Starting new job in Ops with chemical tank co. Please help me learn what I need to know.

Discussion in 'Tanker, Bulk and Dump Trucking Forum' started by 8thnote, Mar 11, 2021.

  1. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    Here is a link to the National HazMat Registry of Restricted Routes. These are the very few route restrictions for each state. It's not necessary to know thhose restrictions, but the driver/dispatcher should check before going somewhere new.

    The only HazMat that REQUIRES designated "Safe Haven" parking are explosives, IIRC. Those materials require someone responsible to always be watching the trailer. The rest of the trucking industry mi-uses the phrase "safe haven parking" for Personal Conveyence activities. Otherwise driving HaMat is almost identical to general freight, with the exception that parking on most shoulders of road & on/off-ramps is not allowed.

    Most of the industry calls the material in liquid tankers "product". That product may be corrosive, flammable, food-grade, etc.

    Trailers are generally unloaded by one of two methods.
    1. "air off" means adding air into the trailer to pressurize the trailer. That pressurized air pushes product out of the trailer when the unloading valve is opened. Certain products, like "flammable" cannot be "aired-off" since the warm/hot air being injected into the trailer can ignite a fire.

    2. "Pump off" involves connecting a pump to the trailer and letting it suck the product out of the trailer and into the customer tanks. Some customers provide the pump and hoses for this. Some customers provide nothing but the tank to receive the product.

    Virtually every customer will weigh the truck/trailer combo before and after delivery to verify they got what they ordered. Some smaller customers will require the deelivering truck/trailer bring a CAT scale ticket with them at delivery and then go weigh at another commercial scale when empty.

    Some product needs to be kept warm or hot. Some tractors that pull these types of loads will have extra plumbing & hoses to connect to the trailer. The truck when connected will route hot engine coolant through the trailer cooling/heating jacket. I hauled acids which would freeze solid around 40 F. The shipper had to ship their product at approximately 300 F so it would still be liquid upon delivery. Our trailers were only certified to tolerate temps upto 350 F. For hot loads the customers or tank washes can route steam into the trailer heat jacket to heat the product. It's also possible to run cooling water through the same lines and cool product.

    Tank washes are the facilities that clean the insides of trailers after they are empty. A trailer that had HazMat product is always a HazMat trailer until it iw washed and certified clean with a "wash ticket". The trailer requires the placards on all 4 sides until it is washed out, even if there is nothing but residual amount of product left inside.

    I believe the industry consider 5 gallons or less of product left in the trailer as empty. I forget what we called "leftover" amounts above 5 gallons. It is a hassle if you have leftover product. Typically a customer must pay for amounts over 5 gallons to be disposed of at tank washes.

    Tank washes are the most crowded facilities I have ever seen.
     
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  3. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    If you haul the same materials your company will likely designate, by trailer number, which trailer will hold which materials.
     
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  4. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    Get 1) the Hazardous Materials Compliance Book and the 2020 Emergency Response Guide (ERG). That last one is the little orange book that must be inside and handy to any driver pulling a HazMat load. The 2020 edition is now the current edition. The 2016 edition was the last one before 2020. I use an app on my phone to quickly find the info from the ERG.

    The first item is the comprehensive bible of HazMat info. Most training courses use it. It doesn't explain much about physically loading/unloading but it explains the regulations in depth.
     
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  5. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    Leftover product is called "Heel". And most of the tank washes we used would allow 11 gallons. Depending on the product. Some acids they allowed 0.
     
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  6. RockinChair

    RockinChair Road Train Member

    Get a copy of the Emergency Response Guide, the FMCSR pocketbook ("the green book") and the Hazardous Materials Compliance Pocketbook. JJ Keller sells all three of those. You should also familiarize yourself with the terms of facilities' Carrier Access Agreements and the customers' Master Service Agreements. Your local Safety Council can probably help you with a lot more resources than I know about.
     
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  7. RockinChair

    RockinChair Road Train Member

    The industry term for this is "in-transit heat," and customers typically pay an extra fee for it. Drivers should always ensure that the drain valve(s) on the trailer is/are closed before they connect their coolant hoses and open the supply valves on the front of the trailer, otherwise their engine coolant will be pumped through the trailer's heating system and drain out onto the ground.

    If a liquid product becomes solidified in the trailer, tank washes will be able to circulate steam in order to re-liquefy the product. This can be a very long and costly affair, and the load may ultimately be rejected by the consignee.
     
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  8. 8thnote

    8thnote Road Train Member

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    This is all amazingly good info. Thank you so much !!
     
  9. wis bang

    wis bang Road Train Member

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    NTTC used to publish handbooks including a useful # per Gal chart for a lot of common chemicals.

    There is a free app 'cargo decoder' that lets you enter the placard ID number and it identifies the chemical.

    You need to be sponge. My first dispatching job I ran out from the office trailer to see what had caused a driver's delivery problems and they were always happy to show me what had caused their grief that day.

    Avoid coming off as any sort of 'know it all'.......

    Chemical people always mention someone they trust as 'Good People'...

    Took a few years to get that one!
     
  10. 8thnote

    8thnote Road Train Member

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    From talking with the regional manager who hired me, I gathered that there is a lot of politicking and greasing of wheels involved with keeping the guys at the tank wash happy.
     
  11. RockinChair

    RockinChair Road Train Member

    It probably wouldn't hurt if you drove the company pickup over there to thank them in person for their hard work and quick turnarounds - with coolers full of cold drinks and fresh hot BBQ, tacos, or pizza, and maybe some company swag to boot.
     
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