Worth Getting a Haz Mat?

Discussion in 'General Trucking Discussion' started by Oil_Slick, Jun 19, 2017 at 9:18 AM.

  1. Oil_Slick

    Oil_Slick Member

    11 months ago I got my tankers endorsement to work a fire. I'm wondering if it would be beneficial to get my hazmat before 12 months have passed so I don't have to take all the DMV test again.

    Can you make more money being an owner operator with a hazmat? Or is there too much BS involved?
  2. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    Too much BS.

    Does the motor carrier have hazmat authority?
  3. Mike

    Mike Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This really comes down to whether you are going to actually haul any hazmat or not. With the carrier I am leased to, I probably haul, on average, one load per year. With this carrier, there simply isn't any increase in rates for hazmat loads, so pointless for me to risk the aggravation of having placards on my trailer.

    On the rare occasions that I have hauled hazmat, it was only because the load actually paid good, good enough for me to bypass other loads in the area, or, it was a load of highly dangerous hair spray or something silly like that that was going to a walmart DC right near my house. I mainly keep the hazmat for the latter, not for any increased money.

    It's an inconvenience to get the endorsement, but not really that bad. It's a matter of taking a written test, and scheduling an appointment to be fingerprinted for a background check. I don't even make an appointment. I walk in, they tell me that they will have to work me in because I had no appointment, then each time, they have called me back 5 minutes later to take the prints because nobody else was there anyway.

    Hazmat is something you will have to renew each time you renew your license. You will have to take the test again, and get fingerprinted again, because for some reason, it's impossible to simply re-run the same prints.
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Oil_Slick

    Oil_Slick Member

    Thank you for the reply Mike
    • Super Trucker Alert Super Trucker Alert x 1
  5. Getfit Tommy

    Getfit Tommy Highway Hero

    I carry a Hazmat, TWIC, Federal Background Check, Passport, etc....this is to get onto ports, military bases, you name it...

    Been hauling Hazmat my whole career.

    "No"... you don't make more money hauling hazmat, but you do take your life in your hands more and more as traffic increases and people drive progressively worse than ever before.

    Hazmat also takes you to some fairly unsavory off-loading locations where you sit and breathe dangerous chemicals (and are surrounded by them) the whole time you are waiting to offload.

    Every once in a while, someone gets desperate and offers a fair amount of money, but in my experience, as a rule, "no"

    Also, I have to carry more insurance coverage, which sucks ass even more.

    My vote: Not worth the hassle.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Drifter McDuck

    Drifter McDuck Well-Known Member

    I got my haz just to keep my options open. There are actually some decent paying local jobs in my area hauling fuel, but the schedules really suck.. 12 hour shifts, 2p-2a, or 2a-2p, and they are all seniority based schedules which means you start with tuesdays and Wednesday's off, and maybe, after 20 years, you work your way up to weekends off, but still on that 2-2 shift so no thanks. I still keep the endorsement just in case there's some random low-risk load that requires it that I need to get from point A to point B, but to date I haven't actually used it. I can't imagine myself hauling the bad stuff... besides the physical health and safety risks you expose yourself to, there's also the increased scrutiny from DOT, with a while other category of violations you can be fined for because of the placards. I don't mind taking the test and paying the $85 fee once every four years to keep my options open, but I definitely have no desire to run hazmat loads.
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. Injun

    Injun Rabid Squaw Staff Member Supporter

    If you're with a large carrier, it can pay for itself with one single load because you're moving freight nobody else in the area can. During slow times, this has come into play for me. I was deadheaded 1,000 miles once, just to move a load 350 miles. There wasn't anyone else who could do it. I was the only one on that side of the Rockies who was available and had hazmat. There were 35 other drivers sitting around the yard when I got there and the same 35 still sitting when I left with that load.. because they didn't have the endorsement.

    But if you're with an outfit that does not run ethylmethylnastycrap and you're not seeking employment, there's no real reason to get it. Most places that hire to carry that stuff will offer the job contingent on getting endorsed. It really doesn't take a huge effort or chunk of time to get it. In Idaho, you go get your prints taken, wait for your TSA letter (mine have always been in hand within a couple of weeks) and then go take a quiz at DMV. It costs around $110 total. It doesn't hurt to have it, but there isn't always a benefit, either.
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  8. Getfit Tommy

    Getfit Tommy Highway Hero

    Also keep in mind that getting a Haz Endorsement does not allow you to haul just "any" Hazmat materials.

    That would be dictated by your Insurance carrier in fine detail. Obviously explosives and Poison gases are usually at the top of the list, leaving you with Corrosives, Oxidatives and such.

    Yeah, like Injun said, sometimes shippers get desperate BC not many folks are endorsed. I've been paid to deadhead home for hauling Haz...but that also applies to many other loads that nobody wants to touch...or working on the biggest National Holidays with a last-minute phone call.

    Those rare times when trucking can seem so lucrative.....
  9. rigjockey

    rigjockey Token Canadian.

    I would avoid it if possible. I have worked for companies that did not haul haz-mat, much easier. I currently have haz-mat because the company requires it. I wish I didn't have it and I wish they didn't require it.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Getfit Tommy

    Getfit Tommy Highway Hero

    I hate flipping placards......
    • Like Like x 1
  11. rigjockey

    rigjockey Token Canadian.

    :rolllaugh:Flipping them inside out was back in the outlaw days:D
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  12. Getfit Tommy

    Getfit Tommy Highway Hero

    Sometimes I feel I'm re-living the past....
    • Like Like x 1
  13. rigjockey

    rigjockey Token Canadian.

    Deja vu can be a sign of a minor stroke:D
    • Funny Funny x 2
  14. Getfit Tommy

    Getfit Tommy Highway Hero

    Well then, my whole life I must a been strokin' it ~
    • Funny Funny x 1
  15. GAnthony

    GAnthony Well-Known Member

    yes, for the price of the written test (about under $20 in most states. then of course you need to spend money on the finger-printing and background check (i think) under $120. since you have the tanker, what if you get offered a gasoline hauling job?

    best of luck to you, and remember, never limit your earning capabilities.
  16. Getfit Tommy

    Getfit Tommy Highway Hero

    Get it now then. By the time your hard copy comes, you won't have the "x" for Haz

    Your background check is a TSA triple-Fed check and your application is processed on the nearest Military Base or Port...at least in Cali thats how it works

    That paper temp dies you no good.

    I ended up taking the Haz test 3 times just BC the DMV and TSA are not synced together

    You can pass the Haz at the DMV but its worthless w/o the background approval

    They will just make you get another hard copy and take the test again and "blame the system"

    So get that TSA ball rollin and while your at it, you may as well pick up a TWIC

    E en then, if you are endorsed for everything like I am, the DMV is so messed up that one of your endorsements might not even show

    One other thing, if you haul "x' amount of Hazardous totes, even if loaded in a van, you may be required to have a tanker endorsement

    The totes slosh and move...so it kind of makes sense. This is why its good if you have the gumption to just get it all

    The tests are easy

    Too bad they have absolutely NOTHING to do w your driving skills....but thats up to you anyway, right?
  17. rigjockey

    rigjockey Token Canadian.

    Finger prints.
    Way before 911 I worked at the airport and we had to have finger prints taken. They had ex-military old guys do that kind of work.
    I don't know where buddy went to. So I went in the finger print room and did my own finger prints. I have had it done, I got this:thumbsup:
    As I was walking out buddy showed up and said, What in the hell are you doing in here?
    I was doing my finger prints Sir, Being as no one was here.
    Buddy says, Son you can't do your own finger prints because your finger won't roll right.
    Okay Sir. He did say i did a pretty good job considering i done it myself.:thumbsup::D
    But of course it was not right.:biglaugh:
    • Funny Funny x 2
  18. dchawk81

    dchawk81 Well-Known Member

    The local UPS store does our fingerprints on an electronic scanner thing, and you have to roll yourself because it's across the counter from the clerk.
  19. dchawk81

    dchawk81 Well-Known Member

    To answer OP, I had to get my Haz and tanker as a company driver just to have this job. I did procrastinate way beyond the 60 days the company "expects" though. I waited until my dispatcher harassed me.

    The only thing we seem to ever haul is Ecolab. One load was all drums. Didn't take long to see what the deal with liquids was. Stop at a red light...rock rock rock. "Like a tay in the ween" as Nell would say.
    • Funny Funny x 1

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