Many businesses in the trucking industry now use electronic logs (e-logs) to track the use of a vehicle for their drivers. This is a convenient way to keep records for any important information like mileage, location, etc. Recently we've started to get questions on whether or not a driver is able to use a vehicle for personal reasons and not record the time. Here's some guidance on this subject from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. We'd also be happy to discuss specific situations with you!
Question: if a driver is using a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal reasons, how is the driving time recorded?
Answer: a driver is relived from work and all responsibility for performing work, time spent travelling from a driver's home to his/her terminal (normal work reporting location), or from a driver's terminal to his/her home, may be considered off-duty time. Similarly, time spent travelling short distances from a driver's en route lodgings (such as en route terminals or motels) to restaurants in the vicinity of such lodgings may be considered off-duty time. The type of conveyance used from the terminal to the driver's home, from the driver's home to the terminal, or to restaurants in the vicinity of the en route lodgings would not alter the situation unless the vehicle is laden. A driver may not operate a laden CMV as a personal conveyance. The driver who uses a motor carrier's CMV for transportation home, and is subsequently called by the employing carrier and is then dispatched from home, would be on-duty from the time the driver leaves home.
A driver placed out of service for exceeding the requirements of the hours of service regulations may not drive a commercial motor vehicle to any location to obtain rest.
For any questions relating to trucking, please call your friends in the insurance business at 989-835-6701 or email karl [at] ieuter [dot] com.