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Farmers pulling fuel trailers must comply with additional regulations

Because fuel trailers carry large quantities, producers need to be 
aware of their additional legal obligations when pulling them

With over 3,700 litres of diesel fuel capacity in the largest field fuel and service trailers, transporting that much dangerous cargo (and diesel is a dangerous cargo) is an entirely different ballgame compared to hauling a small slip tank in the back of a pickup truck. The small-amount dangerous cargo exemptions that apply to slip tanks that don’t exceed 450 litres won’t let farmers pulling fuel trailers off the hook when it comes to complying with transport regulations.

To help you avoid a costly fine on the roadside, we asked those in the know at Transport Canada exactly what farmers hauling diesel in fuel trailers need to be aware of. Here are the questions we put to them and their exact answers:

The questions

Q1: Which specific Transport Canada regulations are applicable?

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations apply to anyone handling (loading, unloading), offering (preparing) for transport, or transporting any dangerous goods. Diesel fuel is considered dangerous goods in the TDG Regulations and all parts of the TDG Regulations apply.

Q2: What construction standards apply (to trailers), e.g. single or double-wall tank construction?

Containers used to transport dangerous goods such as fuel are referred to as the means of containment and must meet certain safety standards as prescribed in Part 5 of the TDG Regulations. Part 5 requires that anyone handling, offering for transport, or transporting dangerous goods must use containers in accordance with Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards. Along with the TDG Regulations, the standards indicate what containers are permitted for dangerous goods and prescribe the requirements for how they are used and maintained.

A container designed to carry 3,785 litres of diesel fuel must currently comply with either safety standard CGSB 43.146 or CSA B621. An amendment to TDG Regulations coming into force on July 15, 2014, will add an additional safety standard — CSA B626-09. There will be a six-month transition period for the standard. This will result in a total of three different safety standards that a 3,785 litre capacity tank used to transport diesel fuel could be constructed to meet. The TDG Regulations do not require double-walled tanks for transporting diesel fuel.

Q3: Do the trailers need to display a Transport Canada certification label?

Markings applied to a standardized means of containment to indicate compliance with a safety standard are called certification safety marks. These marks identify container type, construction standards, the manufacturer, date of the last inspection or test and by whom, as well as the limits on how it can be used. Certification safety marks can be a design, symbol, device, letter, word, number, abbreviation, or a combination of these. Only facilities registered with Transport Canada are allowed to manufacture, assemble, re-qualify or repair a standard means of containment. Transport Canada issues a Certificate of Registration to each registered facility and also issues a registered mark that must be applied to each container that the facility works on.

Periodic inspection and testing (re-qualification) is required by the safety standards for most types of means of containment. A container subject to periodic re-qualification must not be filled nor refilled unless it is within its specified retest period.

In addition to the certification safety marks on a means of containment or a means of transport, Part 4 of the TDG Regulations requires safety marks to be displayed that identify the hazard of the dangerous goods being transported. These are commonly called placards and are displayed on each end and each side of a large means of containment with a capacity greater than 450 litres.

Q4: What are the penalties for owners if trailers don’t comply?

It is an offence under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (TDGA), 1992 to apply certification safety marks to a tank containing diesel fuel or fuel trailer that does not comply with the applicable safety standard. Transport Canada Inspectors may use enforcement tools in order to ensure compliance. Some examples of enforcement tools include: a Detention Notice; a Notice of Direction Not to Import or Return to Origin; a ticket or prosecution. Section 33 of the TDGA, 1992 provides for offences and punishments against those who fail to comply with the Act and the TDG Regulations. Every person who commits an offence is liable on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or is liable on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding $50,000 for a first offence, and not exceeding $100,000 for each subsequent offence.

Q5: Does a driver need to have a valid transportation of dangerous goods training certificate?

Any person who handles (loads, unloads), offers (prepares) for transport, or transports dangerous goods must be trained in accordance with the requirements of Part 6 of the TDG Regulations or operate under direct supervision of a trained person holding a valid training certificate. Anyone loading, unloading, preparing for transport, or transporting a tank containing diesel fuel or a fuel trailer must ensure that the proper dangerous goods documentation is prepared and accompanies the shipment. Information on training requirements is available on the Transport Canada website.

About the author

Contributor

Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.

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