Another specialized delivery type we’ll be discussing today is the delivery of hazardous materials. Like fulfilling flatbed deliveries or delivering oversized loads, moving hazardous materials is a precarious job within the transportation and trucking industries. Moving liquid or solid hazmats endangers people and the environment if not correctly handled. Beyond exercising safer trucking, there are a few things to consider when delivering hazardous freights.
Here’s a brief overview of hazmat truck drivers and the types of hazardous materials commonly delivered, as well as some tips for safe shipping.
Drivers and Hazardous Materials
Truck drivers must complete hazmat certification and have a hazmat endorsement on their commercial driver’s license to deliver hazardous materials. Hauling dangerous cargo that could potentially harm humans, animals, and the environment demands drivers must receive specialized training on handling hazmat deliveries. The trailer must display on its exterior a placard that indicated what type of material is in transport. The freight type is indicated by class, and the danger level is indicated by group number. The greatest danger is group I, medium danger is group II, and minor danger is group III.
Class 1: Explosives
Class 2: Gases
Class 3: Flammable and Combustible Liquids
Class 4: Flammable Solids
Class 5: Oxidizing Substances, Organic Peroxides
Class 6: Toxic Substances and Infectious Substances
Class 7: Radioactive Materials
Class 8: Corrosives
Class 9: Miscellaneous Hazardous Materials
Have Records Ready
Having the necessary records ready and available to refer to at all times is crucial to safety. Make sure to have extra copies of the Material Safety Data Sheet, as it outlines the dangers of the various products and substances, and how to properly transport, handle, and store these products. The type and quantity of hazardous freight should be declared and recorded on the bill of lading. A bill of lading is essentially a receipt or a list of goods in the shipment. Additionally, have a number ready to call in case of any emergency involving the freight.
Package and Protect
Moving hazmat substances warrants extra care when packaging the products for transport. On top of making sure there are no cracks and leaks to the product packages, the vehicle must be outfitted for the safe delivery of the materials. Trucking companies can be held responsible for improperly loaded, secured, or packaged hazmats if an accident occurs.
For everyone’s safety, the Department of Transportation requires trucks delivering hazardous materials to stop at weigh stations for inspection. At these stops, officials check for proper documentation, the accurate weighing of the freight, and the vehicle conditions. You can be refused to continue the delivery if something is amiss, and face hefty fines.
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