Jan 16, 2021 | Articles

By Doug Marcello

THE POINT: “Yard Move” can be a key to HOS compliance. The FMCSA seeks to clear up “what’s a yard move” with proposed guidance.
The Importance: We’ve all heard the old saying, “give them an inch and they’ll take a yard move”. Or something like that. OK, maybe not, be we should.  

“Yard moves” are important to ELD’s and, in fact, all HOS Regs. For ELD’s, it is one of two special categories that manufacturers are required to include (the other–“personal conveyance–there’s a safety conference trivia question waiting to happen). 

For HOS, it provides an opportunity for activity that does go on the “driving” line. Recent guidance provides that a “yard move” is not “driving” time. It is recorded “on duty (not driving)”.  

As such, “yard moves” can be used to satisfy the 30 minute break requirement. If, of course, it’s part of a 30-consecutive minute break.  

Bottom line–the “yard move” does not count against the 11 hours driving limit and doesn’t lose the break. 

Proposed Guidance: OK, so when is a yard move a “yard move”? Well, if the proposed guidance is adopted, “only if the movement of the CMV occurs in a confined area on private property (or intermodal facility or briefly on public roads as described below). 

The proposal gives four examples of properties that would qualify. The first three are pretty straight forward;

-Intermodal yard or port facility
-Motor Carrier’s place of business
-Shipper’s privately-owned parking lot. 

Makes sense. But what about that “public road” reference? Well, the fourth is a “public road”, BUT ONLY IF AND WHILE:  

-public access is restricted – by traffic control measures-such as lights, gates, flaggers, “or other means”. 

Briefly driving on a public road to get from one part of private property to another may be considered a “yard move” IF public access is limited during the move. IF public access is not limited by the move is made–no “yard move”.  So what is NOT a “yard” that qualifies as a property for a “yard move”? These would include a movement on a public road without the listed traffic control measures or “public rest areas”.  

The Takeaway–“Yard Moves” can a valuable resource in managing HOS. If this proposal goes through, stay off unrestricted public roads, and public rest areas, to preserve the status.

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