HazMat, Is It The More Serious Route?

Topic 7482 | Page 1

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Jeff L.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi, my question(s) is, Are there companies that primarily do HM? If so, do they train new CDL holders? Do they normally keep their equipment and trucks maintenance up to better standards due to the regulations they are under? Are their trainers usually geared to a more professional attitude? Is it hard to get into? Is it a more serious route to go for a new driver?

We are just starting to study it in class and our teacher said we would not be spending to much time on it. This is what I studied today(in order). I read the HM section in the Texas handbook , did the reviews offered here on the CDL training, Then read HM section out of the school book(Bumper to Bumper)and answered all the questions my teacher gave us that we will review tomorrow. I also downloaded all the sections regarding to government and Dot regulations. Is there some material that I can use to study deeper into HM to get ahead so when I test or start a job working for a company that does HM?

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

You're going to find - if you have a HM as a newly licensed driver - they are not going to put you under a load of high explosives or nuclear material right out of orientation.

Many people don't realize that a lot of "common household items", become an "HM Placard Load" when you're hauling 40,000+ lbs of it - bleach, car batteries (because of the acid) and many other things, become HM loads when hauled in truckload quantities.

The HazMat section of Trucking Truth High Road CDL Program, is EXCELLENT at providing the study material in order to pass the endorsement test. I used it before renewing my HM endorsement last year - 100% score. HM is the ONLY WRITTEN TEST you will have to take EVERY TIME YOU RENEW your CDL.

Companies that haul HM are required to have ADDITIONAL TRAINING (annually I believe), and drivers that haul HM are required to get this additional training.

(maybe someone here that's out hauling a lot of HM can describe the additional training).

As far as "better standards" - all Trucks/Trailers are required to be inspected AT LEAST ANNUALLY (FMCSA Regs - 49 CFR 396.17) and each time you go through a "Level I Dot Inspection, you will get an "inspection sticker" if you pass.

If you go with a company that specializes in "High Value/High Risk" HM loads - the training and equipment standards are likely to be more strictly adhered to - than the "generalized household good" type of HM loads that pretty much every company hauls (at one time or another).

Having your endorsement, opens the door to getting more loads, that other drivers can't haul because they lack the endorsement (either because they didn't want it - or can't pass the BG required of it).

Rick

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I do high value loads pretty frequently, and hazmat loads here and there. A lot of these major carriers don't haul materials that are too risky (explosives). If it's hazmat, it's usually Corrosive. I've hauled 44,000 of a Highly Corrosive chemical once, and then 800lb of Fire extinguishers (a hazmat item, just not enough weight to be placarded).

As far as the additional training, there isn't much of it at Prime. If you have your endorsement they expect you to know about hauling hazardous materials. However, they never give these types of loads to rookies. In fact, even being considered to haul a high value load as a solo driver requires a minimum of 6 months with the company.

It does open up your options for loads, but don't expect them anytime soon. It takes a while to build that trust so they'll give you these extra important loads.

I definitely wouldn't aim for HM/HV loads as a rookie though. Any company that hauls mainly HM or HV usually requires experience. So even if that's the route you want to go, they won't hire you. But yes, hauling these types of loads is considered a step up the ladder.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Jim's Comment
member avatar

Hi, my question(s) is, Are there companies that primarily do HM? If so, do they train new CDL holders? Do they normally keep their equipment and trucks maintenance up to better standards due to the regulations they are under? Are their trainers usually geared to a more professional attitude? Is it hard to get into? Is it a more serious route to go for a new driver?

We are just starting to study it in class and our teacher said we would not be spending to much time on it. This is what I studied today(in order). I read the HM section in the Texas handbook , did the reviews offered here on the CDL training, Then read HM section out of the school book(Bumper to Bumper)and answered all the questions my teacher gave us that we will review tomorrow. I also downloaded all the sections regarding to government and Dot regulations. Is there some material that I can use to study deeper into HM to get ahead so when I test or start a job working for a company that does HM?

Many companies do not require that you obtain a HazMat endorsement. However, certain driving opportunities often require it - for example, tanker and intermodal opportunities. Most of the larger trucking companies offer a standard orientation (3-6 weeks) for the majority of driving opportunities (dry van, dedicated, reefer , and team opportunities). These same companies offer additional training if you want to pursue tanker or intermodal opportunities.

I'd like to point out a correction to the first response. A HazMat load only requires a placard if there is 1,000+ LBS of a certain material - not 40,000 LBS. With that said, I would highly encourage you obtain your HazMat endorsement. Why? Having that tiny endorsement on your CDL will earn you more money. The professional driver with a HazMat endorsement often earns several thousand dollars more per year than a driver without the endorsement. Why? Because you have more freight options for your company to choose from. And in addition to the miles you're paid for that load, you will also earn accessorial pay.

Best regards, TruckLuck.com

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'd like to point out a correction to the first response. A HazMat load only requires a placard if there is 1,000+ LBS of a certain material - not 40,000 LBS. With that said, I would highly encourage you obtain your HazMat endorsement. Why? Having that tiny endorsement on your CDL will earn you more money. The professional driver with a HazMat endorsement often earns several thousand dollars more per year than a driver without the endorsement. Why? Because you have more freight options for your company to choose from. And in addition to the miles you're paid for that load, you will also earn accessorial pay.

Best regards, TruckLuck.com

I was merely illuminating that many items in your home that you would not "normally consider" to be "hazardous", become an HM load when hauled in quantities that require placarding.

Thanks for the clarification, it was not my intent to intimate that ONLY 40,000 lb loads are HM - the loads in fact DO NOT require a placard - unless they exceed the amount specified for that particular material/hazard class.

New entrants to the industry - are under the impression that getting an HM endorsement, will have them hauling stuff that will make them "glow in the dark" - when in reality - hauling a truckload of "Clorox Bleach" to a Wall-Mart DC, is going to be a placarded load, and will require the endorsement.

Rick

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Jeff, outside of bulk companies, e.g. tankers, I don't know other carriers per se that 'specialize' in just hazmat loads. Unless if I misunderstood your question.

I haul hazmat loads pretty frequently, but then again I'm a linehaul driver for an LTL company. Lots of hazmat loads. Some bulk. Could be anything from corrosives to flammable gas, inhalation or poison hazmat loads. I've hauled all kinds. I don't think you're gonna see much hazmat for a general truckload carrier.

Definitely recommend you get your hazmat, and doubles / triples, tank endorsements. You'll keep more doors of opportunity open.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Jeff L.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for all the info. It also answers my question about getting the endorsement. I plan to take the test the same day I pass, if and when I pass. I was just thinking there may companies that just haul hospital , paint waste or batteries primarily. I have been thinking about flatbeds and am applying with Roehl and Maverick plus another outfit called TMC. I am not gung ho or anything it is just that I am in my forty's and am wanting get the harder type experience done first. My teacher said if I can do flatbeds, then dry vans and reefers would be easier. The first two companies I mentioned had already visited our school do train flatbeds. Maverick is expanding this way(Texas) and Roehl trains in Gary, Indiana(flatbed). Plus I jog and crap like that so that I can keep up or surpass the young bucks.

Thanks for all the info guys. I know my first year will be experience, good or bad. Just want to find a company that will have me and there goal to be to get me out there and make them and me money. I do not even think I will make much my first year, but that wont matter if I can get through it and get the experience for the next fifteen years or so. Know any good flat bed companies that train? let me know.

Thanks

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I am not gung ho or anything it is just that I am in my forty's and am wanting get the harder type experience done first.

Trust me, you won't have to seek out the more difficult challenges in trucking. Every day of your life will be overflowing with challenges and those first few months are going to test you to the core regardless of what type of truck you're driving or freight you're hauling. With some things it's nice to "get the tough stuff out of the way first" but in trucking you're much better off taking it slow. And most companies that hire inexperienced drivers will make sure you prove yourself first before they'll put the most difficult and important freight on you.

I wouldn't worry too much about Hazmat in the beginning other than to get the basic endorsement. There's a company here in Buffalo that specializes in Hazmat hauling and they, like most companies of their type, require some experience first. The only Hazmat you'll be hauling as an inexperienced driver will indeed be lower level stuff like house paint, glue, and things of that nature.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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