What You Need to Know When Transporting Flammable Liquids on Public Roads


Transporting gasoline and other fuels for commercial purposes may seem like a simple task, but strict regulations apply when transporting flammable liquids.

In 2016, gasoline delivery startup companies found themselves dealing with this very issue. Several of these companies came into conflict with local fire code authorities. Transporting hundreds of gallons of gasoline in the backs of pickup trucks was against fire code regulations. Some operations closed, while other cases required new permits.

Transporting flammable liquids carries a risk of fire or explosion. Regulations act as a precaution to prevent incidents and injuries.

D.O.T. Regulations for Safety Cans

OSHA requires storage of gasoline in approved safety cans. When transporting cans on public roads or highways, the Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) sets additional criteria.

OSHA requirements for safety cans are:

  • Safety cans must be no more than 5 gallons.
  • Safety cans must have self-closing lids that relieve pressure to prevent an explosion.
  • Spouts must have flame arrestors installed to protect vapors in the safety can from sources of ignition.

Justrite Type II AccuFlow™ D.O.T. Steel Safety Can, 5 Gallon, model 7350130

D.O.T. approved fuel cans must also meet these criteria:

  • Filling caps must have hold down brackets to prevent accidental spillage during transport. This must not compromise their ability to vent under pressure.
  • They must have rugged handle drop protection. This prevents damaging the spout and trigger mechanism.

The D.O.T. classifies certain materials as Materials of Trade (MOT). The list includes gasoline for companies that use it in limited quantities for normal operations. Commercial trucks, trailers or other vehicles may carry up to 440 pounds. This equates to approximately 12 5-gallon safety cans. Always secure cans during transportation.

Which Industries do D.O.T Regulations Affect?

Many different industries transport gasoline as part of their normal business operations. These include:

  • Landscaping contractors transport lawnmowers, chainsaws and other equipment to each site, along with the fuel to do the job.
  • Construction crews transport fuel for major excavation and construction equipment to the construction site.
  • Mining operations cover large areas requiring fuel and equipment transportation.
  • Golf course maintenance requires commercial lawn cutting equipment and landscaping tools. Their large surface area also requires fuel transportation around the course.
  • Some tow truck operators offer services to help stranded vehicles that run out of gas. They must transport fuel to the vehicle in need.

Order Your D.O.T. Approved Fuel Can from Justrite Today

Justrite supplies D.O.T. Compliant Type II AccuFlow™ safety cans for transporting gasoline in commercial vehicles. Our safety features include roll-bar construction and a fusible link on the hold down bracket. Order D.O.T. approved safety cans to stay compliant and protect your workers from fire and injury. Browse our complete range of safety cans here.

Want to learn more about what type of gas can to use? Check out this TECHTalk