Best Practices for Hazmat Carriers

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Imagine a world without sodium, propane, ammunition, fireworks or fuel.

All of these things fall into the hazardous materials category. Our world can’t run without them, but hazardous materials can be difficult to transport and carry a lot of risk. If you haul hazmat, it’s extra important to follow the FMCSA’s rules to keep yourself, your load and the public safe. If you’re a hazmat hauler, remember…

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

-Ben Parker, Spider Man

Below are tips from the FMCSA’s driver regulations. For even more hazmat tips, check out our post on the Top 10 Hazardous Material Violations.

Truck Parking

Finding safe truck parking is already a top issue for truckers. As a hazmat hauler, you must park in a location that keeps you, your load, and the public safe. Avoid parking within five feet of a public street or highway. If you’re hauling Division 1.1 (dynamite), 1.2 (flares) or 1.3 (fireworks) explosives and you want to park on private property, ask the property owner for permission and tell them what you’re hauling. Avoid parking within 300 feet of a bridge, tunnel or place with large groups of people.

Avoid Fires

Hazardous materials can be unstable, especially when being transported, so keep them away from flames. Don’t park within 300 feet of an open fire. If you see a fire on the road, don’t drive past it unless you can pass safely without stopping.

Fueling Safety

Don’t run your truck’s engine when you’re fueling. Stay next to your truck when you fill up and be in control of the pump at all times. Never leave your truck unattended when you’re fueling.

Smoking

Smoking and hazardous materials don’t mix! Don’t smoke or carry a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe within 25 feet of truck that’s hauling explosives, oxidizers or any other flammable hazardous materials. And never smoke near an empty tank that has transported flammable materials or gases.

Tires

To avoid rollovers and accidents, check your tires for damage or overheating at the beginning of your trip and every time you’re parked. Replace or repair any damaged or overheated tires immediately.

Other requirements

To comply with FMCSA requirements, carry these items in your truck at all times:

  • a copy of your FMCSA Safety Permit
  • a written route plan
  • the telephone number of a supervisor who is familiar with your cargo and your route

You have a responsibility to keep yourself, your hazmat load and the public safe. With these tips you can prevent accidents and make sure you get to your destination safely. For more information, visit the FMCSA’s hazardous materials page.

Call 855-369-APEX (2739) to see how our Startup, freight factoring and fuel programs can help you keep more money in your trucking company where it belongs. Thanks to our friends at Higginbotham for the great tips!

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