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Know the rules...

In previous articles, I covered materials of trade (MOTs) but didn’t emphasize how they are covered under the hazmat regulations--mostly, because they aren’t. It’s important you understand why MOTs are an exception to the regulations and, therefore, handled differently.

Different rules apply

Materials transported under this exception do not need to meet some of the requirements for shipping hazmat including shipping papers, placarding, emergency response information, and employee training.

Although MOTs meet exceptions in the hazmat regulations, your employer must inform you of:

  • The presence of the material in your vehicle, and
  • The MOT requirements (packaging, shipping, etc.).

The exception applies only when you ship construction materials (paint, sprays, lubricants, gasoline) in small quantities.


The MOT exception is meant for companies that use hazardous materials to do their job. An MOT is a hazmat that is handled specifically for the purposes of:

  • Protecting the health and safety of the vehicle operator or passengers (such as insect repellent or self-contained breathing apparatus);
  • Operating or maintaining the vehicle, including its auxiliary equipment (such as a spare battery or engine starting fluid); or
  • A private motor carrier supporting a principle business other than transport (such as lawn care, construction, welding, or farming operations).

Your safety

Your safety is important. If you think you might be driving a vehicle with MOTs, make sure you understand what they are, the quantity limits, and the proper packaging and marking for those materials.

Key to remember: MOTs Must be in the manufacturers original packaging or packaging of equal or greater strength and integrity. Packaging needs to be leak tight for liquids and gases, sift proof for solids, securely closed, and protected against damage.