles for personal conveyance?
4. For what reasons would a carrier prohibit drivers from driving a laden vehicle for personal conveyance?
5. What benefits would the new flexibilities provide to carriers and drivers?
Pat Hockaday (JoJo)