CTEA-led research project studies trailer rear-impact guards

ST. THOMAS, Ont. (April 21) — Spurred both by recent U.S. regulations and the likelihood of eventual similar action in Canada, a group of Canadian trailer makers and other concerned parties including Transport Canada have organized to fund research into the design, function, and effectiveness of rear-impact guards for trailers. The initiative was organized by the Canadian Transportation Equipment Association (CTEA).

“The group consists of 20-plus Canadian trailer manufacturers, a couple from the States, plus Transport Canada, and The Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations,” CTEA general manager Al Tucker reports.

“We’re hopeful that the Ontario Trucking Association and the U.S.-based National Truck Equipment Association will also be joining us in this effort.”

Following 1998 rulemaking in the U.S. that required installation of rear-impact guards on all newly built trailers intended for operation in that country, Canadian trailer manufacturers have been concerned both with being able to meet that standard and also being prepared for possible similar action up here.

In fact, Ontario trailer maker Walinga has already designed and built its own test rig to certify such guards for its bulk-hauler products, many of which are sold into the States.

“Our group recently awarded a contract to the National Research Council in Ottawa, which is now undertaking research to develop the parameters for a generic rear-impact guard,” Tucker says. “We expect their findings to be circulated to the participating stakeholders by the end of this summer, and we’ll discuss them further at the CTEA annual meeting in Montreal in October.”

Transport Canada issued a draft proposal regarding such guards a few months ago, and it is hoped that the findings of the CTEA-organized group will also be useful to the government in any further development of a possible Canadian regulation.

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