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 #16-0088 ([Landstar Transportation Logistics, Inc.] [Mr. Wes Pace])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Landstar Transportation Logistics, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Wes Pace

Location State: FL Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 16, 2016

Mr. Wes Pace
Director, Hazardous Materials Compliance
Landstar Transportation Logistics, Inc.
13410 Sutton Park Drive, South
Jacksonville, FL  32224

Reference No. 16-0088

Dear Mr. Pace:

This letter is in response to your May 11, 2016 email, letter, and two photographs requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to loading and securing pallets of hazardous materials.  Specifically, you ask if the loading and securement packing method you describe complies with the intent of § 177.834(a).  

You state your transportation scenario, as further demonstrated in the attached photographs, is as follows:
• Four drums are loaded on one pallet,
• Drums on the pallet are shrink-wrapped to the pallets,
• Heavy cardboard is placed on top of each set of four drums banded to a pallet,
• An even number of these pallets are loaded side-by-side in a freight trailer,
• Pallets are loaded in the freight container with approximately 3–4 inches of void area between them,
• Pallets closest to the freight container door are secured with two straps,
• This loading and securement method makes it difficult, if not impossible, to nail a 2 x 4 inch blocking to the freight container floor in the void area, and
• This blocking method makes it highly unlikely for these drums to shift or fall to the extent that they become damaged.

It is the opinion of this Office that the transportation scenario you provided does not comply with the intent of § 177.834(a).  The three to four inches of space between pallets in the freight container loading and securement method you describe provides a foot or more of space in which the end pallets can shift during transportation.  Section 177.834(a) requires any hazardous material (hazmat) package that is not permanently attached to a motor vehicle to be secured against shifting, including relative motion between packages, within the vehicle on which it is being transported under conditions normally incident to transportation (e.g., vehicle starting, stopping, and cornering; accident avoidance; and varied road conditions).  Thus, the securement of hazmat packages requires that such packages do not shift when experiencing these conditions.  Part 393, Subpart I of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR Parts 300-399) contains general requirements that address protection against shifting and falling cargo.  

I hope this information is helpful.  Please contact us if we be of further assistance.


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


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
177.834 General requirements