Can I Transport Hazardous Materials in My Car?

According to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TGD) Act and Regulations, it is illegal to transport hazardous materials in a private vehicle in Canada. Technically, you can’t even transport regular gas in your car. Unlike the typical domestic transportation you use for common goods, an individual with training should carry and transport hazardous materials to their destination. 

However, there are some exceptions. One circumstance is when you have an emergency kit that includes flares or a fire extinguisher. You can also have dry ice or a battery-powered light source, which you don’t try to sell.

Safety is always the key when transporting hazardous materials in the country. While laws may differ across provinces, you should be aware of what they generally are.

What Are Hazardous Materials?

Also called HAZMATS, hazardous materials can cause health problems, fire, or explosion. Transportation of hazardous materials also includes transporting unauthorized air or marine cargo. Some hazardous materials are exempted from the Transport of Dangerous Goods Act, including baby formula and car cleaning products.

Common examples of HAZMATS include:

  • Batteries containing acid
  • Biological specimens containing pathogens (samples, cultures, stocks, etc.)
  • Corrosives (acids, lye, wet cell batteries)
  • Explosives (fireworks, ammunition, flares)
  • Flammable liquids (gasoline or diesel fuel)
  • Gasses (full oxygen tanks, unpunctured aerosol cans)
  • Certain chemicals such as those labeled as flammable, poisonous, and oxidizers
  • Fireworks and flares
  • Diesel fuel and heating oil 
  • Radioactive materials
  • Toxic substances (pesticides, herbicides)

How To Transport Hazmats?

When you transport hazardous materials, the law requires a written emergency plan. But you can’t write it on your own. You must get a copy from a licensed supplier and follow the instructions properly.

The emergency plan allows individuals to provide help in an accident involving dangerous goods or hazardous materials. It also provides instructions for those nearby or involved in the accident.

You may want to transport hazardous materials by car if you’re a mobile laboratory for a field project, a construction worker, or a farmer transporting equipment and supplies. If you decide to transport hazardous materials in your vehicle, here are some of the preparations you need to do:

1. Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Well Maintained

Make sure you have the right tank containing flammable liquids. Your chemicals must be in leakproof containers, designed to withstand pressure, and compatible with the items inside.

If your transportation of hazardous materials involves flammable liquids, make sure you have suitable tanks for storing them. You also need to ensure they are designed to transport these materials. You must also have a vehicle that is either specially made or approved for this purpose.

2. Use a Bond Driver

You should also use a bond driver when transporting chemicals. They allow people to take control of your vehicle in an emergency. However, this doesn’t apply if you carry personal items like cleaning products and baby formula.

3. Ensure You Are Protected

Ensure you have a spill kit, an absorbent pad for a major leak or a spill, and protective gear, including gloves and safety glasses. It’s also essential to have a fire extinguisher and flares ready, as you might need time to stop and respond. However, some provinces don’t require this if your car only carries the chemicals and not their source, such as an engine.

4. You Should Know How to Handle Emergencies

Make sure you’re aware of how to handle emergencies involving hazardous materials. You should have a map that shows the fire department’s area response plan, provided by the municipality where you live. Keep it with your emergency plan, so you know what to do in case of an accident. Know how to contact the chemical supplier and local firefighters.

5. Use Trucking Services

The best way to transport HAZMATS is to use hazardous material trucking services. This is safer and less likely to cause problems, especially if you’re transporting dangerous goods across provincial boundaries.

Trucking companies are trained professionals who will give your HAZMAT everything they need to deliver them safely. They know how to transport flammable liquids, hazardous waste, chemicals, and more. Trucking companies who specialize in hauling your HAZMATS are reliable and provide the best protection to you and everyone else on the road.

As a Whole

In general, you can’t transport HAZMATS in a private vehicle in Canada. For your safety and everybody in your car and around it, it’s best to leave it to trained and certified professionals. Contact a trucking company, like a flatbed transport, if you need to transport hazardous materials. 

They can provide you with transportation for up to 28,000 kg on their deck and safely deliver your chemicals to the destination. This is much safer than transporting hazardous materials in a personal vehicle like a car or truck, especially if you’re carrying dangerous goods across provincial borders.

If you have no idea how much this costs you, you can check their flatbed quote on their website or call them directly.