DOT and propane

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DOT and propane

Postby GerryS » Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:37 am

I am facing the prospect of a career change. Maybe voluntarily....I can't take much more corporate bullsqueezin's.

As part of my plan B, I am looking at self employment...starting a mobile business. I have 2 possibilities I am considering and need advise on DOT requirements since both will require a trailer and moving either propane or refrigerants (liquid nitrogen). Yes, both are for food preparation. I might be doing both once I decide on a big leap to a store front.....then all of this is moot.

Back to DOT, My vehicles will be far below a GVWR of 26000 pounds....so, by weight I will not need a CDL. Nor will I be transporting 16 passengers. But I will be transporting one of two things....propane (100 pounds or less) or Liquid Nitrogen....I don't know the quantity...I am assuming 1500 pounds or less....I don't even know what size bottles are available for this yet.

It looks like for propane I'll be below hazmat, so for weight and hazmat I will not need a CDL. Can some one verify this?

Indiana doesn't specify liquid nitrogen in their CDL book....at least that I could find. Does anyone know about this? At what point does liquid nitrogen become hazmat, and require CDL?

Thanks in advance....I'd call the DOt myself, but it's Sunday...and this question is bugging me...I can't find a clear answer...
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Re: DOT and propane

Postby Billy K » Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:52 am

Mornin Gerry - AS for Indiana not specifying HAZMAT rules...stick to the 'Federal Rules'

Where hazmat,DOT,transportation are concerned - we are one nation, none of the individual States are different(as published).
The States vary in the items and methods, they choose to concentrate their enforcement on.

As far as quantity goes; 'rule of thumb' is 101 pounds... Some will use 1001#...
Most generally; as we travel with TDs and TTTs...tunnels are the only place where the amount carried will be an issue.
That sometimes is a 'No-No'...and yet others will allow travel through their tunnels after a quick visual inspection.

All of that to say this:
DO NOT take the thoughts, sayings, or 'when I did so and so'.... Of anybody !! Other than the DOT.
The chances are you will get by; listening to 'those who have'. BUT...
As a business; the requirements and penalties are different. Read- higher ! I know this is not help to ease your thoughts today.;
Wait for the CORRECT answers. You will be further down the road and safer in doing so.

OK, I'm down off the soap box...Hope it helps....

p.s. Gerry, you know - but for others..I've been 20 years a CDL driver, hauling hazmat,open frieght,
food stuff, etc..in all but 1 State; short the western Canadian Provinces also.
Last edited by Billy K on Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DOT and propane

Postby Redneck Teepee » Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:55 am

Might start with what ever law enforcement agency in your state inspects those types of vehicles. Here in California the CHP or California Highway Patrol is the go to source for that type of info since they are the ones in charge of enforcing it. I have found that going to their office and chatting across the counter with a officer to be educational when searching for answers to questions such as your's.

Good Luck.......Larry :)
I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction, the world will have a generation of idiot's.
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Re: DOT and propane

Postby GerryS » Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:33 am

Don't get me started on federal versus state. Ain so far as I am not crossing a state line, it shouldn't even be an issue the federal government has anything to say out. See the amendment that Lincoln destroyed....the tenth amendment.

Tunnels for the most part I avoid when towing anything anyway....that isn't a problem. I'm more concerned that I have an accident and am found to be carrying 60 pounds of propane (the most I can reasonably see) or a couple hundred pounds or gallons of liquid nitrogen and legal entanglement.

Is liquid nitrogen considered hazmat? Where can I find out what amount of X (unknown) is considered hazmat? I don't like the thought of getting a class C CDL, but it seems like overkill for a 6x14 trailer being pulled by an f150...but if I must, I must. Is a class C onerous to get?

Hate to have to pay a thousand bucks to drive the same f150 I do today....just because I'm trying to make a living since the effort to destroy the job base has been successful.

But whatever I do, I'd like to not worry about suspended licenses and loss of livelihood because the state and federal laws of so overly complicated, unclear, and burdensome.
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Re: DOT and propane

Postby bobhenry » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:33 am

As a fellow ex restauranteaur and catering guru I simply followed my local health inspector's guidelines. Look up Whitney K (he just posted on the HOH thread) and PM him. He is a State inspector and a great guy I am sure he can point you in the needed direction.

Food is a bitch of a way to make a living and with food prices thru the roof right now it is doubly rough. Sorry to hear the corporate world is crazy for you right now. I know you do well in your present career, perhaps a left hand turn with another corporation might be a better idea.
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Re: DOT and propane

Postby Treeview » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:00 pm

Gerry,

You reference liquid nitrogen. How come you're carrying that?!

Avoiding tunnels because of having personal use quantities of flammables? Look around at all of the partially filled 15-20 gallon tanks of gasoline in the same tunnel. I wonder what might happen if electric cars catch on fire?

Tom
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DOT and propane

Postby GerryS » Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:02 am

The way I see it Bob is all corporate jobs are dead end. After 20 years of sacrificing, working long hours and not getting paid for them (I'm salaried) and being bureaucrated to death, you get a handshake and a boot. Getting out of corporate life is probably not a bad thing. I'm just glad, God willing, I can do it on my terms.

I've ran concessions before, health inspectors I know....they are pretty easy to deal with as long as you look clean and don't look like you are trying to hide something. Most inspectors love our setup. The only trouble we ever had was when an inspector came from a neighboring site at a festival south of here. Their setup was nasty...Chinese restaurant. Whatever they were cooking stunk....bad. Plus, it was all covered in black dirty grease. No stainless steel....gross. anyway, it was bad enough that the inspector didn't want to give them a permit. She asked the coordinator to shut them down. Rightly the coordinator said "if you don't think they are safe...its your job not to grant the permit. Not mine," The gutless inspector granted the permit, and was clearly upset about the exchange.

When she got to my booth she had a chip on her shoulder. The year before she glowed at how good we looked. But this year, she went through our site with a find tooth comb....she took 15 minutes to inspect us. Normally it took 2 minutes. She had to find something...anything...to ding us. I didn't have a sugar bin marked "sugar" and might have confused it with salt. Dumb...not even a regulation. Whatever....my wife had the label gun in hand and gave me the label before we finished the conversation. That's the only problem I ever had with any inspector in the state.

It's moving propane and/or liquid nitrogen legally that is my dilemma. Since we were using below 100 lbs or propane, I didn't have to Packard my trailer.

At what point either singularly or in combination do these need to be placarded? That is what I have found is the key question as long as I can't carry 16 passengers or am above 26000 gross vehicle weight.

I need to talk to praxair anyway..I'd hope,they have that knowledge.

Yeah, food is expensive. The key here is picking food that doesn't spoil readily and you don't have a large quantity that needs to be eaten or disposed of. BBQ for example....no way...I cant imagine wasting 50 pounds of pork because it didn't sell...

Why liquid nitrogen? I like to make sure my soda is cold enough :) Once I have the concept worked out, I'll share :)

This is short term too... I want a brick and mortar store or with luck hundreds of stores. But I need to remain agile while I save the hundreds of thousands needed to build a store front. I would need to borrow money to do it the other way around. I'm willing to risk what I've got....I just don't want to risk more than I've got,...which is what a business loan is.
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Re: DOT and propane

Postby Billy K » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:36 pm

I will amend what I posted above to read ..
Propane dealers will be the most likely NGO; to get you the correct 'hauled quantity' numbers.
If, you are staying in state; no tunnels (that I know of) to deal with.
Should not need to consider a CDL but; a written test and maybe a road test is what you are looking at, for that.
Best of Luck to you, whichever way you decide.

Treeview - not pickin atcha....
I have seen all sorts of inspections, as vehicle combos enter tunnels.
I have also heard that some western States will check you during
'avalanche season' - tires that may pop, loud exhaust, and yes- propane tanks
disconnected and capped.
Sometimes, safety is the reason; other times, it's a revenue thing !
Speed traps don't usually work in the winter !! .. :thinking:
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Re: DOT and propane

Postby Treeview » Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:22 pm

I'm always open to new insights and experiences.

Thanks :D
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