Semi trucks and 18-wheelers must often carry awkward, unwieldy loads like gravel, mobile homes, and large machinery. However, they are also useful for transporting hazardous materials like petroleum. Commonly shortened to “Hazmat,” this type of cargo must be treated with extra care in order to make sure that it does not spill and injure nearby drivers and pedestrians.
First, there are several different types of material that count as potentially hazardous cargo. They can be solid, liquid, or gas, and they are generally categorized as Hazmat if they radioactive, flammable, toxic, corrosive, or present any other health dangers. Some common hazardous material items include:
-Explosives and blasting agents
-Items that are dangerous when wet
-Oxidizing Workers Compensation Laws Progressive Era agents
-Radioactive Car Accident Representation substances
Many cities have designated Hazmat routes that trucks must take if they are driving with hazardous cargo. This is meant to protect populated areas from accidents involving dangerous substances. For instance, a truck carrying a biohazard may be required to skirt around a city. If the biohazard tank spills, it has a much lower chance of hurting people in a sparsely populated area rather than a populous city.
Next, trucks carrying Hazmat cargo must pack it in a certain way to prevent spills. The U.S. government divides harmful material into three different groups based on their danger levels. Sometimes, semi trucks may not be able to carry items from the same group in one load because they can interact with each other and intensify the potential danger.
Although it is always important for a truck driver to handle his or her cargo with care, it is especially crucial when the truck carries Hazmat cargo. The cargo must be perfectly balanced, and the driver must take care to avoid ill-maintained, slick, or bumpy roads that can jolt the cargo and lead to a spill. Additionally, trucks and truck drivers transporting Hazmat should receive special inspections and training from the Department of Traffic.