News flash: Hazmat haulers drive safe every day

Updated Apr 10, 2012

I learned today that I am on the right track with the web host and software choices I made for bringing my web site into the 21st Century. Learned when a friend and web development professional told me as much.

I also learned the name and hazards of the toxic chemical that is indicated by a bulk hazmat placard that I have not seen before. Learned by looking it up when a tanker full of the stuff parked immediately in front of our truck.

Diane and I woke up this morning at the Triple T truck stop in Tucson, Ariz. We drove here yesterday from Las Cruces, N.M., to better position ourselves for freight. With the Easter weekend approaching, we are growing concerned that we might be laid over here until Monday at least.

A friend of ours, Sandra, works for a web development company in New Mexico. She is a regular blog reader and is now coaching me via e-mail as I learn WordPress and fumble and bumble my way through the process of upgrading my web site. I was pleased to learn this morning that she has selected the same web host I did for her web site, She is saving me a ton of time by sharing her already-learned lessons with me.

My hazmat placard interest developed when a truck pulling 6,000 gallons of something in a tanker trailer parked within a few inches of our front bumper at the truck stop. Trucks carrying hazardous materials in that quantity are marked with placards that give information about the dangers of the particular material.

Drivers who haul hazmat carry reference handbooks in their cabs. When this tanker parked the long way immediately in front of our truck, I looked up the number on the placard that was staring me in the face to see what the chemical was. Sure enough, if that tanker leaked it would kill Diane, me and others nearby.

I was curious about the placard but not concerned. If there happened to be a truck accident and deadly chemical spill someplace in the country today, millions of non-truckers nationwide will hear about it on the news. But there will not be a single news story about the hundreds of thousands of hazmat truckers who will drive millions of miles without an accident, leak or spill of any kind.

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If you get into this business, you could become one of those truckers as many expediters are. Even if you don’t haul hazmat yourself, you will sometimes find yourself parked at a truck stop for the night next to 6,000 gallons or 20 tons of stuff that could kill you if it was not properly packaged or the driver was not doing his job.

But again, the general public never hears about the millions of times hazmat truckers safely load, maintain, drive and park their rigs. Those of us who drive and/or sleep within a few feet of those rigs are more aware and appreciative of the professionals who transport hazardous materials while keeping the public safe.