DOT & ELD Guidance Blog

FMCSA Definition of Yard Move Coming Soon

New guidance is expected soon on the FMCSA's definition of a yard move.

J.J. Keller Editor Rick Malchow

Rick Malchow - Industry Business Advisor - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

February 25 , 2022

Even though the term “yard move” was integrated into the ELD mandate, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) did not define it, resulting in confusion over when a driver could – or couldn’t – use the option. The yard move special driving category is designed to record the operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) inside a “yard” as on-duty, but not as driving, impacting significantly a driver’s available hours. For guidance, read our Top 10 FAQs about the ELD 'yard move' Special Driving Category blog.

The FMCSA believed that “motor carrier safety personnel and authorized safety officials would use the ELD data to explore further and determine whether the driver appropriately used the indicated special category.”1 Since manually logging drivers were allowed to log off-highway operation as on-duty/not driving, they felt that the change was not significant.  

To remedy the angst around what constitutes a yard move, the agency proposed creating a definition for a yard move and sought public commentary. In the proposal, they defined yard moves as the movement of the CMV that occurs in a confined area on private property or briefly on a public road. The proposal contained examples of properties that may qualify as yards, including:

  • An intermodal yard or port facility,
  • A motor carrier’s place of business,
  • A shipper’s privately-owned parking lot, and
  • A public road, but only if and while public access to the road is restricted through traffic control measures such as lights, gates, flaggers, or other means during the move.

FMCSA included examples of properties that do not qualify as yards, such as a public road without traffic control measures and public rest areas. Since retail operations and other publicly accessible locations were not included in the “yard” examples, operational adjustments may be needed to avoid 8-, 11-, or 14-hour driving violations. However, many people already view yard moves as an "off-highway" operation, so this may not be a significant change.

The new guidance is expected soon.

Comply with Yard Move Requirements with J. J. Keller® ELogs

The Encompass® ELD app makes compliance with yard moves easier for your drivers, mechanics, and other employees. A user-friendly interface makes it easy to document their time through quick ELog annotation entry. Talk with a compliance specialist about how the Encompass® ELD app can keep your drivers and employees compliant with yard moves, personal conveyance, and the ELD mandate.


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