Ever wondered what’s in that big rig driving next to you? Every day, hazardous materials are transported throughout North America, and the drivers behind the wheel are some of the best.
What it takes to get a HAZMAT driving endorsement
CDL drivers must have a clean driving record and pass both a state and federal background check to apply for a HAZMAT certification. Truck drivers must also complete dangerous goods training, a medical/eye test, and pass a DMV HAZMAT exam. These high standards ensure only the best of the best are entrusted with dangerous materials.
TP Trucking logistics manager David Hopkins explains, “Truck drivers are already held to a higher standard of accountability,” Hopkins said. “For example, if the legal limit for drunk driving is a .08 BAC, it’s .04 for commercial truck drivers, even off-hours in their own car. For drivers with a hazmat endorsement, accountability is even higher.”
HAZMAT drivers do much more than move hazardous materials from one point to another. A HAZMAT driver is responsible for choosing the safest route based on road conditions, population density and other factors.
“The driver has to know the different classes, what can ride together and what can’t,” Hopkins explained. “They go through the bill of lading and look for things that can’t be loaded next to each other. Sometimes they need to arrange the load so there are buffers between classes.
“Once the truck is loaded, the driver checks the placards along the side and back of the truck to ensure they’re on the right setting. If there’s an accident, or if the driver goes through a set of scales, someone can know at a glance what the most volatile or severe HAZMAT is on that truck.”
In the event of an accident, HAZMAT drivers must be prepared to take appropriate action. They may only have a few moments to mitigate a dangerous situation that can impact the lives of bystanders, first responders and nearby residents. For this reason, HAZMAT drivers must maintain excellent personal health and renew their license more frequently.
Earn Your HAZMAT endorsement and drive for TP Trucking
Experienced truck drivers with a clean record can make extra money transporting hazardous materials. TP Trucking pays five cents more per mile for hauling hazmat loads and will pay for any type of hazmat endorsement or training.
TP Trucking is always looking for talented drivers with a year or more of over the road experience. We offer competitive benefits including a 401(k)-matching program, dental, health, and vision insurance.
TP Trucking is the dependable choice for long or short-haul freight
Our CARB-compliant fleet of Kenworth trucks is less than 5 years old, ensuring safe, economical and on-time deliveries throughout all 48 contiguous states and Canada. We offer customized solutions to meet a variety of logistical and shipping needs – including food-grade and other moderate liability HAZMAT hauling. Learn more about TP Trucking long and short-haul trucking services.