As a commercial, or professional driver, I am required by the current Federal and DOT regulations, to maintain any endorsements that I may have on my driver’s license. Presently, I have the tanker endorsement, and I am licensed to pull doubles/triple trailers. The HazMat is a written test that I have to take once a year. It never fails to give me the coniptions. Even when not hauling hazardous materials, many companies require that you have this extra letter on your DL. The reason being, is that you may have one skid of a reportable quantity of laundry detergent…or batteries…etc. Usually, the only thing hazardous on my truck is my lunch, or leftovers from the previous nights dinner! There are some who may consider the contents of my purse hazardous, and, on occasion, I may be inclined to agree with them.
Having to take the dreaded haz-mat written test fills me with tremendous anxiety. In order to pass this written test, which I have to take every year, I have to stuff my head full of useless information, like: “If your truck catches fire, what do you do? Pick one answer”. With a multiple choice questionaire, I have only one answer which I find appropriate, but, unfortunately, it is not one of the answers on the test. My answer is always, “I would grab my purse, and run screaming away from the burning vehicle.” Another question was, “If your truck is leaking a hazardous liquid, and it catches fire do you:
A) open the trailer doors and find the leaking package?
B) Try to control and contain the fire?
C) Warn others of the hazard?
D) Grab your purse and run screaming away from the vehicle?
FYI, the correct answer in this case, would be D!!!
Another source of consternation is the NJDMV requirement of having 6 pts of ID. So, plan on bringing your current birth certificate, (they might not accept the original one…if it’s too old!) Social Security card, utility bills that go to your HOME address and not your P.O. Box, the letter from the TSA that states you are NOT a terrorist, marriage license, (if you are a woman, and don’t tell them you got divorced, or they want to see the divorce papers too!) your current drivers license with your picture on it, and the receipt from when you got fingerprinted. I’m surprised that they don’t require the trucker to get fingerprinted every freaking year…after all, don’t those “expire” after a year??? Next year, I think I’ll bring them a vial of blood and a print out of my DNA. Oh, and maybe some hair samples would be good. If I had a first born son, what the hell, I’d bring him too. I would surely give them more information than any terrorist would do. I think the bad guy would simply get in his explosive laden truck…(with the balls to drive without his Haz-Mat endorsement!) and do what the bad guys do best. Which is make it harder for Joe Schmoe and Frilly Jill to get their damned Haz-Mat endorsement!!! Aargh!
Well, I took the dratted test. Passed it by the skin of my teeth. I knew the hard stuff, flunked on the easy questions…no matter, I passed. Huge sigh of relief. I rolled my eyes heavenward in gratitude. Whew.
After a furtive glance in my pocket mirror, and a quick, but careful fresh application of lipstick, the best part is that they didn’t take a new picture of me after all. Instead, they used the one on my current license that had been taken two or three years ago. I’m thinking, if they do this every year, I’m gonna look fantastic when my license states I’m a 70 year old ladytrucker. It’ll save me a ton of money on face lifts and eye tucks!