Hauling Liquid Hazmat On A Flatbed

I just finished a load of bulk hazmat liquid stored in stainless steel totes, boy am I glad that one is over with. The totes were two different sizes and there was one pallet of 55 gallon drums along with it. I had to ask the loader to place the drums sandwiched in between the totes for extra security. Placing the first set of totes for legal axle weight was a concern, the load weighed in at 42,000.

Hauling this kind of load had several concerns. First, it was liquid and there would be load shifting inside of the totes. Second, the tall totes had their own problems with securement. I had only enough winches to throw 12 straps, two each over each totes and pallet. The pallet was a concern in itself, they only secured the drums with one band. I asked them to redo the pallet, and they did. They added a total of 5 horizontal bands, and two vertical, also adding a pallet on the top to sandwich the drums with wood for no movement. I also went and added a two inch ratchet strap to the drums, adding to the total strength of the tie-downs to prevent any movement.

Hauling liquid hazmat on a flatbed has a lot to be concerned about…

Add on top of all this my hazmat bunkers or two 4×4’s tied down with a chain and ratchet binder. One at the front and one at the rear. This stops all forward or backward movement, this is not just my rules, it’s D.O.T. rules.

The route taken was a lot of two lane roads. I was not that happy doing it, but that was the route I had to take. This was like driving a bomb around, any person who was of a criminal mind could have taken a shot at one of those totes and all hell would break loose. I do not plan to haul any more of these for awhile, I have hauled plenty of hazmat totes, but not like these.

When I got to the consignee, they had a heck of a time just getting these off my trailer. I had to have them lift the last one which had been placed in the center of the trailer and I drove out from underneath it while they held it in the air with a larger forklift. The size and weight of these totes were almost beyond the lifting capacity of the forklift. I say again I was glad that one was over with.

Taking your time and adding all the securement that you can, and making sure all is right with the load before leaving is a major factor in getting to the customer in one piece or being a news item on the nightly news. I would rather just get there in one piece and not be worried about how my widow would pay the bills had I not taken care and done the job right the first time.

The load went to Alaska, I am glad that the load will keep some ice road trucker busy. I will leave that type of driving to them, they deserve all the money they get for delivering to the oil fields up north.

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