There may be various reasons why you need to transport dangerous goods during the transport of your vehicle. Perhaps you are moving the vehicle for work purposes and need to ship said materials at the same time, or perhaps you are using your vehicle to move personal effects of a hazardous nature that you can’t take with you on a plane or train. Whatever the reason, it helps to know the policy of the transport company with which you plan to work to understand the process of transporting dangerous goods during the process of moving your vehicle at the same time.
Dangerous goods can encompass any number of items, from explosives to chemicals to certain types of paints. While it is always recommended that you accompany these items during the moving process to ensure that they don’t accidentally spill, detonate or otherwise become interrupted during the trip, sometimes it is unavoidable. When you must ship your vehicle and a set of dangerous materials at the same time, there are several considerations to be had.
Always Follow The Law When Transporting Any Dangerous Goods
To start, you must observe the law when transporting dangerous items. Each chemical or item has its own rule about the way in which it can be transported. For example, hazardous chemicals must be contained in spill-proof containers and stored in an environment that boasts a certain temperature. The onus is on you, as the owner of the materials, to provide the right components in which to maintain your hazardous goods during the transport process. Any container in which you transport dangerous items must be clearly labeled to ensure that the transport driver knows what’s on board and can pack and store it accordingly.
Depending on the chemicals in place, some companies will require dangerous goods to be transported by a trained staff member. This may limit your choices if you need the dangerous goods transported along with, say your vehicle. You may be stuck paying more for a company that has the properly trained staff to move such materials, versus the average vehicle transport company that may simply allow for the transport of certain dangerous components along with your car.
Making Sure All Paperwork is Taken Care Of Prior To Shipping
There must be proper paperwork in place regarding each of the materials, including a clear accounting of what it is, any components contained within and an emergency plan if, for any reason, the good is exposed during the transport process. This is key, particularly if you are not traveling with your goods; the driver needs to know what to do in the event of exposure. You must provide this information in a written account for the transport company, which they will keep on file for the duration of the trip.
You also need to provide the company with contact information during the transport process, in the event that something goes wrong with the dangerous goods you are having transported with your vehicle. Since the items are yours, if something goes wrong, you need to have the contingency plan in place to have the vehicles transported in another way, since they are your personal effects.
Also, keep in mind that the worst thing you can do is store the materials in your car for transport without alerting the company moving the car to the materials within it. This is not only an immoral thing to do since you never know what may result from the driver or any other transport personnel not knowing the materials are there, but the driver may have handled your materials or vehicle differently had he known what was contained within. On the whole, this is dangerous to the driver and can result in a liability lawsuit against you on behalf of the company in question.
The bottom line is that when you need to move dangerous goods, it is a process best done yourself. However, if this is not an option for you and you need to pay someone to do it for you, take every possible step and precaution to ensure an uneventful transport process. If you need to pay a bit extra to go with a company experienced in transporting goods similar to yours, it is well worth the extra investment to ensure that the products are moved properly, efficiently and safely.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.