As Australia does not have a very well-defined rail network, the majority of goods are transported across country by road. This represents a significant opportunity for those people who want to be a professional driver, and you may already have taken advantage of this opportunity. Yet, if you want to make yourself more valuable in the driver marketplace, you might want to consider branching out and getting a licence that allows you to drive a particular category of vehicle. You may find yourself in greater demand if you can get a dangerous goods driver license instead, but how can you qualify?
Education and Licensing
Licensing is regulated by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety in order to keep everyone as safe as possible. Due to the stringent requirements, you will be best advised to attend a specific training course before you apply for a truck licence. There's a lot to learn, and you want to make sure that you pass your test the first time so that you can maximise your opportunity.
Categories and Classes
You may not be aware, but there are as many as seven different categories or divisions when it comes to dangerous goods. You will need to know the difference between those classes and become very familiar with the type of goods that you will transport.
Various regulations govern how each material can be transported and how they should be packaged. Each vehicle or container has to be marked with signage that is instantly recognisable, and you will need to carry comprehensive documentation with you when you're on the road.
You have to prepare for any eventuality, and if you were unlucky enough to become involved in an accident, you should understand how the HAZCHEM emergency action code works. This is a mandatory procedure in the event of spillage, fire or leakage involving any hazardous substance and will be very familiar to local emergency services.
Of course, you must look after yourself while you're driving in this potentially hazardous situation and will need to learn all about personal protective equipment. This could, in the worst-case scenario, save your life, after all.
There's a lot involved in transporting dangerous goods by road, but you may find additional or more lucrative opportunities when you are properly licensed. Think about attending a training course so you can get full details about the application process.