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What is a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) in the U.S.?

With the new ELD mandate, there is a lot of confusion whether a specific vehicle or operation must comply.  This article will clarify some burning questions about the exemptions of ELD compliance.

Trucks with trailers on blue background.

The first order of business is to determine whether or not a vehicle that is being operated in the U.S. is, in fact, a CMV.

A CMV is a motor vehicle, or a combination of motor vehicles, used in commerce to transport passengers or property.

(1) Combination Vehicle (Group A)—having a gross combination weight rating, or gross combination weight, of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) – whichever is greater – inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds); or

(2) Heavy Straight Vehicle (Group B)—having a gross vehicle weight rating, or gross vehicle weight, of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater; or

(3) Small Vehicle (Group C) that does not meet Group A or B requirements but that either—

(i) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or

(ii) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials, as defined in this section.

If the vehicle meets the definition of a CMV and is not otherwise under a specific exception or waiver, then a motor carrier can either use paper logs, an electronic system to capture hours of service, AOBRD-compliant device, or an ELD device, depending on specific scenarios. 

There are additional exceptions to the regulations that are afforded to different types of operations.

Now that the ELD mandate is in place, effective as of December 18, 2017, the following operators of CMVs will remain exempt from the ELD rulemaking, but will still have to complete paper logs in compliance with the hours of service regulations.

1. Drivers using paper RODS no more than 8 days out of every 30-day period.
2. Driveaway-towaway drivers who transport empty vehicles intended for sale, lease, or repair, as long as the vehicle they are driving is part of the shipment.
3. Drivers of vehicles manufactured before the model year 2000.

 

U.S. Exceptions From the Hours-of-Service Regulations

Category

Type of Exception

Conditions That Must Be Met

49 CFR

Section

100 air-mile radius driver

 

(Also see driver salesperson)

Logbook not required.

•   Report and return to work reporting location within 12 consecutive hours

•   Stay within 100 air-mile radius of work reporting location

•   Keep time records showing time in, time out, and total number of hours

§395.1(e)(1)

150 air-mile radius driver

•   16-hour driving windows allowed twice per 7-day period, or after any 34-hour restart.

•   Logbook not required.

•  Vehicle does not require CDL

•  Report and return to normal work reporting location every day

•  Stay within 150 air-mile radius of work reporting location

•  Keep time records showing time in, time out, and total number of hours

§395.1(e)(2)

Adverse driving conditions

Up to 2 additional hours of driving time.

•   Additional driving time must fall within 14-hour driving window

•   Weather or traffic condition must be unknown at the start of the run.

§395.1(b)(1)

§395.2

Agricultural operations

All hours-of-service regulations.

Transporting agricultural commodities or farm supplies.

•   Within 150 air-miles of farm supplies or commodities origin.

•   During a State’s declared planting and harvesting season.

§395.1(k)

§395.2

Agricultural [Farm Vehicle Operations; 10,001 through

26,000 lbs. GVW/GVWR]

All hours-of-service regulations among others.

•   Agricultural [Farm Vehicle Operations; 10,001 through 26,000 lbs. GVW/GVWR].

§390.5

§390.39(a)(3)

Agricultural [Farm Vehicle Operations; 26,001 lbs. or GREATER GVW/GVWR]

All hours-of-service regulations among others.

•   Driven by the owner or operator of a farm or ranch (or by a family member or employee of that person).

•   Transporting agricultural commodities, livestock, machinery or supplies to or from the farm or ranch.

•   License plate or some other means of identifying it as a farm vehicle to enforcement personnel.

•   Not for-hire.

§390.5

§390.39(a)(3)

 

 

•   Not transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding.

•   Anywhere in the vehicle’s home State or extending into another State within a 150 air-mile radius (172.6 land miles) of the operator’s farm or ranch.

 

Alaska

•   15 hours of driving time

•   20 hours of duty time.

•   70 hours/7 days or 80 hours/8 days.

•   Driving a commercial motor vehicle in Alaska.

§395.1(h)

Construction materials and equipment

•  24 consecutive hours off duty restarts.

•  60-hour/7-day or

•  70-hour/8-day limit.

•   Vehicle used to transport construction and pavement materials, construction equipment, and construction maintenance vehicles.

•   To or from active construction site.

•   Stay within 50 air-miles of normal work reporting location.

•   Does not apply to vehicles placarded for hazardous materials.

§395.1(m)

Driver salesperson

•   60-hour/7-day limit.

•   70-hour/8-day limit.

•   Modified 100 air-mile radius logbook provision.

•   Sell goods or services.

•   Stay within 100 miles of work reporting location.

•   No more than half of all working time spent driving.

•   Driving time does not exceed 40 hours in any 7 consecutive days.

§395.1(c)

§395.2

Emergency relief

All hours-of-service regulations, among others.

Declared national, regional, State, or local emergency.

§390.23

Emergency

driving conditions

All hours-of-service regulations.

•   Legal run could have been completed if there was not an emergency.

§395.1(b)(2)

Federal

government operated

All hours-of-service regulations, among others.

•  None.

§390.3(f)(2)

Fire and rescue, emergency operation (non

government)

All hours-of-service regulations, among others.

•  None.

§390.3(f)(5)

Ground water well drilling

•  24 consecutive hours off duty restarts.

•  60-hour/7-day or

•  70-hour/8-day limit.

•   Vehicle used primarily in transportation and operations of a groundwater well drilling rig.

§395.1(l)

Hawaii

Logbook not required.

•   Keep time records showing time in,

time out, and total number of hours.

§395.1(i)

 

Local government operated

All hours-of-service regulations, among others.

None* *Intrastate exceptions may be different.

•   Check with State enforcement for details.

§390.3(f)(2)

Movie and television production

•  10 hours driving time.

•  15-hours extendable driving window.

•  8 consecutive hours off duty.

•  Transportation of property or passengers to or from a theatrical or television or motion picture production site.

•  Stay within 100 air-miles of normal work reporting location.

§395.1(p)

Oilfield operations

24-hour “restart” of 70 hours in 8 days calculations.

•   CMVs used exclusively in transportation of oilfield equipment and servicing field operations gas and oil industry.

•   Accurate time records must be available for inspection.

§395.1(d)(1)

Oilfield operations

Waiting time at natural gas or oil well site not counted as on- duty time.

•   Specially trained drivers operating specially constructed vehicles used to service gas or oil wells..

•   Waiting time must be shown separately on log

§395.1(d)(2)

Personal property

occasional transportation

All hours-of-service regulations.

•   Transportation unrelated to any commercial activity.

§390.3(f)(3)

Propane winter heating fuel; pipeline

emergencies

All hours-of-service regulations.

•   Emergency conditions as defined in

§390.5.

§390.3(f)(7)

Railroad signal employees

All hours-of-service regulations.

•   Provisions do not apply to a signal employee, as defined in §395.2, who operates a commercial motor vehicle, is engaged in installing, repairing, or maintaining signal systems, is employed by a railroad carrier or a contractor or subcontractor to a railroad carrier, while regulated by the

Federal Railroad Administration.

§395.1(r)

Retail store deliveries

All time limits on driving, duty periods, breaks, time off.

•   Only December 10 through December 25.

•   Local deliveries from retail stores and/ or catalog businesses to the ultimate consumer..

•   Stay within 100 air-miles of normal

work reporting location

§395.1(f)

 

School bus contractor-operated

All hours-of-service Regulations.

•   Transportation of school children and/or school personnel from home to school and from school to home.

§390.3(f)(1)

School bus government-operated

See “Local government operated” entry above.

 

 

Short-haul exception (16- hour) Also see the “100 air-mile radius driver” and “150 air mile radius driver” entries at

beginning of this Table.

16-hour duty period allowed once per 7-day period, or after any 34- hour restart.

•   Return to work reporting location that day and for last 5 duty tours.

•   Be released from duty within 16 consecutive hours.

•   Use once every 7 consecutive days or after a 34-hour restart.

•   Does not apply if driver is eligible for 150 air-mile radius exception (see above).

§395.1(o)

State government operated

All hours-of-service regulations, among others.

•  None* *Intrastate exceptions may be different.

•  Check with State enforcement for details.

§390.3(f)(2)

Tow truck responding to

emergency

All hours-of-service regulations, among others.

•   When responding to government request for wrecked/disabled vehicles.

§390.3(f)(2)

Utility service vehicles

All hours-of-service Regulations.

•   Vehicle being used to repair, maintain, deliver public utility services including electric, gas, water, sanitary sewer, telephone, television cable, or community antenna service.

•   Includes travel to and from activity sites.

•   Operates primarily within service area of utility’s subscribers or consumers.

•   Does not include new construction Activity.

§395.1(n)

 

 

 

•   Not transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding.

•   Anywhere in the vehicle’s home State or extending into another State within a 150 air-mile radius (172.6 land miles) of the operator’s farm or

ranch.

 

Alaska

•   15 hours of driving time

•   20 hours of duty time.

•   70 hours/7 days or 80

hours/8 days.

•   Driving a commercial motor vehicle in Alaska.

§395.1(h)

Construction materials and equipment

•  24 consecutive hours off duty restarts.

•  60-hour/7-day or

•  70-hour/8-day limit.

•   Vehicle used to transport construction and pavement materials, construction equipment, and construction maintenance vehicles.

•   To or from active construction site.

•   Stay within 50 air-miles of normal work reporting location.

•   Does not apply to vehicles placarded

for hazardous materials.

§395.1(m)

Driver salesperson

•   60-hour/7-day limit.

•   70-hour/8-day limit.

•   Modified 100 air-mile radius logbook provision.

•   Sell goods or services.

•   Stay within 100 miles of work reporting location.

•   No more than half of all working time spent driving.

•   Driving time does not exceed 40

hours in any 7 consecutive days.

§395.1(c)

§395.2

Emergency relief

All hours-of-service regulations, among others.

Declared national, regional, State, or local emergency.

§390.23

Emergency driving conditions

All hours-of-service regulations.

•   Legal run could have been

completed if there was not an emergency.

§395.1(b)(2)

Federal government operated

All hours-of-service regulations, among others.

•  None.

§390.3(f)(2)

Fire and rescue, emergency operation (non-government)

All hours-of-service regulations, among others.

•  None.

§390.3(f)(5)

Ground water well drilling

24 consecutive hours off duty restarts.

60-hour/7-day or

70-hour/8-day limit.

•   Vehicle used primarily in transportation and operations of a groundwater well drilling rig.

§395.1(l)

Hawaii

Logbook not required.

•   Keep time records showing time in,

time out, and total number of hours.

§395.1(i)

 

Local government operated

All hours-of-service regulations, among others.

None* *Intrastate exceptions may be different.

•   Check with State enforcement for details.

§390.3(f)(2)

Movie and television production

•  10 hours driving time.

15-hours extendable driving window.

8 consecutive hours off duty.

•  Transportation of property or passengers to or from a theatrical or television or motion picture production site.

•  Stay within 100 air-miles of normal work reporting location.

§395.1(p)

Oilfield operations

24-hour “restart” of 70 hours in 8 days calculations.

•   CMVs used exclusively in transportation of oilfield equipment and servicing field operations gas and oil industry.

•   Accurate time records must be

available for inspection.

§395.1(d)(1)

Oilfield operations

Waiting time at natural gas or oil well site not counted as on- duty time.

•   Specially trained drivers operating specially constructed vehicles used to service gas or oil wells..

•   Waiting time must be shown

separately on log

§395.1(d)(2)

Personal property occasional transportation

All hours-of-service regulations.

•   Transportation unrelated to any commercial activity.

§390.3(f)(3)

Propane winter heating fuel;  pipeline emergencies

All hours-of-service regulations.

•   Emergency conditions as defined in

§390.5.

§390.3(f)(7)

Railroad signal employees

All hours-of-service regulations.

•   Provisions do not apply to a signal employee, as defined in §395.2, who operates a commercial motor vehicle, is engaged in installing, repairing, or maintaining signal systems, is employed by a railroad carrier or a contractor or subcontractor to a railroad carrier, while regulated by the

Federal Railroad Administration.

§395.1(r)

Retail store deliveries

All time limits on driving, duty periods, breaks, time off.

•   Only December 10 through December 25.

•   Local deliveries from retail stores and/ or catalog businesses to the ultimate consumer..

•   Stay within 100 air-miles of normal

work reporting location

§395.1(f)

 

School bus contractor- operated

All hours-of-service Regulations.

•   Transportation of school children and/or school personnel from home to school and from school to home.

§390.3(f)(1)

School bus government- operated

See “Local government operated” entry above.

 

 

Short-haul exception (16- hour) Also see the “100 air-mile radius driver” and “150 air mile radius driver” entries at beginning of this Table.

16-hour duty period allowed once per 7-day period, or after any 34- hour restart.

•   Return to work reporting location that day and for last 5 duty tours.

•   Be released from duty within 16 consecutive hours.

•   Use once every 7 consecutive days or after a 34-hour restart.

•   Does not apply if driver is eligible for 150 air-mile radius exception (see above).

§395.1(o)

State government operated

•  All hours-of-service regulations, among others.

•  None* *Intrastate exceptions may be different.

•  Check with State enforcement for

details.

§390.3(f)(2)

Tow truck responding to emergency

•  All hours-of-service regulations, among others.

•   When responding to government request for wrecked/disabled vehicles.

§390.3(f)(2)

Utility service vehicles

•  All hours-of-service Regulations.

•   Vehicle being used to repair, maintain, deliver public utility services including electric, gas, water, sanitary sewer, telephone, television cable, or community antenna service.

•   Includes travel to and from activity sites.

•   Operates primarily within service area of utility’s subscribers or consumers.

•   Does not include new construction Activity.

§395.1(n)