Should you get your hazmat endorsement?

Posted: December 20, 2019

The idea of getting your hazmat endorsement can be very intimidating. Most people think of hauling dangerous chemicals and the accidents you see on the news. Did you know that there’s actually quite a broad spectrum of items that fall into the hazardous materials category? At Averitt, we’re not an acute hazmat carrier. This means that most of what our hazmat-endorsed drivers handle include flammable liquids like paint, or corrosive materials such as batteries or even soft drink syrup.

The DOT doesn’t differentiate between low-grade materials, which is what Averitt drivers typically haul, and other hazardous materials that might be explosive, poisonous or radioactive. The important thing is that this endorsement helps drivers understand what you’re hauling, know what to do with it in case something were to happen on your route, and gives you a placard to communicate that risk to everyone else. You’ll still be driving from one location to another just like any other load.

While getting your hazmat endorsement isn’t a requirement for all driving positions, we highly encourage all Averitt drivers to obtain it. It’s helpful to our business by making it easier to take and dispatch loads, keep costs down and make more profit. Having a hazmat endorsement is also beneficial to drivers because it allows you to earn more money and miles and gives you more job opportunities within the company.

But isn’t getting your hazmat endorsement hard to do?

Actually, it’s quite simple! Averitt covers all costs associated with regional drivers getting your hazmat endorsement. This includes the cost of your background check and your test.

When you’re ready, you can obtain your hazmat endorsement in four simple steps:

  1. Go to universalenroll.dhs.gov to get information on obtaining your hazmat endorsement in your state.
  2. Complete your TSA background check and threat assessment. This can sometimes be done at your local DMV or they can direct you to your nearest location to do so.
  3. Study your state’s CDL manual on hazardous materials. You can find the most up-to-date information on your state’s DOT website. Don’t rely on online practice tests, which could contain outdated information.
  4. Complete the test.

It really is that easy! We also encourage obtaining your tanker endorsement at the same time. This allows you to knock out both tests at once and broadens your opportunities even further at Averitt.

Interested in learning more? You can listen to our latest podcast with host David Broyles and Jason Bolton from our safety leadership team regarding hazmat endorsements.


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