Transporting Hazardous Materials the Right Way 

07/13/20

You always want to keep your load on the road, but that’s especially true when transporting hazardous materials. Since 78 percent of rollovers are due to driver error, you can control your load and stay safe by following the proper protocol. Find out what you need to do when you’re transporting hazardous materials. 

Inspect Your Truck Before Driving

If your truck isn’t ready for the road, you’re more likely to roll over and lose your load. Pay special attention to your brakes and tire pressure. If your brakes don’t perform correctly or your tires have low pressure, it will be difficult to control your truck. That will put you at risk for rolling over. If you notice any issues, have the service team fix them before you hit the road. This might take some time, but it will help you stay safe while doing your job. 

Be Mindful of Liquid Slosh and Surge

Liquid slosh and surge are one of the main causes of rollover accidents when transporting hazardous materials. This can happen when transporting a partial load of liquid. When the liquid sloshes and surges, you can lose control of the truck and roll over, causing the materials to spill on the road.

Various factors can cause slosh and surge. These factors include excessive speed, sudden braking or maneuvers, turning radius, and load distribution. Drive carefully and be mindful of how much liquid you’re transporting and how it’s distributed in the truck. By being careful and aware, you can avoid slosh and surge, meaning you can also avoid a serious accident. 

Don’t Engage in Unsafe Behaviors

Most truck drivers are excellent at what they do. Still, it’s easy to become complacent after you’ve been on the road for a long time. You might find yourself paying less attention to safety protocols because you think you’re a seasoned pro. However, you should never let your guard down when you’re on the road- this isn’t safe and could lead to a serious accident. Always be aware of your surroundings, so you can adjust your driving accordingly. Never go on autopilot since that puts you and others at great risk. 

 

You should also avoid other unsafe behaviors, such as using your cell phone, driving too fast, or driving under the influence. Even engaging in an unsafe behavior one time could cause you to lose your load. It’s not worth the risk, so always be smart when driving.

 

Also, be mindful of reaching for items in the cab. When you switch the radio, reach for your coffee, or grab a sandwich, you are distracted. At highway speeds, your traveling at nearly 100 feet per second! So, being distracted for just one second puts you at risk; wait until you reach your next stop. Then, you can grab the items that you need safely, without putting yourself or others in danger. 

 

Finally, never drive when you’re tired. This is incredibly dangerous and risky behavior. When you’re tired, your reaction time pays the price. Your cognitive facilities won’t be as sharp, so it will be more difficult to make fast decisions on the road. This puts you and others at risk and could cause you to lose your load. 

 

Transporting hazardous materials might be more dangerous than hauling fruit, but you can stay safe by following these tips. Then, you will arrive at your destination safely, with your load intact. Over time, you will build trust because of your awareness and safety regarding hazardous materials. You can even show others how to safely perform their jobs. With your help, Liquid Trucking drivers can keep everyone safe on the road.