Truck drivers transport all kinds of materials and cargo, including hazardous materials. Transportation of hazardous materials, also called “hazmat” or HM, requires special training and certification. Keep reading for the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about driving hazardous materials in the trucking industry.

What Are the Responsibilities of HM Carriers?

HM carriers have many responsibilities. Your carrier must mark all trailers accordingly, make sure paperwork is completely properly, provide employee training in the safe transportation of hazardous materials, and maintain a security plan. HM carriers must also ensure all hazardous materials are stored safely and that proper loading and unloading procedures are observed. Finally, trucking companies and truck drivers who transport hazardous materials must obtain and keep a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit.

How Do Carriers Obtain an HM Safety Permit?

To obtain a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a carrier must maintain a “satisfactory” safety rating and an approved security program for the handling of hazardous materials. Radioactive or explosive materials must have a written route plan and truck drivers must maintain communication with their carrier during transport. Carriers must also maintain a crash rating, out-of-service rating, and hazmat violation rating in the top 30% of the national average. Other requirements include registration with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and thorough pre-trip inspections of hazardous materials.

Which Hazardous Materials Require a Permit to Transport?

There are a number of hazardous materials that require a permit to be transported via truck. If you are a truck driver who is qualified to drive hazardous materials, your permit allows you to transport radioactive materials, explosives in excess of 55lbs, materials that can cause poisoning via inhalation, and liquefied methane or natural gas.

You can learn more about handling hazardous materials and other cargo as a trucker in Phoenix when you visit Phoenix Truck Driving Institute online. We offer CDL classes, refresher courses, and more—all taught by friendly, experienced truckers. You can reach us by calling (877) 205-5372 or filling out our online contact form.