Mark Schedler - Sr. DOT Editor - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.
May 10 , 2019
Free Whitepaper About ELD Exemptions
An exemption from one or more DOT safety regulations can be a great benefit or a great risk depending on how it's used. This whitepaper summarizes the available HOS and ELD exemptions and discusses when they can be used and why their use may not be in your best interest.
A yard move is considered a special driving category and allows for added flexibility when a driver or other authorized person doesn’t want small vehicle moves or adjustments to detract from available drive time captured electronically by an ELD. Like personal conveyance, it is optional if a motor carrier wants to authorize its use. Though it provides an added convenience when applied correctly to a driver’s hours of service, inappropriate use of the category will result in a falsification violation. To avoid suffering this fate, make sure your drivers are aware of the following FAQs pertaining to yard moves.
FMCSA does not yet have a formal definition for a yard. CVSA, on December 4, 2019, requested that FMCSA provide a definition of a yard to reduce compliance confusion. In the absence of and until there is a formal definition from FMCSA, you likely need to have guidance that helps you avoid compliance problems.
“Driving” time or “Line 3” time is considered time behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle that operates on a “highway” per §390.5. A yard move is considered on-duty (not driving). To log on-duty (not driving) it is prudent to only use the “yard move” option when a driver is not on a “highway”, in other words, in an area open to public travel.
“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.”
Until FMCSA more clearly defines a “yard”, a carrier’s terminal, a customer’s facility, or a repair shop can be considered yards if the facility has signs or gates restricting the public from entering.
The requirement of a yard is that the vehicle cannot be operating on what is defined in §390.5 as a “highway.” A highway is any roadway, public or private, that the public can operate a four-wheeled vehicle on that is not restricted by signs or gates.
Yes, if it is a closed facility with restricted public access. An example of this would be shuttling trailers from the dock to a parking area within a yard the public is restricted by gates or signs. Customer lots that do not have signs or gates, malls, truck stops, and parking lots the public can access are all places that cannot be considered a yard for ELD purposes.
The driver time when a driver is logged in under Yard Move will be recorded on the ELD as on-duty. It will still be visible in the data as driving time, but will count as on duty, not driving time on the driver’s log. The driver must select “Yard Move” prior to entering the special category, and must annotate the ELD record describing the activity.
In addition to featuring Yard Move as a special category (if allowed by the carrier), ELDs allow unidentified events to be edited to a Yard Move. On the other hand, most AOBRDs require drivers to log out, and unidentified time is accounted for by adding an off-duty event with annotations that the time was authorized off-duty driving.
No, but it does count as on-duty not driving time. If a Yard Move is used mid rest-period, it will affect the off-duty break.
Yes, Yard Move time will count toward the 14-consecutive hour limit.
It will be indicated on the grid-graph display by using a different style line (dashed, dotted, shaded, etc.), along with the appropriate abbreviation (YM). The detailed log data for the day will also indicate when YM was turned on and off.
The time will be incorrectly captured as Yard Move (on-duty yard time, rather than driving time). This could be considered a false log. To address this, the driver should immediately attach a comment to the log explaining the error. To follow up, someone (the driver or a back-office support person) will have to edit the driver’s log to manually enter the driving time.
Yard movements are easy to audit in an ELD. The officer, investigator, or in-house auditor simply investigates the location data at the time of the Yard Move, either the location description in the log data or the longitude/latitude data, and the driver’s work assignment for the time in question. Using this information, the office, investigator, or in-house auditor can decide if the driver was in a yard at the time yard movement was used, or if the driver was on a roadway or in a public area. If the vehicle was not in a yard or was moving down the road at the time the driver selected Yard Move, the driver falsified the record.
This article was updated on January 2, 2020.
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