Many of you are new to hauling hazmat and may be a little nervous doing so. Don't be! We have done it for over 3 1/2 years and are now working for a company that hauls some serious hazmat materials.
Load securement is a must! If you think one strap will hold something and are unsure, put another on it! You can never over secure your load and this is where many go wrong. This is something I cannot stress enough. If you have a pallet that isn't wrapped well enough ask the shipper to please do it again. You are responsible for safe shipment of that load once you sign off on it. Cover your behind!
Placards are a must! The shipper is required by LAW to SUPPLY these for you! DO NOT TAKE A LOAD THAT IS REQUIRED TO HAVE PLACARDS WITHOUT THEM!!! Don't offer to go to the truck stop if you are loaded with hazmat to pick them up and go from there. You can be fined and loose your job!
Also make sure that what is hazmat on your truck is properly labeled and has all paperwork with it explaining precautions for handling leaks,fire or accidents. You also need to carry with you at all times your Hazmat guide books and DOT rule book. If you don't have these get them! DOT will ticket you or shut you down without them!
If hauling more than one hazmat material make sure the packing groups can be co-mingled. Some loads may have to be seperated or cannot be hauled together at all.
Always make sure your paperwork matches what you are hauling and you are not hauling a forbiddin load. Check your Hazmat book if any questions.
Make sure you have a phone number and name to contact in case of leak, spill or accident on your paperwork and highlight it if it isn't already. Make sure you carry this paperwork so you can reach it quickley. I carry mine in my door pouch so I can reach it quickley in case of an accident. Also make sure your paperwork is marked with hazmat box checked and quantity checked.
If you are placarded at all YOU MUST STOP AT ALL RAILROAD CROSSINGS! This is a must! Also remember to put fourways on and stop before the white line at these crossings. Roll windows down and if clear proceed with caution. Never cross tracks that are flashing with out making sure they are clear! Do not take chances.
Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher rated for what you are hauling. Many that are rated for A,B and C fires are okay but check before buying one or read the label on the one you have.
ALWAYS LEAVE PAPERWORK ON SEAT OR DASH WHEN LEAVING TRUCK! If for some reason something should happen when you are not around the fire department can retrieve the paperwork to battle a fire or leak.
Tire checks are no longer required except in California when hauling certain materials. If carrying explosives in California the rules are different and must be followed or you will pay some very heavy fines. If unsure I believe there is a web site just for California.
Always have a route plan. Many big cities have a certain route for those carrying haxmat and have a bypass to follow. If uncertain contact dispatch, they should be able to help you.
Hazmat can be transported safely and that is what we are here to do.