Chemicals, matches, fuel, fireworks, paint, batteries, and cleaning products are just a few products that cannot be transported by any typical driver, but require one with Hazmat certification; however, if you are a manufacturer or distributor, you may find that you are having a difficult time finding a qualified carrier to transport your freight and here’s why.
Studies are finding that drivers are refusing to get certified for reasons including time and cost. Trucking is responsible for over 800,000 hazmat shipments per day, but the credential process is preventing many drivers from getting certified.
A driver often misses precious time they could utilize on the road to undergo fingerprinting, application, activation, and other processes for HME and Transportation Worker Identification credentials.
In addition to the loss of work, Martin Rojas, Vice President of Safety & Operations for the American Trucking Associations, explains that “the TWIC and HME screenings have so far cost commercial drivers nearly $180 million in fees alone,” which accounts for drivers often having to receive both their TWIC and HME credentials, paying separately for each one, sometimes up to $150 alone for their HME depending on the state.
Those shippers that do find a hazmat certified carrier then have to worry about whether their freight is in the hands of a safe driver. As was the case last Thursday when a tractor trailer carrying over 6,000 gallons of alcohol overturned in a ditch in Virginia, losing part of its load.
As vafirenews.com explains, the remaining alcohol had to then be transferred into another trailer which took an additional 2-3 hours, tying up traffic.
Road Scholar Transport is a hazmat certified carrier, hiring only the most professional and experienced drivers who are subject to background checks and safety tests well beyond the industry standard. Road Scholar’s hazmat certified drivers participate in a training program that keeps them “up to speed” on the latest techniques to prevent accidents and protect hazardous cargo. Combine Road Scholar’s drivers’ experience with our strict in transit security protocols and the result is a “security officer” behind the wheel escorting your freight.
Another factor is how well-equipped the carrier is. Let’s consider a recent example happening just today, Oct. 11th, in Kansas when a semi tractor trailer transporting chemicals unexpected caught on fire. The driver did spot the fire coming from the rear and pulled over, but unfortunately, the fire had already “destroyed plastic packaging and other items inside the trailer but did not ignite the trailer’s hazardous load, which included containers of aluminum hydroxide, printer ink, motor oil and other materials” (http://www.abilene-rc.com/view/full_story/15990050/article-Hazardous-chemicals-on-semi-ignite?instance=homefirstleft).
So now not only is the hazardous chemicals in jeopardy, but other customers whose shipments were placed in the same trailer had been damaged as well.
The reason why the fire occurred has not been determined yet, but according to the site, the trailer’s brakes could have come into play.
Road Scholar Transport, however, does daily inspection checks every pre- and post-trip, which is why we have never been cited for a piece of faulty equipment involved in an accident. Road Scholar has state of the art reefers, dry vans, and power units, the newest modeled 2012, that won’t break down. Our power units are also equipped with GPS technology for redundant traceability, U.S. Customs recommended “Navalocks,” and constantly monitored electronic seals. State of the art rollover and collision sensing technology is implemented to protect your freight by preventing what could potentially be a catastrophic accident if it were to involve dangerous chemicals.
So the next time you are wondering, why is it so hard to find a qualified hazmat carrier, tell yourself it doesn’t have to be. It’s as easy as going to http://www.roadscholar.com.
Do you feel that there should be stricter penalties involving unqualified drivers transporting hazardous materials knowing the dangerous effects that could result in the case of an accident? List your comments below.