Chemical tanker drives under a blue sky

The trucking industry is highly regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to ensure that cargo is transported safely. Companies must fully comply with all the rules and regulations set forth, or face stiff penalties and fines. One segment of the industry, hazardous materials transportation (HAZMAT) is under the watchful eyes of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). PHMSA is an agency within the DOT and its primary responsibility is the implementation regulations for transporting liquid bulk chemicals and other hazardous materials.

Intent of Regulations

Government regulations for transporting hazardous materials are in place to protect people and the environment from their potentially damaging effects. Consider materials that are corrosive, or flammable, which can cause immense damage to any person, animal, or environment if it spills, or is otherwise compromised. They must be properly contained in appropriate packaging and safely loaded, transported and unloaded to avoid these detrimental effects. With industry-wide, consistent regulatory oversight, the risk of incident is lower than it would otherwise be. Failure to comply with the rules and regulations can, and will, result in fines, may lead to the company losing its ability to continue transporting hazardous materials, and can even land a driver in jail.

Risk Communication

Another, vitally important reason for federal regulations for HAZMAT materials is to communicate the risk they pose. The rules state that shippers must warn drivers, support staff and emergency personnel about the hazards of the material they are transporting. This is accomplished in several ways, and must be carried out for each type of material on every load transported. Shippers must include warning labels on individual packages that specify the type of material and its properties. They must also provide proper shipping papers for the driver, give emergency response information and label the truck and tank, or trailer, with adequate placards.

Safe Drivers and Equipment

The final reasons for federal regulations for transporting HAZMAT materials are that they ensure that drivers, and their equipment are capable of handling the job. Drivers must first obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and then pass a written test to obtain a HAZMAT endorsement. They must be able to identify hazardous materials, learn safe loading and unloading procedures, and learn proper placard placement. Tractors and trailers used for hazardous material transportation must be well-maintained, and in safe operating condition. It is the responsibility of the driver to do a pre-trip inspection as well as on-going observations along the route.

CTL Transportation is an expert hazardous materials transporter, specializing in corrosive and flammable liquid bulk materials. We understand, and follow each federal regulation and only hire the most highly-trained, professional drivers. Contact us to learn more about our policies, procedures, or to obtain a quote for us to transport your HAZMAT materials. We will be happy to explain our processes, or to answer any questions you may have about the industry, or regulations.


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