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New Guidance on Yard Moves the FMCSA has Proposed

Changes to how commercial motor vehicles record “yard moves” in the hours of service have been proposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
ilfede/Deposit Photos

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The changes to the "yard moves" guidance regulations were published on Monday, January 4, 2021, in the Federal Registration. The notice includes examples of what they would classify as a “yard.” According to the Agency, the time used by commercial motor vehicles to make “yard moves” could be recorded as on-duty not driving rather than the current guidelines that require it to be logged as driving time.

“FMCSA’s revised 2020 guidance provides that the time jockeying commercial motor vehicles in the yard is not driving time,” the notice stated. “The driver should record that time as on-duty, not driving.”

The goal of the provided revisions is to clarify what is and is not classified as a ‘yard.’

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also wrote that a driver can only record operating time in a commercial vehicle as on-duty not driving only if the movement of said vehicle occurs within a confined area on private property.

Examples provided by the new guidance on what is classified as a yard include, without being to:

  • A Motor Carrier’s Place of Business
  • A Shipper’s privately owned parking lot
  • An intermodal yard or port facility
  • A public road, only if the road is restricted through traffic control measures for public access such as gates, flaggers, lights, or other means. An example would be if a commercial driver is required to use a public road to gain access to another section of private property. The movement can be classified as a yard move if public access is restricted during the time of the movement.

The guidance also provides examples of what properties do not qualify as a yard which include but are not limited to:

  • Public Rest Areas
  • A public road that does not operate with the above traffic control measures

The public will have a thirty-day time period to comment on the notice once it is published to the Federal Registry. The Federal Motor Carrier Administration will then consider comments and determine if any of the proposed regulation provisions will require further clarification.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would like feedback regarding the following inquiries:

  • Are there other properties or situations where drivers may be in a “yard move” status that should be included in the examples?
  • Would adding examples of “yard moves” be beneficial for this guidance (e.g., moving a commercial motor vehicle for maintenance)? If so, please provide examples for consideration.
  • How should “yard” be defined for the purposes of this guidance?
  • Would defining “yard moves” in the agency’s regulations provide necessary clarification and therefore benefit carriers and drivers.

It is known to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that the guidance does not include the full force of the law and is not meant to affect the public in any means other than to clarify existing regulations.

For access to the guidelines and to leave comments, the public can go to the website and enter Docket No. FMCSA-2020-0118.


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