DOT Numbered Placard


NA numbers are identification numbers used on shipping containers throughout North America to identify hazardous contents. These numbers are part of a system in the Department of Transportation's Office of Hazardous Materials Safety's Emergency Response Guide 2004 which was developed "...for use by firefighters, police, and other emergency services personnel who may be the first to arrive at the scene of a transportation incident involving a hazardous material."

I like having one of these guide books around (PDF version of guide) so that I can look up the NA number on the side of shipping containers to see what they are carrying. However, carrying the book itself is a hassle, so I decided to make a version I can keep on my iPod and easily pick through.

Thanks to the plain-text version of all the NA numbers from found here I was able to make a fairly simple set of iPod notes which allows one to drill right down to the NA number they desire.

Please know that a similar set of identifying numbers is used on cargo containers outside of North America. These numbers are known as UN numbers and are essentially a subset of NA numbers. For the most part the UN and NA numbers are the same, with the NA numbers simply adding an additional range, 8000-9999. This makes the set of NA numbers usable anywhere where UN numbers are regularly displayed on containers, provided one ignores the upper range of numbers.

Please see the Wikipedia entry UN number for more information on both UN and NA numbers.



There, I hope that's clear enough. If you haven't been able to tell by this point, this is a transcribed copy which I made for personal use. That is, a tool for purely casual use. If you are an individual who needs to rely on this data, please use an official ERG 2004. I've made every effort to ensure that this data is as intact as possible, but there could very well be some mistakes made somewhere along the way.


How To Use

Unzip the downloaded file and copy the directory NA Numbers to the Notes folder on one's iPod. On the iPod, select Notes, then NA Numbers, then _Main.txt from amongst all the files in the directory.

To make things easier to use, the file Main.linx can be edited as needed and then copied to the root of the Notes folder. After placing this file in the root fo the Notes folder, it will then be displayed when one selects the iPod's Notes facility, not the typical, simple listing of the Notes directory. See the Apple document Using iPod as a Tour Guide for more information on using .linx files.

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