Hazardous Materials & Railroad Crossings

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supersobes
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Hazardous Materials & Railroad Crossings

#1 Post by supersobes » 01 May 2020 03:11

Alright, I've got a question for you CLD holders out there (or anyone who happens to know the answer). So we've all seen the "This Vehicle Stops at all Railroad Crossings" on the back of trucks with placard loads. I've researched the rules for this, and I found the ten steps that must be taken when approaching and crossing a railroad when hauling hazardous materials or driving a school bus.
  1. When you see the railroad crossing warning sign (round yellow sign with Rs and a black X), turn on your four-way flashers and begin to slow down.
  2. Roll down both windows as you approach the crossing.
  3. Check your mirrors to make sure traffic behind is aware you're stopping.
  4. Stop at the stop line. If there is no stop line, stop the truck before the crossbuck.
  5. Look ahead of the crossing to make sure there is enough space for the entire truck to make it across.
  6. Refer to the plaque under the crossbuck if there are multiple tracks. Check each track.
  7. Stop all items that are producing noise in your truck.
  8. Look and listen both directions for each track that is at the crossing.
  9. Proceed over the tracks. Do not shift gears when on the tracks. Watch the trailer in the mirrors as it crosses the tracks. Be aware of low trailers that may get caught on elevated crossings.
  10. Once the entire vehicle is clear of the tracks, turn off the four-way flashers and proceed.
My question lies with point number 7 which refers to stopping all noise in your truck so that you can listen for trains and train horns. Clearly this refers to things like the radio, cell phone, CB, fans, etc. Does this also refer to the engine though? I seem to recall seeing some drivers go as far as pulling the brakes and shutting down the engine when they listed for trains. Is it required that you turn off the engine when you listen? I can't seem to find a definite answer to this.

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Re: Hazardous Materials & Railroad Crossings

#2 Post by Fae » 05 May 2020 18:19

I can answer this. I do not hold a CLD, but I do hold a CDL with HAZMAT Endorsement and I imagine the procedures are similar ;) Hehe just kidding. That one was wide open :)

Anyway, No, you do NOT stop the engine. Only radios, fans and loud things in the cab but you do NOT shut off the engine no matter what. If you shut off the engine and it will not restart you've just created a very dangerous obstacle in a very dangerous place.

I hope that helps.

By the way, this goes for buses also. No one shuts off the engine at a RR Crossing as it is more dangerous than it is helpful.
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Re: Hazardous Materials & Railroad Crossings

#3 Post by abasstreppas » 05 May 2020 18:38

You forgot 8b :P -> Get out of your vehicle and walk up to the track, get down on your knees and put your ear to the track. If no sound is heard, proceed to to point 9 :lol:

Couldn't resist :mrgreen:
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Re: Hazardous Materials & Railroad Crossings

#4 Post by supersobes » 05 May 2020 19:07

@Fae Thank you for the information! :) I actually have a follow up question now. You mention that you don't turn off the engine because you may stall at a dangerous place. Is this the same reason why you should not shift gears when you're on the crossing?

@abasstreppas I think you'd be waiting a while for the crossing to clear at that point. :lol:

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Re: Hazardous Materials & Railroad Crossings

#5 Post by Fawls » 06 May 2020 08:26

Yes, if you were to miss a gear you will take longer to clear the crossing.
Putting your ear on the track is a good way to get your head run over, you will not hear a train coming until it is too late! p.s. I do know it was said in jest. ;)
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Re: Hazardous Materials & Railroad Crossings

#6 Post by Some newbie driver » 07 May 2020 14:29

Fae wrote:
05 May 2020 18:19
Anyway, No, you do NOT stop the engine. Only radios, fans and loud things in the cab but you do NOT shut off the engine no matter what. If you shut off the engine and it will not restart you've just created a very dangerous obstacle in a very dangerous place.
I understand there would be no need to stop the engine in order to hear a train coming. But I don't understand the risk of to stop the engine BEFORE the crossroad (where I understand the truck will be in the situation @supersobes was asking)

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Re: Hazardous Materials & Railroad Crossings

#7 Post by supersobes » 07 May 2020 15:05

@Some newbie driver Even if you're not on the actual crossing, being stopped before the crossing for an extended period of time is definitely also dangerous and less than ideal. You're basically stopped in the middle of the road between traffic flying by at highway speed and trains that are potentially moving at high speeds. Here's a perfect example of this:

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Re: Hazardous Materials & Railroad Crossings

#8 Post by Some newbie driver » 07 May 2020 15:12

Oh, I understand you now @supersobes. You will never find such a railway cross on Spain, they are only on secondary roads or on streets inside urban zones. So, when I imagined the truck stopping before the rail pass, I imagined a simple 1 lane secondary road and the truck just stopped in the middle of its lane (after all, it should be a moment and on a low density road people CAN wait 1 minute if necessary). I never imagined a 2 lanes by side speedway and people arriving at moderate to high speeds eager to pass fast and honking the stopped truck. :roll:

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Re: Hazardous Materials & Railroad Crossings

#9 Post by supersobes » 10 May 2020 17:03

On the topic of hazardous materials, why is Arizona still using "HC" (Hazardous Cargo) signs to mark the route for trucks carrying hazardous materials instead of the "HM" (Hazardous Materials) signs on I-17 in Phoenix? The "HC" sign has been obsolete for years, and it isn't even listed in the current version of the MUTCD (2009 edition revised in 2013).

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Re: Hazardous Materials & Railroad Crossings

#10 Post by TwinShadow » 10 May 2020 17:40

I just looked at our MUTCD for Texas and it shows the HM sign instead of the old HC. However, it costs money to replace signs, and I still see the old HC signs along the highway here, so that may be why.
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