Thank You Jim Fowler for creating and taking these pictures for me!

Leaving part of a hazmat placard on the truck or trailer could have devastating results.  Let’s play the what if game and say we are going through a scale and the officers miss the partial stickers and let you go that is not a big deal.  Let’s say we load a not hazmat load with these partial stickers on the truck and the shipper could care less and off we go.  So back to the what if game and less say we have an accident or we are close to an accident with a lot of smoke.  The emergency crew comes running up and all they see is the corner of a hazmat sign. Their first reaction will be to retreat till they find out what kind of hazmat they are dealing with as you watch your truck burn to the ground.  These unintended consequences could have devastating results. 
When dealing with placards that have to be stuck to the side of the trailer or truck one way to help get them off is to use part of the backing to keep some of the sticker away from sticking to the surface.  Take a piece of the backing and fold it into a small square and place that in the middle of the sticky side of the placard then when applying the placard there is a little of the area that is easier to get off.  In the winter time placards are not easy to get off no matter what we did, but it is important to peel off all of the sign.  Before pulling a different trailer look it over to see if there is any placard residue left that needs to be cleaned off.
If you own the straight truck or are a driver think about what it would be like to watch your truck burn to the ground if the emergency personnel were afraid to get near it due to a partial hazmat sticker.
If you own your trailer consider buying your own set of flip placards as those really pay off in the long run.  More than once we have had the correct placard for a load and were placarded and out of a shipper’s facility while they were still looking for the correct placard.  Since buying our own set of placards we have not had to stick a placard to our front bumper as that seemed as if it was always the hardest to remove.
Do the right thing and pull off all of the sticker after unloading a hazmat load and moving to pick up that next shipment or dropping the trailer if it is empty.


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About Bob & Linda Caffee

Bob and Linda have been team drivers since 2005 as expediters. They are leased to Landstar Express America. Bob was a diesel mechanic for twenty years before doing over the road and Linda worked in the courthouse.

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