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DOT gas cans, response from Police

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ratherbeboating, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. ratherbeboating

    ratherbeboating LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    OK guys, can you help me out on this email, I can't tell what he said. it's a long read!!

    emails are in order as sent to va state police dept.

    HELP!, Please,

    I'm a new Landscaper starting out in Virginia, my question is when carrying fuel for mowers, is the only can "legal" to use, the metal Safety DOT approved can or can it simply be the normal plastic 5gal gas can that everyone gets from Walmart?

    I've researched 2 safety cans from both Eagle mfg and Just-rite mfg. they have the normal safety can for $50 that is UL FM listed Is this can LEGAL to use??, and then the have the DOT approved can for transport for $140.00.

    Obviously my concern is purchasing $140 gas cans if I don't need them but if VA law says they must be DOT certified or else.... then I'll get them.

    To summarize:

    Are the plastic 5gal gas cans Legal for commercial people to carry on trailers?

    is the UL FM safety can legal to use to transport fuel?

    is the only legal safety can the DOT approved?

    What are the code or law #'s for this law, i.e. code 45-7072 so that I can tell whoever is going to give me a fine to check out that #?
    I've had some trouble finding out this answer. I've contacted the local police dept, fire dept and state police, much to my surprise, they all had either conflicting answers or no answer at all.

    As a matter of fact when I spoke to the state police (who said "use any can that says approved for gas, plastic or not") and asked if there was a code or what's the specific law, she said "I've told you the law but you don't believe me." But yet couldn't say what the code was.

    I really want to know the actual code and not what people think is the code.


    Response in 2 parts too long for window to post.
  2. ratherbeboating

    ratherbeboating LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    response from state police below..... then my response back to them after that...........

    This e-mail is in response to your message dated April 16, 2004, regarding fuel containers.

    Section 173.6 of the Federal Code regulates materials of trade (gas) to 8 gallons or more. Below are the Federal Regulations. Areas of interest are highlighted for you.

    This information is accessible at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/49cfr173_03.html

    Captain Dennis W. Robertson, Safety Officer

    [Code of Federal Regulations]
    [Title 49, Volume 2]
    [Revised as of October 1, 2003]
    From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
    [CITE: 49CFR173.2]

    [Page 404-405]




    Subpart A_General

    Sec. 173.2 Hazardous materials classes and index to hazard class definitions.

    The hazard class of a hazardous material is indicated either by its
    class (or division) number, its class name, or by the letters ``ORM-D''.
    The following table lists class numbers, division numbers, class or
    division names and those sections of this subchapter which contain
    definitions for classifying hazardous materials, including forbidden

    49 CFR
    Division reference
    Class No. No. (if Name of class or division for
    any) definitions
    None ........... Forbidden materials.......... 173.21
    None ........... Forbidden explosives......... 173.54
    1 1.1 Explosives (with a mass 173.50
    explosion hazard).
    1 1.2 Explosives (with a projection 173.50
    1 1.3 Explosives (with 173.50
    predominately a fire hazard).
    1 1.4 Explosives (with no 173.50
    significant blast hazard).
    1 1.5 Very insensitive explosives; 173.50
    blasting agents.
    1 1.6 Extremely insensitive 173.50
    detonating substances.
    2 2.1 Flammable gas................ 173.115
    2 2.2 Non-flammable compressed gas. 173.115
    2 2.3 Poisonous gas................ 173.115
    3 ........... Flammable and combustible 173.120
    4 4.1 Flammable solid.............. 173.124
    4 4.2 Spontaneously combustible 173.124
    4 4.3 Dangerous when wet material.. 173.124
    5 5.1 Oxidizer..................... 173.127

    [[Page 405]]

    5 5.2 Organic peroxide............. 173.128
    6 6.1 Poisonous materials.......... 173.132
    6 6.2 Infectious substance 173.134
    (Etiologic agent).
    7 ........... Radioactive material......... 173.403
    8 ........... Corrosive material........... 173.136
    9 ........... Miscellaneous hazardous 173.140
    None ........... Other regulated material: ORM- 173.144

    [Amdt. 173-224, 55 FR 52606, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 57 FR 45460,
    Oct. 1, 1992; Amdt. 173-234, 58 FR 51531, Oct. 1, 1993]




    Subpart A_General

    Sec. 173.6 Materials of trade exceptions.

    When transported by motor vehicle in conformance with this section,
    a material of trade (see Sec. 171.8 of this subchapter) is not subject
    to any other requirements of this subchapter besides those set forth or
    referenced in this section.
    (a) Materials and amounts. A material of trade is limited to the
    (1) A Class 3, 8, 9, Division 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, or ORM-D material
    contained in a packaging having a gross mass or capacity not over--
    (i) 0.5 kg (1 pound) or 0.5 L (1 pint) for a Packing Group I
    (ii) 30 kg (66 pounds) or 30 L (8 gallons) for a Packing Group II,
    Packing Group III, or ORM-D material;
    (iii) 1500 L (400 gallons) for a diluted mixture, not to exceed 2
    percent concentration, of a Class 9 material.
    (2) A Division 2.1 or 2.2 material in a cylinder with a gross weight
    not over 100 kg (220 pounds), or a permanently mounted tank manufactured
    to ASME standards of not more than 70 gallon water capacity for a non-
    liquefied Division 2.2 material with no subsidiary hazard.
    (3) A Division 4.3 material in Packing Group II or III contained in
    a packaging having a gross capacity not exceeding 30 mL (1 ounce).
    (4) A Division 6.2 material, other than a Risk Group 4 material,
    that is a diagnostic specimen, biological product, or regulated medical
    waste. The material must be contained in a combination packaging. For
    liquids, the inner packaging must be leak tight, and the outer packaging
    must contain sufficient absorbent material to absorb the entire contents
    of the inner packaging. For sharps, the inner packaging must be
    constructed of a rigid material resistant to punctures and leaks. For
    all Division 6.2 materials, the outer packaging must be a strong, tight
    packaging securely closed and secured against movement.
    (i) For a diagnostic specimen or biological product, combination
    packagings must conform to the following capacity limitations:
    (A) One or more inner packagings where the gross mass or capacity of
    each inner packaging does not exceed 0.5 kg (1.1 pound), or 0.5 L (17
    ounces), and an outer packaging having a gross mass or capacity not
    exceeding 4 kg (8.8 pounds) or 4 L (1 gallon); or

    [[Page 410]]

    (B) A single inner packaging with a gross mass or capacity not
    exceeding 16 kg (35.2 pounds) or 16 L (4.2 gallons) in a single outer
    (ii) For a regulated medical waste, a combination packaging must
    consist of one or more inner packagings having a gross mass or capacity
    not exceeding 4 kg (8.8 pounds) or 4 L (1 gallon), and an outer
    packaging having a gross mass or capacity not exceeding 16 kg (35.2
    pounds) or 16 L (4.2 gallons).
    (5) This section does not apply to a hazardous material that is
    self-reactive (see Sec. 173.124), poisonous by inhalation (see Sec.
    173.133), or a hazardous waste.
    (b) Packaging. (1) Packagings must be leak tight for liquids and
    gases, sift proof for solids, and be securely closed, secured against
    movement, and protected against damage.
    (2) Each material must be packaged in the manufacturer's original
    packaging, or a packaging of equal or greater strength and integrity.
    (3) Outer packagings are not required for receptacles (e.g., cans
    and bottles) that are secured against movement in cages, carts, bins,
    boxes or compartments.
    (4) For gasoline, a packaging must be made of metal or plastic and
    conform to the requirements of this subchapter or to the requirements of
    the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Department of
    Labor contained in 29 CFR 1910.106(d)(2) or 1926.152(a)(1).
    (5) A cylinder or other pressure vessel containing a Division 2.1 or
    2.2 material must conform to packaging, qualification, maintenance, and
    use requirements of this subchapter, except that outer packagings are
    not required. Manifolding of cylinders is authorized provided all valves
    are tightly closed.
    (c) Hazard communication. (1) A non-bulk packaging other than a
    cylinder (including a receptacle transported without an outer packaging)
    must be marked with a common name or proper shipping name to identify
    the material it contains, including the letters ``RQ'' if it contains a
    reportable quantity of a hazardous substance.
  3. ratherbeboating

    ratherbeboating LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    (2) A bulk packaging containing a diluted mixture of a Class 9
    material must be marked on two opposing sides with the four-digit
    identification number of the material. The identification number must be
    displayed on placards, orange panels or, alternatively, a white square-
    on-point configuration having the same outside dimensions as a placard
    (at least 273 mm (10.8 inches) on a side), in the manner specified in
    Sec. 172.332 (b) and (c) of this subchapter.
    (3) A DOT specification cylinder (except DOT specification 39) must
    be marked and labeled as prescribed in this subchapter. Each DOT-39
    cylinder must display the markings specified in 178.65(i).
    (4) The operator of a motor vehicle that contains a material of
    trade must be informed of the presence of the hazardous material
    (including whether the package contains a reportable quantity) and must
    be informed of the requirements of this section.
    (d) Aggregate gross weight. Except for a material of trade
    authorized by paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section, the aggregate gross
    weight of all materials of trade on a motor vehicle may not exceed 200
    kg (440 pounds).
    (e) Other exceptions. A material of trade may be transported on a
    motor vehicle under the provisions of this section with other hazardous
    materials without affecting its eligibility for exceptions provided by
    this section.

    [Amdt. 173-259, 62 FR 1216, Jan. 8, 1997, as amended by Amdt. 173-262,
    62 FR 49566, Sept. 22, 1997; 62 FR 51560, Oct. 1, 1997; Amdt. 173-259,
    63 FR 8142, Feb. 18, 1998; 63 FR 52849, Oct. 1, 1998; 66 FR 45381, Aug.
    28, 2001; 67 FR 53137, Aug. 14, 2002]

    Captain Dennis W. Robertson, Safety Officer,

    I don't have a law degree or am I HAZMAT certified person, nor can I make heads or tails out of your response.
    In layman's terms, is it against the law to transport the normal plastic 5gal gas cans that everyone in the country has in their garage? Or does it have to be a metal DOT certified gas can?

    Just a simple lawncare guy trying to do the right thing,
  4. ratherbeboating

    ratherbeboating LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    so he sent me back his phone number.... I just spoke to him.


    the FEDERAL regulation states that carrying anything more than 8 gals per container has to be in a DOT certified can.

    Under 8 gals per container, it just has to be in something labeled for gas.

    you can carry as many 5gal containers as you want.

    this concludes 3 days of research.

    Thanks for your time,

  5. tedk

    tedk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    what made you think you couldn't use the plastic red containers everyone else and their mother uses?

    it just seems like you turned a small little thing into something blown way out of proportion. while you were at it, did you ask them how high the trimmers had to be on the trailer, what the DOT approved trimmer rack might be, what are acceptable locations to mount one on a trailer? what is the law regarding water container location, is there DOT regulations regarding that? how about chains to secure equipment? how big do the links have to be? how long? what kind of fastners? how about skid pads on the trailer ramps or trailers themselves? if not DOT, maybe you should check with OSHA on that, how about oil mix? do you need a HAZMAT barrell to carry those in? do you need a special license or permit?

    when you ask them all this and they say 'puleeeeze, it's fine, all of it.' ask them to cite specific laws and code for each item.
  6. Heron Cove PM

    Heron Cove PM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    I think it was a perfectly legitimate question. I think he went through the proper channels. With the way DOT is cracking down on us here (in Md, VA, DC) what's the big deal if the guy wants to do it right? I think it makes him pretty professional to chase down the information and to present himself with high standards on our roadways. God knows we have enough knuckle heads around here hauling crap up and down the roads, unsafe and down right belligerent at times. Granted, he got the standard, bureaucratic answer and I appreciate him posting his information here.

    Oh and by the way, for your information Mr. Tedk, OSHA DOES REQUIRE SAFETY CANS for Gas. The 5 gallon plastic ones ARE NOT acceptable! Been there and done that one but you are more than welcome to carry whatever you want on the highways. Unlike the rest of us, we'll research the proper way and hold ourselves to a higher standard!!!
  7. Cleatus

    Cleatus LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 61

    uhhhhh, we have always used the plastic cans, and always will.
  8. tedk

    tedk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    of course you would think that mr. heron cove PM. i am assuming that you mow part time, right? you probably have your friend Mr. Fire Marshal come by your driveway to check out your rig to make sure it's up to code, eh? and by the way, I DIDN'T MENTION OSHA IN THE SAME SENTENCE AS GAS CANS, OSHA WAS MENTIONED IN REFERENCE TO THE SKID MATS.

    you just keep on buying $150 gas cans.
  9. R&K Ent.

    R&K Ent. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Guy here in In. got SEVERAL tickets for exactly that. Unapproved cans Mower's not secured properly(not just luggage straps) like Isaid Several tickets and the total was just over $600.

    Now that might not be anything to you but to me (and alot of us po' people) that is ALOT of money over something that could be avoided.
  10. Cleatus

    Cleatus LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 61

    so red plastic containers aren't legal?

    luggage straps....very funny. what person who views himself in any way as a quasi professional would use luggage straps to secure a mower?

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