If you want a successful truck driving career, then it’s advisable to gain as many CDL endorsements as possible – right from day one. The hazardous materials endorsement is perhaps the most important since the lack of this endorsement could restrict your career. Most people would look at this endorsement as being an unnecessary addition, however, you’d be surprised at the type of materials that are considered ‘hazardous’.
Often, the materials are considered hazardous not so much by their nature as by their quantity. Standard household bleach is not that hazardous, unless of course it’s in large quantities. One small bottle of bleach leaking into a river is nothing really, however, imagine the damage that whole truckload of bleach could do. For this reason, a hazardous materials endorsement is required before a driver can transport this substance.
You will need to pass a knowledge test to gain your hazardous materials endorsement. This is designed to test your knowledge, not your chemistry knowledge; rather, your knowledge of what each hazardous symbol means and what to do in the event of an accident – and each group of hazardous materials may require different actions.
For a trucking company, they don’t want to be juggling loads based on the endorsements of their drivers. If all of their drivers have the required endorsements, then managing driver routes become so much easier. For this reason, trucking companies prefer to hire drivers who have these endorsements. Why get this endorsement when you first gain your CDL? Quite simply, it’s less hassle to gain all of your endorsements from day one. Trying to add them at a later date can be quite a hassle – a hassle you probably don’t really need. Ask your truck driver training school if they help you gain these endorsements. If they don’t then find another truck driver training school.