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9.3 Communication Rules (continued)

Shipping Papers

Shipping papers describe the hazardous materials being transported. Shipping orders, bills of lading and manifests are all considered shipping papers.

After an accident or hazardous materials spill or leak, you may be injured and unable to communicate the hazards of the materials you are transporting. Firefighters and police can prevent or reduce the amount of damage or injury at the scene if they know what hazardous materials are being carried. Your life, and the lives of others, may depend on quickly locating the hazardous materials shipping papers. For that reason, the rules require:

  • Shippers to describe hazardous materials correctly and include an emergency response telephone number on shipping papers.
  • Carriers and drivers to put tabs on hazardous materials shipping papers, or keep them on top of other shipping papers and keep the required emergency response information with the shipping papers.
  • Drivers to keep hazardous materials shipping papers:
    • In a pouch on the driverʼs door, or
    • In clear view within immediate reach while the seat belt is fastened while driving, or
    • On the driverʼs seat when out of the vehicle.

Package Labels

Shippers put diamond-shaped hazard warning labels on most hazardous materials packages (see Figure 9-2 below). These labels inform others of the hazard. If the diamond label will not fit on the package, shippers may put the label on a tag securely attached to the package. For example, compressed gas cylinders that will not hold a label will have tags or decals.

Figure 9-2
Package Label Examples

Placards

Placards are used to warn others of hazardous materials. Placards are signs put on the outside of a vehicle that identify the hazard class of the cargo. A placarded vehicle must have at least four identical placards. They are put on the front, rear and both sides of the vehicle (see Figure 9-3 below). Placards must be readable from all four directions. They are 10 3/4-inches square, square-on-point, in a diamond shape. Cargo tanks and other bulk packaging display the ID number of their contents on placards, or orange panels or white square-on-point displays that are the same size as placards, and placed near the placards.

Figure 9-3
Placard and Panel Locations

Lists of Regulated Products

There are three main lists used by shippers, carriers and drivers when identifying hazardous materials. Before transporting a material, look for its name on three lists. Some materials are on all lists, others on only one. Always check the following lists:

  • Section 172.101: Hazardous Materials Table
  • Appendix A to Section 172.101: List of Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities
  • Appendix B to Section 172.101: List of Marine Pollutants
Make sure you understand what is considered to be a shipping paper. There will be many rules and regulations about shipping papers throughout this section.
Remember: Shipping papers may be the only way for emergency responders to determine the type of hazardous cargo you're hauling. That's why there are very specific rules in place, as seen below.
The entire list below is very important. Many questions on the written exam are pulled right from the below list. Be very familiar with it!
Questions are frequently pulled from this entire list, but this is the most important part to remember. You should absolutely memorize the below information on where drivers are required to keep shipping papers. It is very likely you will receive a question on the written exam about where to properly store shipping papers.

There are a few main points to remember here:

  • Placards and/or warning labels should be diamond-shaped.
  • The purpose of labels and placards is to inform others of the hazard.
  • If a diamond label will not fit on a package, shippers may use a tag securely attached to the package.

This is another very important paragraph that quite a few questions are taken from. You should remember the main points:

  • Placards are used to warn others of hazardous materials.
  • A placarded vehicle must have at least four identical placards which are placed on the front, rear, and both sides and viewable from all four directions (the front placard may be on the front of the truck or trailer).
  • Placards are diamond shaped.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Manifest:

Bill of Lading

An accurate record of everything being shipped on a truck, often times used as a checklist during unloading.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Review Questions - Click On The Picture To Begin...

Hazardous material shipping papers must either be tabbed, or:
  • Have "HAZMAT" written on the top of the shipping papers
  • Use a larger size sheet of paper for the hazmat items
  • Be printed on a bright orange sheet of paper
  • Be kept on top of other shipping papers

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Rules require:

  • Shippers to describe hazardous materials correctly and include an emergency response telephone number on shipping papers.
  • Carriers and drivers to put tabs on hazardous materials shipping papers, or keep them on top of other shipping papers and keep the required emergency response information with the shipping papers.
  • Drivers to keep hazardous materials shipping papers:
  • In a pouch on the driver's door, or
  • In clear view within immediate reach while the seat belt is fastened while driving, or
  • On the driver's seat when out of the vehicle.
Next
What are Placards?
  • Stickers placed on shipping papers that identify the hazard class of the cargo
  • Small stickers placed on the drivers and passengers side window showing the driver has a hazardous materials endorsement
  • Seals placed on rear doors of box trailers or output devices on tankers to prevent hazardous materials from leaking
  • Signs put on the outside of a vehicle that identify the hazard class of the cargo

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Placards are used to warn others of hazardous materials. Placards are signs put on the outside of a vehicle that identify the hazard class of the cargo. A placarded vehicle must have at least four identical placards. They are put on the front, rear and both sides of the vehicle. Placards must be readable from all four directions. They are 10 3/4-inches square, square-on-point, in a diamond shape. Cargo tanks and other bulk packaging display the ID number of their contents on placards, or orange panels or white square-on-point displays that are the same size as placards, and placed near the placards.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

Always be sure to ask for an extra placard or two when leaving a shipper in case a placard is blown off the truck during transit.

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Next
Drivers must keep hazardous materials shipping papers:
  • On the driver's seat when out of the vehicle
  • In clear view within immediate reach while the seat belt is fastened while driving
  • All of these are acceptable places to keep shipping papers
  • In a pouch on the driver's door

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Drivers to keep hazardous materials shipping papers:

  • In a pouch on the driver's door, or
  • In clear view within immediate reach while the seat belt is fastened while driving, or
  • On the driver's seat when out of the vehicle.
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Next
On shipping papers, shippers must include:
  • Hazardous material spill cleanup instructions
  • An emergency response telephone number
  • A seal of hazardous material shipping approval
  • The sale price of each product

Quote From The CDL Manual:

After an accident or hazardous materials spill or leak, you may be injured and unable to communicate the hazards of the materials you are transporting. Firefighters and police can prevent or reduce the amount of damage or injury at the scene if they know what hazardous materials are being carried. Your life, and the lives of others, may depend on quickly locating the hazardous materials shipping papers. For that reason, the rules require:

  • Shippers to describe hazardous materials correctly and include an emergency response telephone number on shipping papers.
  • Carriers and drivers to put tabs on hazardous materials shipping papers, or keep them on top of other shipping papers and keep the required emergency response information with the shipping papers.
  • Drivers to keep hazardous materials shipping papers:
  • In a pouch on the driver's door, or
  • In clear view within immediate reach while the seat belt is fastened while driving, or
  • On the driver's seat when out of the vehicle.
Prev
Next
A truck carrying 17,000 pounds of a single hazardous material must display how many placards?
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Placards are used to warn others of hazardous materials. Placards are signs put on the outside of a vehicle that identify the hazard class of the cargo. A placarded vehicle must have at least four identical placards. They are put on the front, rear and both sides of the vehicle. Placards must be readable from all four directions. They are 10 3/4-inches square, square-on-point, in a diamond shape. Cargo tanks and other bulk packaging display the ID number of their contents on placards, or orange panels or white square-on-point displays that are the same size as placards, and placed near the placards.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

It's good practice to grab an extra placard or two from the shipper in case one of your placards is blown off the truck during transport.

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Next
What is the proper shape for a placard?
  • Diamond
  • Rectangle
  • Square
  • Triangle

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Placards are used to warn others of hazardous materials. Placards are signs put on the outside of a vehicle that identify the hazard class of the cargo. A placarded vehicle must have at least four identical placards. They are put on the front, rear and both sides of the vehicle. Placards must be readable from all four directions. They are 10 3/4-inches square, square-on-point, in a diamond shape. Cargo tanks and other bulk packaging display the ID number of their contents on placards, or orange panels or white square-on-point displays that are the same size as placards, and placed near the placards.

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Next
If a diamond-shaped warning label is unable to fit on a hazardous materials package, shippers may use:
  • A brightly colored marker to write "HAZMAT" directly onto the product or packaging
  • All packaging containing hazardous materials, regardless of size or shape, must have a diamond-shaped warning label attached
  • A small brightly colored piece of paper, such as a sticky note, taped to the package with the hazard type written on it
  • A label on a tag securely attached to the package

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Shippers put diamond-shaped hazard warning labels on most hazardous materials packages. These labels inform others of the hazard. If the diamond label will not fit on the package, shippers may put the label on a tag securely attached to the package. For example, compressed gas cylinders that will not hold a label will have tags or decals.

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