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 #12-0013R ([GeoDynamics] [Mr. Rick Chewning])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: GeoDynamics

Individual Name: Mr. Rick Chewning

Location State: TX Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 13, 2013



Mr. Rick Chewning
10500 West Interstate 20
Millsap, TX  76066

Reference No. 12-0013R

Dear Mr. Chewning:

This is in response to your e-mail asking us to define the term "in transit" under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  In your letter, you describe a scenario in which you have a skid of Class 1.4 explosives, packaged, placarded, and strapped to the flatbed of a pick-up truck.  You ask whether the truck may be loaded the night before delivery provided the truck and warehouse is locked.  You state that the warehouse has an alarm system with code-specific security gates at the entrances.

The term "in transit" is not defined in the HMR.  However, for purpose of the HMR, as defined in § 171.8, "transportation" or transport means the movement of property and loading, unloading, or storage incidental to that movement.  With respect to the pick-up truck, it may be loaded the night before delivery.  However, for a private motor carrier, transportation in commerce does not begin until the motor vehicle driver takes possession of the hazardous material for the purpose of transportation.  Transportation continues until the driver relinquishes possession of the hazardous material at its destination and is no longer responsible for performing functions subject to the HMR (§ 171.1(c)). 

In the case of a private motor carrier, hazardous materials stored temporarily at a location after the driver has taken possession of the hazardous material for the purpose of transportation is considered storage incidental to movement and is subject to the HMR (§ 171.1(c)(4)). Although no specific length of time is prescribed in the HMR, as specified in § 177.800(d), all shipments of hazardous materials, including explosives, being transported by motor vehicle (in this case, a pick-up truck) must be transported without unnecessary or undue delay, from and including the time of the start of loading of the hazardous materials until its final unloading at the destination.  (Also, for your information, see § 172.800 for security plans and applicability.)

I hope this information.  Please contact this office should you have additional questions.


T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

171.1, 171.8

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.1 Applicability of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to persons and functions
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations