11 Amazing Facts about Hazardous Cargo

11 Amazing Facts about Hazardous Cargo

Source: www.fueloyal.com
Source: www.fueloyal.com

So with that in mind, there are almost 1.5 million different commercial shipments of hazardous cargo traveling on our highways. If that doesn’t get you this will. That is 1.5 million a day!!!!

This stuff gets hauled past schools, hospitals, and playgrounds. Keep in mind that is only the hazardous cargo hauled on the highways and roadways, that don’t include aircraft, train, barge, or in the trunk of the end user’s car!

3. Think of it Another Way

The highways are full of commercial traffic hauling freight from one coast to the other. This doesn’t count private vehicles or small business owners or rental trailers and trucks.

Source: www.fueloyal.com
Source: www.fueloyal.com

Just the commercial shipping accounts for a good portion of the traffic on our roads. Why does that matter?

Let me tell you!

11 billion tons of freight is hauled across America every year. Well, for every five tons of freight that are loaded and transported, one ton is hazardous cargo! How about that for an eye-opener?

Perhaps this next sentence will get you even more! Over 250 billion miles are traveled by commercial trucks every year, and a large percentage of that is hazardous cargo!

4. How to Better Understand that Number

You realize that is just a ridiculous amount of hazardous cargo. Hollywood could make many trucking movies based off of this. I am sure they have, well actually there is always the exploding fuel truck!

Source: www.fueloyal.com
Source: www.fueloyal.com

But one thing for sure, that is a lot of hazardous cargo running loose on our streets. What does it really mean?

Well by many estimates the number breaks down into about 3 billion tons (which seems more than what the above estimate was). If that is true, and you were to pile it all onto one scale it would equal the weight of over 500 Hoover Dams!

5. Hazardous Cargo – How is this Regulated?

I thought I beat that horse pretty good earlier. But then it got up again just to show me how stubborn it can be! Why would I say that?

Source: www.bb.si
Source: www.bb.si

Well, there are those who just don’t understand the seriousness of handling hazardous cargo. Sure everyone walks on eggshells when it deals with obvious stuff like toxic waste. But they just don’t get concerned with the everyday stuff, at least not everyone!

You are supposed to be properly trained on all hazardous cargo that will be transported by you or your company.

The government issues serious fines and penalties for failure to comply with official regulations. If fact, of the penalties issued each year, 50 percent are due to failure to properly train and certify drivers (and other staff)!

6. The Regulations are Endless

This is also something I mentioned, but that crazy horse just won’t lie still. As you know the USA has 50 states, well, they all have their own enforcement agencies!

The states are divided into individual counties and even the local communities have enforcement agencies. And of course, the federal government has them (as mentioned). So already you can see, the number gets pretty big.

Source: www.fueloyal.com
Source: www.fueloyal.com

Now let’s take it further; each of those has numerous agencies, many of which have their own regulations regarding the transportation of hazardous cargo. Of course, some refer to the federal guidelines.

The Federal government has hundreds of agencies and sub-agencies (actually no one knows how many we actually have). They have their own guidelines. If you just looked at the US Department of Defense (DOD), the DOT, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), you’d see literally thousands of regulations regarding hazardous cargo!

7. Where to Find These Regulations about Hazardous Cargo

I love a good book, a physical hard copy to hold and flip through. You know the kind that usually ends up replacing the broken leg on the couch or as a door stop to hold the door open.

Source: www.foundation-logistics.com
Source: www.foundation-logistics.com

When it comes to government regulations even the Library of Congress has its own wing to hold all the volumes that have been written. So hop online and surf away!

But to give you an idea, just the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) needs its own section for itself. In 2009 had 226 individual volumes (books), which took over 163 thousand pages! The Hazardous Materials Table (Title 49 CFR 172.101) listed something like 3,600 individual items considered hazardous cargo!

8. So Mark Your Truck Accordingly When Dealing With Hazardous Cargo

Not only do they regulate what is considered hazardous, from toothpaste to red dye number 40, but they make sure that the entire world knows you are transporting these items. Or do they? Well, this is the tricky part.

Source: www.manitoulintransport.com
Source: www.manitoulintransport.com

There are placards (in shape of a diamond) for all the 9 categories listed by the DOT. But have you ever seen a warning placard on a donut truck?

You see them on the fuel tanker trucks and the truck hauling the gas cylinders. You’ll see them on most vehicles that are officially designated as such. And remember the placards must be placed and visible on the back, both sides, and the front, for the specific goods being hauled.

Source www.pyrotalk.com
Source www.pyrotalk.com

9. As long as it’s labeled you’re Okay

Wrong! False! Don’t try to think one placard covers everything. First, there are some things that can be transported together, but there are other things that can’t.

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An example would be chlorine and ammonia; when mixed they can create a toxic cloud.  So if you so haul hazardous cargo, make sure you know what it is and that you’re transporting it correctly.

As mentioned you need to have the appropriate placards on your vehicle. But that isn’t all there is to it.

Source: www.suggest-keywords.com
Source: www.suggest-keywords.com

You need to have proper training. Depending on what you’re hauling, that will dictate how often you need to retest. Then you need to have the proper documentation and/or endorsements to allow you to legally transport the hazardous cargo.

10. Documentation is the Key

As a hazmat truck driver not only that you will need to have all your personal training, endorsements, and certifications in order, and not only that you need to have truck labels properly!

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