USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #03-0146 ([Department of California Highway Patrol] [Officer George Barber, CHPO, 10665])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Department of California Highway Patrol

Individual Name: Officer George Barber, CHPO, 10665

Location State: CA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Jul 18, 2003


Officer George Barber, CHPO, 10665               Reference No. 03-0146
Department of California Highway Patrol
California Highway Patrol, Valley Division
11337 Trade Center Drive
Rancho,Cordova, CA

Dear Officer Barber:

This responds to your June 6, 2003 letter regarding the segregation requirements under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180), as they apply to various chemicals transported in the same vehicle.  You enclosed copies of several photographs of boxes on pallets inside the vehicle.

While performing an inspection on a vehicle transporting hazardous materials classed as Division 6.1 (poison), PG I, Poison Inhalation Hazard, Zone B; Class 3 (flammable liquid); Class 8 (corrosive); Division 4.1 (flammable solid); Division 4.3 (dangerous when wet); and Division 5.1 (oxidizers), you discovered that the van was refrigerated and had a metal ribbed floor.  The ribs are approximately I inch wide and 1-inch deep.  The ribbed floor allows cold air to circulate around the product to maintain a constant temperature, and also allows melting ice to drain to the back of the van and out through the rear doors.  You asked if hazardous materials in boxes on wooden pallets placed on a “ribbed floor” would be considered proper separation, sufficient to prevent commingling of liquid chemicals.

Hazardous materials may not be loaded, transported, or stored together, except as specified in the “Segregation Table” in §177.848(d). The provisions for separation can be met by placing barriers (i.e., impediments, obstructions, dividers, packages of non-hazardous materials, or intervening space) between packages inside of the transport vehicle or freight container that prevent commingling of materials in the event of leakage from the packages.  Regardless of the methods of separation used, Class 8 (corrosive) liquids may not be loaded above or adjacent to Class 4 (flammable solid) or Class 5 (oxidizing) materials; except that shippers may load truckload shipments of such materials together when it is known that the mixture would not cause a fire or a dangerous evolution of heat or gas (see §177.848(e)(3)).

The hazardous materials mentioned above are not prohibited from being transported in the same vehicle.  Boxes shrink-wrapped on pallets, separated by intervening space or packages containing nonhazardous materials, satisfy the requirement for “separation.” Whether the boxes on wooden pallets me on a “ribbed floor” is not relevant in determining that the requirement for “separation” is being met.  A material poisonous by inhalation leaking from a package can emit toxins that permeate or spread throughout areas of a van or transport vehicle, and can be immediately harmful to any persons entering the van or vehicle.

I hope this satisfies your inquiry.  If we can be of further assistance, please contact us.

Susan Gorsky
Senior Transportation Regulations Specialist
Office of Hazardous Materials, Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
177.848 Segregation of hazardous materials