Using a private vehicle to transport hazardous materials or HAZMATS is illegal in Canada. That’s why the law requires anyone carrying dangerous goods to obtain certifications and training for the public’s safety.
However, you can transport small amounts (between 100g and 1kg) of hazardous materials, like car batteries or pesticides, in your own vehicle. If you are transporting these chemicals by yourself, make sure to get the required training.
It is important to note that transporting hazardous materials can be dangerous, no matter how small quantities. For this reason, HAZMAT trucking companies are offering this service.
What Are Hazardous Materials?
Hazardous materials are defined by the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Act and Regulations as any product or material that can pose a threat to life, health, property, or the environment.
According to the TDG regulation, you cannot carry hazardous material in your private car unless you have transportation certifications. HAZMATS have classifications and divisions which tell you how to pack your dangerous goods. These include:
- Class 1: Explosives
- Class 2: Gasses
- Class 3: Flammable Liquids
- Class 4: Flammable Solids
- Class 5: Oxidizing Agents and Organic Peroxides
- Class 6: Toxic Substances (mixture)
- Class 7: Radioactive Material
- Class 8: Corrosives
- Class 9: Miscellaneous Products, Substances, Materials or Organisms
Common Examples of Hazardous Materials
The TDG regulation lists many dangerous goods, but there are some common examples, including:
- Car batteries
- Gasoline (when not in a vehicle)
- Lighter fluid
- Propane cylinders for camping equipment
- Spray paint
- Oven cleaner
- Sharp objects, like razors and needles
- Sheets of metal
- Fire extinguisher liquid
- Furniture polish
- Acids and alkalis
- Motor oil
How to Transport HAZMATS Safely
If you are transporting HAZMATS in your private vehicle, you must follow these steps:
1. Get the Required Training for HAZMATS Transportation
Even if you are transporting HAZMATS in small quantities, it is recommended that you get training and certifications to ensure you know how to pack and handle your hazardous materials.
2. Get the Right Documentation
You must show potential onlookers or emergency responders that you have the right documentation for carrying HAZMATs. You can carry these documents with you:
- Class 1 explosives: Transportation Certificate (TDG) and an Explosive Special Constitutional Form (SOR/98-196).
- If they contain cyanide components: a CNH shipping document.
- If you decide to ship hazardous goods internationally using a private car, regardless of weight or quantity, you need three things: the original shipping document, the Declaration of Inspection (DOI), and a Letter of Authorization (LOA).
3. Pack your HAZMATS Safely
Proper packaging is essential. The TDG regulation has a list of packing groups, which indicate how to pack different hazardous materials.
If you transport more than 30kg of HAZMATs, you need an endorsement from Transport Canada and a Transportation Safety Board identification number. If you want to transport explosives, regardless of quantity, you need to be endorsed by Transport Canada and have a certification from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
4. Prepare Your Vehicle
You need to prepare your vehicle for transporting HAZMATS. Different cars require different safety equipment, so you must have the right materials on hand. Things you should have with you include:
- Fire extinguisher with a minimum 2A10BC rating
- Safety goggles
- Emergency blankets
- An absorbent material to soak up spills if necessary
- An approved first aid kit
- Disposal bag for contaminated material
- Biodegradable detergent
- Protective clothing, including waterproof gloves and boots
- A shovel
- Sealing tape
- Adhesive labels to mark spilled materials
- A document that outlines how to clean up the incident
5. Use Trucking Services
If you want to transport large quantities of HAZMATS or are not comfortable transporting HAZMATS yourself, hire a reputable trucking company, such as Shipinterlane Logistics.
These companies are insured if something happens on the road. They will shoulder the responsibility and likely have a spill response team to ensure the proper clean-up is done. Plus, they employ highly trained drivers with HAZMAT certifications, ensuring the safety of your dangerous goods.
Many companies specialize in HAZMAT transportation. Though you don’t need to hire a trucking service, they can be helpful, especially if you have to transport dangerous goods regularly. For instance, they offer flatbed transportation for large items, and you may not have the proper vehicle for this. Check this page to learn more about flatbed transport.
Also, if you do it using your private care, it is recommended that you get training and certification. Even if you think your vehicle or load does not meet any regulations because of small quantities or weight, it may still fall under other laws.