In July of 2015, FMCSA passed a final regulation requiring CDL holders to have an additional certification, tanker endorsement, on their license for the transportation of bulk liquids in a commercial motor vehicle if the following points apply:
1.Your cargo includes liquid or gaseous individual containers larger than 119 gallon capacity.
2.The containers are loaded, and not empty.
3.The total combined volume in those containers exceeds 1,000 gallons.
The only exception to this rule is if the tank is manifested on a bill of lading as “empty” or “residue last contained”.
It’s important to note and understand that the trailer does not have to specifically be a tanker trailer for these rules to apply. As long as there are tanks or totes being transported in dry van, flatbed, reefer, box truck, or otherwise which apply to the points above, the driver must have a tanker endorsement. This was specifically made to be clear in the final ruling of the regulation in July 2015.
In order to obtain a Tanker Endorsement drivers can easily go to their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and obtain the endorsement on their license. The CDL holder will be required to take a Tanker Knowledge Exam and pay a small fee. Drivers who secure a tanker endorsement on their license are more likely to have access to better loads and more choice.
A shipper also has a big responsibility in the transportation of tanker endorsement required loads. They must fully disclose to a carries the type of freight that needs to be transported, how it is packaged and it’s volume. This ensures that the carrier picks their qualified drivers for the job and there is no delay in transportation of the cargo.
In summary, motor carriers and shippers both have a big responsibility to ensure safe and timely transportation of liquid and gaseous materials. Communication between shipper and carrier is very important to get the right person for the job and knowledge from the driver who is qualified for the job as well!