In this incident on April 4, 2023, a semi-truck hauling a tank of silicon tetrachloride reported a stripped coolant line and needed assistance. This transport truck needed hazardous material towing for their tank and trailer. Team Pro-Tow responded to the call.
Splitting the Tractor and Trailer
After fighting heavy traffic on our way to the scene, our team arrived to perform a recovery assessment. We decided to split the tractor and the loaded trailer. We turned the tractor around so we could tow it away.
Due to the low clearance of an overpass on our route, we had to hook up the 40-foot trailer separately and tow it to the customer’s destination.
Careful Hazardous Material Towing
We drove slowly and carefully as the tank was 2/3 full of hazardous silicon tetrachloride and weighed about 51,000 pounds. Plus, it was sloshing around in the tank. This sloshing could cause the trailer to be unbalanced and tip, resulting in a hazardous material spill. Our experienced driver took things slow and steady to avoid that disaster and made for a 5.5-hour round trip.
What is Silicon Tetrachloride?
Silicon Tetrachloride is a clear and colourless liquid used to make Silicon-containing chemicals that produce silicon products in commercial applications.
Unfortunately, this material is extremely hazardous to the environment and our health. It will burn your skin and eyes with contact. If you breathe it in, you’ll irritate your nose and throat.
It reacts violently with water and moist air and turns into hydrogen chloride gas. This gas is toxic and corrosive. In addition, it can release flammable and explosive hydrogen gas if it comes into contact with metals.
Driver Made the Right Call
The transport truck driver’s decision to call for help when they noticed something was wrong with their vehicle was certainly the right thing to do. If an accident occurred with this load, it could have caused a hazardous material spill. Worse, it could have caused the material to react, form hydrogen chloride gas (and hydrogen gas), and create a significant safety hazard.
Safety first. Always call a professional like Pro-Tow if you need help with hazardous material towing.