No Placards, No CDL Endorsement – USA Only

Truck Driving on highway at sunset

Hazmat Certification Under Placarding Exemption

The US DOT recently issued a “Letter of Interpretation” (LoI) regarding the lack of a need for a driver to have a hazmat (hazardous materials) endorsement on the CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) when transporting Class 9 hazmat within the US, despite the presence of Class 9 placards.

Changing Modes without Removing Placards

This situation is likely to occur when foreign shipments arrive which did not have the equivalent to the US 49 CFR §172.504(f)(9) conditional exception for Class 9 placarding, and are to be transported to their US destination.

An example would be if a Class 9 consignment arrives by vessel, which has placarding in conformance with the IMDG Code, and is picked up for road transport without removing the placards.

Even if the placards are not removed, there is not a requirement for the hazmat-endorsed CDL (equivalent to a TDG training certificate- for readers North of the 49th, metonymically speaking).

Note that, despite the exception for an actual Class 9 placard, §172.504(f)(9) does require bulk packages to be marked with at least the UN number.

Key to the Endorsement Exemption

49 CFR §383.93(b)(4) invokes the need for a hazmat CDL when the definition of hazmat in 383.5 is met. For substances defined as hazardous in 49 U.S. Code §5103(a) and (other than infectious substances/ biotoxins in 42 CFR §73) requiring placards, the CDL endorsement is required.

Thus, for most Continue Reading…

Shipping by Road
FMCSA Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Requirements

Red semi truck on highway

FMCSA Goes on Tour

The Eagles, a popular band for several decades, broke up back in the 1980s. A famous quote from one of the band’s members is that they would play as a band again “when Hell freezes over.” Interestingly enough in 1994 the band got back together and went on tour. Of course, the name of the tour was “Hell Freezes Over”. I mention this because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is also about to go on tour.

The tour known as the “ELD Implementation National Tour” is a way for FMCSA staff members and experts to present, discuss, and help with the new Electronic Logging Devices or ELDs. An ELD is a device designed to sync with an engine to record driving times. This recording will make for easier and better tracking of a driver’s hours of service (HOS). These ELDs will replace the paper logbooks that certain drivers are required to maintain. To access the Federal Register for the full Final Rule, click here.

The ELD Final Rule was published in December of 2016 and has a 3-phase implementation. Each phase has its own time frame, objective(s), and device requirements.

ELD Rule implementation phases:

  • Phase 1: Awareness and Transition
    • Dates: February 16, 2016 to December 18, 2017
    • Objective: Learning the requirements of the new rule and planning for compliance
    • Devices allowed: paper logs, logging software, Continue Reading…
Shipping by Road
A Closer Look at Truck Safety

In the United States, there are close to ten million people in trucking-related jobs. Over 2 million tractor-trailers hit the roadways each year, logging nearly 450 billion annual miles. These trucks account for 70 percent of freight transported in the US, with several trillion dollars of cargo delivered in North America each year.

For a delivery system that’s so critical to our nation, the safety risks associated with the trucking industry are huge.

OSHA reports that an average of 475,000 large trucks are involved in accidents each year, causing over 5,000 deaths and 142,000 injuries. A quarter of those belong to the truck drivers (although the truck operators are only responsible for 30 percent or less of the accidents.) In addition to driving-related accidents, regulators issued numerous citations for improper guards on equipment, lack of personal protective equipment, improper grounding of equipment and lack of proper fall protection.

The sad reality is that employees in the trucking industry have more work-related fatalities than any other occupation, with a full third of these deaths taking place off of the roadway. The industry also accounts for more non-fatal injuries requiring medical attention than any other form of employment, with the most prevalent injuries being sprains and strains. One of the most prevalent types of serious occurrences is back-overs, with many hundreds of employees being struck each year.

So what can be done?

Establish Continue Reading…

Selecting the Right Winter Tires for Your Transport Truck

Winter Drive in Idaho


As we’re now firmly within the cold months, and Christmas is coming, those who own transport trucks will have to start thinking about making preparations for when the snow comes. Although we’ve got hundreds of almost priceless weather satellites surrounding the earth and whole teams of experts spending their entire working lives trying to predict any extremities before they reach us, the weather can be extremely unpredictable and dangers cannot always be avoided. Which is why it’s vitally important that you don’t wait until the last minute to get things sorted.

Unlike most road users who drive cars, transport trucks are much heavier and they can be a real hazard to both the driver and any other motorists, especially because it can take so long to stop when traveling at speed. This is why the tires you chose to fit the vehicle with must be suitable and must be able to cope with extra pressure on slippery surfaces. Finding the most effective product is easier than ever thanks to the internet, so with the right advice you should be sorted within a couple of days.

Understanding How Tires Work

Most of you probably know that a tyre is basically a flexible container that holds compressed air, right? Well, did you also realise that most modern editions have around 19 different components? They’re much more complex than we give them Continue Reading…

Are We a Trucking Company?

According to the FMCSA or the DOT as we call it there are a number of ways that you could be considered a trucking company under interstate regulations. One definition of a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) is found under 49CFR 390.5 and states that a vehicle with a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating tag found on the doorframe of most trucks) of over 10,001 pounds is a CMV. Other definitions are found elsewhere under the federal laws and when you add in each individual state requirement’s it gets to be confusing.

1. Do you have a vehicle with a GVWR of over 10,001 pounds? (49 CFR 390.5)

2. Do you have a single unit vehicle with a GVWR of over 26,001 pounds? (49 CFR 383.5)

3. Do you have a vehicle with a combination GVWR of over 26,001 pounds or greater? (49 CFR 382.107)

4. Do you have a three axle (two drive or tandems) with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or greater?

5. Do you have a vehicle with a GVWR of over 57,000 pounds?

6. Do you have a vehicle originally designed to carry 16 or more passengers including the driver?

7. Do you have a vehicle which transports placardable amounts of Hazardous Materials?

8. Do you have a vehicle which requires a driver to have a CDL to operate it?

9. Do I transport Hazardous Materials that are not placardable?

If you answered yes to Continue Reading…

2012 Load Restrictions

For Ontario load restrictions, please go to

Highway with vehicles

In Michigan:

Effective 8:00 AM Monday February 27th, 2012 weight restrictions will be imposed and enforced on all state trunkline highways within the Upper Peninsula in the State of Michigan. State trunkline highways typically carry, M, I, or US designations.

Weight restriction information and updates may be obtained by calling 1-800-787-8960. For companies located in Canada or New Jersey, information may be obtained by calling:

– On routes designated as “All Season Routes” (green or gold on the MDOT Truck Operators Map) there will be no reduction in legal axle weight.

– On routes designated as “Seasonal” (solid or dashed red on the MDOT Truck Operators Map), there will be a weight reduction of 25% for rigid pavements and 35% for flexible pavements.

Extended permits will be valid for oversize only in the weight restricted area.

Single trip permits will not be issued for overweight loads or loads exceeding 14 feet in width, 11 axles and 150 feet in overall length in the weight restricted area.

Detailed Weight Restriction information may be obtained by linking to Please refer to the MDOT Truck Operator’s Map for route designations.

Spring Weight Restrictions:


Courtesy of Steven Horwood, Michigan State Police

Michigan – Weight Restrictions

Updated Spring Weight Restrictions Bulletin List:

See the attached for MDOT Sping Weight Restriction Bulletin #1 Information.
Currently, there are no spring weight restrictions active for state trunkline highways.
However, the Michigan Department of Transportation has initiated efforts to begin monitoring spring frost.

Please take the necessary precautions to ensure your transporting operations are accomplished prior to the weight restrictions being imposed.

Although no one can predict when the restrictions will be imposed, you can review when they were imposed in previous years by accessing the web at: and clicking on “MDOT Spring Weight Restrictions.” This website also provides detailed weight restriction information.

The current weight restriction status can also be obtained by calling MDOT’s toll-free number at: (800) 787-8960.

When the restrictions are imposed, the following will apply in the restricted area:

– On routes designated as “All Season Routes” (green and gold on MDOT Truck Operator’s Map), there will be no reduction in legal axle weights.

– On routes designated as “Seasonal” (solid or dashed red on the MDOT Trucker Operator’s Map), there will be weight reduction of 25% for rigid pavements and 35% for flexible pavements.
Refer to the MDOT Truck Operators Map for route designations.
Extended permits will be valid for oversize only in the weight restricted area.

Spring Weight Restrictions:

Courtesy Steven Horwood, Michigan State Police
Also take a look at our Trucking Supplies page and download or request our Trucking Solutions Catalog

Speed Limiters

So, some Ontario truckers are upset that the provincial government has imposed speed limiters for trucks, to be set at 105 kph.

One spokesman for truckers says that a trucker needs that extra speed for when the trailer starts to come around. Being maxed at 105 will not allow a trucker to apply the extra speed to straighten out the trailer. If your trailer is starting to pass you, doesn’t that tell you something? For instance, you are not driving to the conditions of the road.

Although many people might regard truck drivers as “professionals”, there are not many out there anymore. A good number of them drive the truck as if it is a sports car, no matter the weather.

In regards to the automobile drivers, maybe Commissioner Fantino should be putting more officers on the road enforcing the speed limit and the rules of the road.

On the other hand, maybe the Minister of Transportation should be having a look at the design of our highways and adjust the speed limits to the design. Moreover, make it tougher to get a license.