Many commercial motor vehicles transport lethally hazardous cargo like gasoline and various toxic chemicals. When these types of commercial trucks are involved in accidents, the types of accidents that can result can be more catastrophic than usual. Hazardous materials, however, represent just one of the special cargo types transported by commercial motor vehicles. When commercial motor vehicles accidents involving special types of cargo do occur, various parties may be held responsible for the resulting damages including truck drivers, trucking companies, manufacturers of defective truck parts, and other involved parties. This post will list the most common types of special cargo transported by commercial motor vehicles.


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration contains numerous regulations regarding the transportation of special types of cargo. These regulations include the following:

  • Adequate Signs. Drivers who are transporting hazardous and other types of special materials must post adequate signage to notify other drivers of the materials being transported.
  • Cargo must be properly loaded and secured. Special types of cargo must also be monitored throughout the duration of transportation. Commercial truck drivers must also receive additional training in how to move special types of materials.
  • Prohibited Roads. Commercial motor vehicles are prohibited from traveling on certain roads where transportation of dangerous materials qualifies as a public safety danger.

Hazardous Cargo Types

The United States Department of Transportation’s reports demonstrate that 7% of all trucks carry hazardous materials. Commercial motor vehicles transport a variety of hazardous material. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recognizes nine different types of hazardous materials.

  •  Explosive Materials.
  • Gasses.
  • Flammable Liquid and Combustible Liquid.
  • Flammable Solid.
  • Oxidizer and Organic Peroxide.
  • Poison.
  • Radioactive.
  • Corrosive.
  • Miscellaneous.

These hazardous material should always be properly secured when transported. Throughout the United States, roadside accidents involving hazardous materials are relatively rare. Reports demonstrate that only twenty percent of all hazardous material accidents occur during the transportation of these materials.

Large Materials

Various types of large equipment are transported on commercial motor vehicles. Like hazardous material, large equipment must be properly secured. When this equipment comes loose, rollovers and jackknifes can result that cause substantial property damage and fatalities. Other large materials transported by commercial motor vehicles include coils, pipes, and timber, which can cause substantial damage if not properly contained.

Vehicle Transport

Some commercial motor vehicles are designed to transport multiple vehicles. Due to the significant cargo weights, these vehicles suffer from limited maneuverability. This limited maneuverability can result in accidents when the vehicle is forced to stop or turn unexpectedly.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle, contact our law firm. Call 409-838-1000 or email our lawyers to schedule your free initial consultation.