LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Wabash National has been named a finalist for the SSAB Swedish Steel Prize, recognizing its use of advanced high-strength steel in its trailers’ rear impact guard.
Wabash is one of four finalists selected out of 102 applications from 32 countries.
“When innovative design meets groundbreaking material technology, we can really stretch the limits of product performance,” said Dick Giromini, chief executive officer of Wabash National. “We’re honored to be recognized for our innovation and industry leadership with this award nomination for our patented RIG-16 rear impact guard.”
The company says its RIG-16 rear impact guard uses high-strength steel to better protect passengers in rear impact collisions.
“We spent more than two years in research and development before releasing our RIG-16 rear impact guard in early 2016. We prototyped several designs with other materials, but could not have met all our design criteria without advanced high-strength steel. It significantly improves the overall strength and energy absorption of our rear impact guard; has minimal weight impact; and maintains existing levels of cost of ownership for customers,” said Robert Lane, vice-president of product engineering, Commercial Trailer Products.
If Wabash National wins the Swedish Steel Prize, it would be the fifth American company to do so in the award’s 19-year history, the company says.
The award comes with an $11,000 prize, which Wabash National would donate to the National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing crashes and injuries on our nation’s highways by promoting safe driving behavior through greater public awareness. The winner will be announced May 11.