DOT continues to crack down on drums that aren’t properly torqued

According to industry sources, the U.S. Department of Transportation continues to rachet up the pressure on companies that fail to close their drums of hazardous materials to the specified torque before shipment.

DOT inspectors are checking to ensure that shippers comply with all applicable Performance Oriented Packaging requirements.

Specifically, they are checking for compliance with Code of Federal Regulations, Section 178.2c, which relates to the proper closure of dangerous-goods packaging.

For UN-rated drums, proper closure requires a specific measured torque — as specified by the drum’s manufacturer — for the drum plugs, as well as the locking ring on open-head drums.

DOT inspectors expect shippers to use a torque wrench when closing the drums prior to shipment.

Failure to have a torque wrench on hand could result in fines. DOT inspectors may also require a demonstration thatthe wrench is accurately calibrated.

In addition to complying with the law, closing a drum to a specified torque makes sense because it will eliminate leaks.
Similarly, a drum plug that is too tight may damage or deform the gasket between the plug and the drum, which could also cause a leak.A drum plug that is too loose can obviously allow the contents to leak out.

Buy UN-rated drums from Value Mart and you’ll have no problems figuring out how to properly close the drum, including the proper torque. That’s because, with every order, you’ll receive a copy of the drum’s closure instructions, which detail how the drum should be properly closed.

Value Mart also sells a full line of torque wrenches and sockets, including spark-resistant models for drums that contain flammable materials.

Value Mart also carries related accessories, such as a torque-wrench tester to ensure your wrenches are accurately calibrated. And Value Mart offers a unique torque control system that automatically turns off air-impact tools when they reach a specified torque setting.
For more information on torque wrenches, sockets and accessories, see Value Mart’s catalog or call a Value Mart Customer Service Rep at 800-776-3786. Also, please call if you need another copy of the closing instructions for any UN-rated drum that you’ve purchased from Value Mart.

[Published Winter 2003]


This preset torque wrench that Value Mart sells is designed to “break away” when the specified torque pressure is reached. This prevents overtightening.


Value Mart sells these spark-resistant aluminum-bronze torque wrench sockets for use on drums that contain flammable materials.


Value Mart sells a new line of adjustable torque wrenches, each of which adjusts to a different range of torque levels.