It could be general anxiety but does anyone else get uncomfortable when you're either behind a tanker or next to one? Maybe the irrational discomfort I feel when near these types of semis has to with playing too much Grand Theft Auto. All the tankers in those games explode like a massive fireworks display.

I was behind one of these bad boys (or bad girls?) on Bypass 20 over the weekend and noticed the tanker in front of me had the usual triangle-shaped placard and a number on it. I told Siri to remind me to look up what it was when I reached my destination.

There are way too many number codes so I won't bore you and drag this article on and on and on. Instead, the color explanations will be a great deal of help if you too are inquisitive.


Orange is all sorts of bad. Bad, bad, bad, bad. A tanker with an orange placard on the back means explosive materials like dynamite, fireworks, and ammunition are being transported. Just like the tankers in GTA.

Red isn't favorable either. This means flammable goods like gasoline, rubbing alcohol, paint, and acetone are on board. Sure, they won't explode per se but I don't want to near them while traveling at high speeds.

Green labels aren't a big deal but white could cause biohazardous or toxic materials.

Yellow and blue are usually combustible as well.

The placards with multiple colors vary from combustible, explosive, hazardous to the environment, bad news for your skin or lungs, or worse.

You can find all the definitions here.


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