I thought I had read years ago in my study book that you could not take a hazmat load through a tunnel, had to go around somehow. Now I can't seem to find anything to that effect except references to specific tunnels, etc. Is my mind playing tricks on me?
As a rule, you should assume no HAZMAT through tunnels.
You can take the driver out of the truck but you cant take the truck out of the driver.
I got onto the FMCSR site and searched for a reg, I couldn't find one.
The only reference I could find was in the Texas CDL handbook:
If you work for a carrier, ask your dispatcher about route
restrictions or permits. If you are an independent trucker and
are planning a new route, check with state agencies where
you plan to travel. Some localities prohibit transportation of
hazardous materials through tunnels, over bridges, or other
Check before you start.
Page 56 of JJ Keller's Hazardous Materials Compliance Pocketbook states:
Unless there is no other practical route, marked or placarded shipments of hazardous materials should not be driven through tunnels. Operating convenience cannot be used as a determining factor in such decisions.
In addition, the provisions of the Hazardous Materials Regulations do not supercede state or local laws and ordinances which may be more restrictive concerning hazardous materials and urban vehicular tunnels used for mass transportation.
I sure couldn't find anything in the California vehicle code or penal code, however the California Code of Regulations is too much of a PITA to search, I was hoping someone else would know more specific information.
You will not find specific guidance regarding hazmat and tunnels in the FMCSR's because the state and local governments determine which tunnels cannot have hazmat hauled through them.
I pull a hazmat tanker....and general rule of thumb is: If you have a placarded load....tunnels are a NO GO!!
Now, my loads are 45,000 lbs of liquid in an unbaffled tank, so in some circumstances, the rules that affect me are different than those that affect a van or reefer driver pulling hazmat.
For instance: I cannot take a placarded load of certain classes of chemicals through the tunnels on the PA Turnpike, however I did once pull a load of class 5.1 Oxidizer from Philadelphia all the way across PA to Ohio through the tunnels, and I did it LEGALLY!!
The trick is that you have to call the PA State Police and ask for the Hazmat Routing Office and discuss it with them. In the case of the load that I was hauling in a van.... it was bags and their weight and packaging met the required conditions to transport the load through the tunnels. The PA Officer even gave me his name and badge number in the event I got stopped.
On the other hand....if I tried to take that very same load south on 95 and made the tragic mistake of going through "the whole in the wall" which is the tunnel on I-95 in Baltimore.... I would probably still be in prison and working at least two jobs to pay off the fines and wouldn't have a CDL anymore.
Hazmat routing is not a joke. In this post 9-11 world, you can bet your bottom dollar being in the wrong place with a hazmat load is a very bad thing with dire consequences to your wallet, freedom and future.
When in doubt....call the State DOT or State Police in the states you will be traveling through... if they give you the "go", just get a name and badge number and you're good to go. If they say "no".....they mean no.
In the from of the Motor Carriers Atlas there are all the numbers listed for the different state agencies that you might need to talk to.
Forrest Gump was right....and some people literally strive to prove it.....everyday. Strive not to be one of "them".... And "lemmings" are a dime a dozen!
Remember: The "truth WILL set you free"! If it doesn't "set you free"....."it will trap you in the cesspool of your own design".
They lost my original "avatar"....oh well.
Very good way to go to Jail or Prison for a very long time if caught.
Originally Posted by Birken Vogt
For clarification, I drive a propane delivery bobtail. Therefore I have no "approved routing", I just go all over the countryside.
Skywalker, that was the best, more clear, and concise answer I have seen on this board.
Well today's route would have taken me through a short tunnel...so I bypassed it...had to drive on narrow downtown streets in a congested area and across a grade crossing on the railroad tracks...certainly seems more logical to me to just take the darn tunnel but I would like to see some actual regs one way or the other...not trying to argue or anything
Like they said, there are no regs on it. It falls under local/state jurisdiction.
Originally Posted by Birken Vogt
The only decent sized tunnel in this area has a big red sign that say "Hazardous Materials Prohibited, follow prohibited vehicle route".
Your area may differ though, and as Skywalker said, best to call the DOT for the area you're traveling in and find out.
You won't find any regs because the FMCSA doesn't regulate hazmat routes.
A lot of it probably depends on the size of the tunnel. If you think about a long tunnel and a tanker crashing in there and exploding you would have a fiery inferno of death spouting out of each side of the tunnel and everyone inside the tunnel would be a cooked goose. It is no laughing matter. Best to follow their advice and call the local DOT on routes you can take with your load.
the full explanation is here
(b) A motor carrier carrying hazardous materials required to be placarded or marked in accordance with 49 CFR §177.823 and not subject to a NRHM routing designations pursuant to this subpart, shall operate the vehicle over routes which do not go through or near heavily populated areas, places where crowds are assembled, tunnels, narrow streets, or alleys,
except where the motor carrier determines that ..........