Have you ever received shipping documents at a shipper and realized your trailer was loaded with batteries? As a trained, professional truck driver, whose responsibility is to be compliant with federal DOT regulations, your first instinct should be to confirm whether you are qualified to transport this type of cargo. Two parties are responsible to ensure compliant transportation of hazmat and non-hazmat materials- shipper and motor carrier.
It is the motor carriers responsibility to train all CDL Class A holders to, at a minimum, Identify whether or not the cargo is hazardous.
The shipper is responsible to correctly mark a bill of lading for the driver to be able to identify whether or not the cargo is hazmat. It is from the proper identification of the hazardous materials that the other requirements are based on.
There are few exceptions to the regulation which allow a CDL holder to transport batteries without having a hazardous endorsement.
Liquid lead acid batteries sent for reclamation are excluded from regulation as a hazardous waste per 40 CFR 266.80. Please refer to this part of the regulation to determine whether the reclamation purpose qualifies you for the exemption.
Another exception to the regulation are dry cell batteries, such as alkaline, nickel cadmium, and carbon zinc which are not listed as
hazardous materials or dangerous goods in the U.S. and international regulations. The batteries must however be packed correctly to prevent the generation of a high quantity of heat and short circuit. Please refer to part 49 CFR § 173.159.