How Should You Handle Automotive Battery Delivery?

Why do specific rules and regulations apply to automotive battery delivery and handling? In order to explain this fully, let’s take a closer look at batteries themselves and their transport.

SLI – Your Battery

You may sometimes hear a battery referred to as SLI. This rechargeable cell is responsible for starting, lighting, and igniting your vehicle’s starter. For the entire auto system, it supplies electrical power. This 12 V system with a lead acid base produces an electrical charge with six galvanic cells.

But why all the rules and regulations regarding handling?

Potentially Toxic Conditions Exist

From alkaline to acid, a wide range of materials go into the make-up of batteries. What you don’t want is for acid to leak out due to damage to the battery. The environment should never see or be exposed to what’s inside a battery. Water and the ground can be polluted by the acid contained within. Living creatures can be severely threatened by the toxicity that eventually results.

Transport Can Be Dangerous

Though unavoidable, the mere transport of batteries increases the risk to the environment and the chance that hazardous waste or material will be created. A fire can be caused by short-circuiting batteries that were improperly packaged. And as most transport professionals know, there can frequently be less than desirable conditions during which battery transport must take place. To ensure large and small cell transport safety, guidelines have been established by the United States Code of Federal Regulations.

The Hazards of Battery Transportation

Three potential hazards exist when batteries are loaded or arranged incorrectly and contain corrosive fluid or acid. These hazards are as follows:

  • Terminal damage
  • Short-circuits
  • Dangerous heat levels

Safe Packaging for Non-Alkaline and Non-Acid Batteries

When no other contents are being transported with batteries, the approved packaging specification is as follows:


  • Plastic jerrycan
  • Plastic
  • Fiber
  • Plywood


  • Hard plastic
  • Fiberboard
  • Wood

When no other contents are loaded with battery packages, the following are approved non-designated packagings (keep in mind that certain specifications apply to each):

  • Fiberboard boxes with differing test poundage
  • Durable wood or fiberboard boxes
  • Strong outer boxes
  • Pallets

Safe Packaging for Batteries Containing Corrosive Battery Fluid

Corrosive battery fluid means that the battery contains alkaline or electrolyte acid. The packaging specifications for these are more stringent than the non-acidic batteries. The following are for electric storage batteries:

  • Unless recycled batteries are combined, only what has been shipped by the original driver can be transported by a truck.
  • Nothing else that is packed with the fluid (additional materials) can come into contact with the battery.
  • During delivery, any possibility of short-circuits or damage must be prevented by proper positioning, among other things.
  • Along with the corrosive fluid being transported, the additional transport or loading of other dangerous substances is prohibited.

Packaging specifications for corrosive batteries (once again, specific conditions apply to each of these):

  • Fiberboard boxes
  • Wooden boxes

Requirements for Non-Spillable Batteries

For a battery to be classified as non-spillable, ready for transport, and adequately sealed, the following must apply:

  • An assessment must be done for differential pressure
  • An assessment must be done for vibration

Chargers, Dry Batteries, and Damaged Batteries

Chargers and dry batteries have regulations referring to poundage, how many receptacles can be in each box, what kinds of boxes are required, and more.

And when damaged batteries are being transported, there are even more specifications and regulations that apply.

At Mickey Genuine Parts, we carry an impressive inventory of parts for trailers, trucks, and more. Order your part by 2 PM Eastern Standard Time and we will ship it the same day. Or, rely on one of our experienced technicians and schedule the installation of your parts or customizations at one of our certified service centers located throughout the United States. Talk to a knowledgeable customer service representative and find out why more and more people are turning to Mickey for their part and trailer needs. Experience the Mickey difference for yourself.

Let’s keep truckin'.

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