The Commercial Driver’s License Hazardous Materials (also called the Hazmat) test assesses how well a commercial driver’s license operator can transport or handle materials that have been deemed hazardous. This may vary greatly and include drivers hauling fuel. The test is designed to ensure that hazardous materials are transported using the highest safety standards, requiring that drivers adhere to strict guidelines to ensure the safety of themselves and the drivers around them.
Hazardous materials are defined as “any substance able to adversely affect the safety or well-being of the driver, the public, or the substance’s handlers.” This includes individuals seeking out a CDL Hazardous Materials endorsement. The test requires you to adhere to basic safety guidelines when coming into contact with any hazardous material. This includes filling out the proper paperwork, driving properly and carefully, and enacting any emergency measures required. To practice for this portion of the test, study basic safety guidelines for driving, the proper protocol for handling hazardous materials, and how to accurately and adequately complete paperwork regarding public safety and your own safety.
As an individual transporting hazardous materials, you are responsible for keeping hazardous materials away from any drivers or citizens near a potential spill, accident, or loading site. This includes identifying the correct protocol to follow in the event of a spill (who should be notified, how the spill can be contained, how to prevent oncoming traffic from advancing, etc.), as well as where you are permitted to park your hauling vehicle. When studying for this portion of the test, research your state’s safety protocols and the safety protocols attached to various hazardous materials.
As an individual transporting hazardous materials, you may be encouraged to transport two different materials that should not come into contact with each other. The materials may be as obviously incompatible as food and toxic products, but may be as obscure as two toxic products that are harmless when packaged separately yet harmful when combined. To study for this portion of the test, study the effects of transporting toxic or hazardous materials with other potentially dangerous materials, as well as the potential damage of transporting hazardous material with food.
The Hazmat test also measures your knowledge of hazardous materials and the protocols associated with both loading and transporting the material. Because different liquids and gases possess different compositions and triggers, they each have different methods of transportation and may even have strict rules regarding the exact layout of a series of materials in a single van. To prepare for this portion of the Hazmat test, work on identifying the proper way to pack and carry common hazardous materials transported via diesel, such as compressed gas.