While the Fourth of July is the single biggest day of the year for fireworks, fireworks celebrations happen all summer (and all year) long. These fireworks need to get from the manufacturers to the clients somehow, and the truckers who transport them are often subject to some stringent regulations.
For example, drivers for the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) face some very unique challenges with regard to the federal regulations they must abide by.
Fireworks are classified as Class 1 hazardous materials in the United States, so there are some extra challenges that can make it a little difficult for the pyrotechnics industry to meet the massive demand for fireworks around big holidays like the Fourth of July. For example, drivers with a trucking company in Minnesota must follow special rules for traveling through tunnels and on bridges, and have extra rules for logging their hours of service.
The drivers for the APA also often serve double duty as the lead pyrotechnicians for the fireworks shows to which they drive these fireworks. In fact, representatives from the APA say driving is merely “incidental” to their duties. These drivers are highly trained in HAZMAT protocols, and must go through some very rigorous training procedures to be able to handle and light off fireworks displays safely. It’s very much a “jack of all trades” type of job.
About the transportation regulations
The regulations for transporting fireworks come in a variety of forms. For example, any company or organization that will ship fireworks must have at least $5 million of transportation insurance coverage. In some cases, companies are required to get a shipper’s license to be able to deliver fireworks to certain states. Travel is often restricted in tunnels and over bridges if the driver or company does not have the proper permit. The pyrotechnic company is also required to work with local municipalities and law enforcement agencies to be able to transport fireworks through certain populous areas safely.
Some states completely forbid trucks carrying fireworks to drive on their roads, unless the company is actually doing business there. This means some fireworks companies might have to take extra-long routes to be able to deliver fireworks from one state to another if they don’t share a border.
Another common regulation is that some states or municipalities do not allow fireworks to be stored in trucks overnight. This means drivers must either go to another state or area once the show is over, or else figure out a way to completely unload the truck, safely store the fireworks and then reload the truck the next morning before continuing on with their journey.
These are the kinds of regulations that simply do not exist for other types of industries, and can make it challenging for fireworks truckers to complete their jobs as efficiently as possible. For more information about some of the unique types of regulations that affect the trucking and shipping industries, contact our trucking company in Minnesota to speak with one of our experts.