An unexpected phone call from a trailer buyer with good news on underride guards

Jerry was pleasantly surprised tonight by a phone call from Greer Woodruff, Vice President of Safety & Security at J.B. Hunt.   J. B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. is a trucking and transportation company that was founded by Johnnie Bryan Hunt, and based in the Northwest Arkansas city of Lowell.

Greer was calling to let Jerry know that Wabash National, a trailer manufacturer, had redesigned their rear underride guard to provide better protection at the outer edges of the guard. And he also wanted us to know that J.B. Hunt was the first to purchase the new trailers–having ordered 4,000 of them in January.

We had already heard about that yesterday morning. Thank you, Wabash, for creating a safer truck rear underride guard!

But then Greer went on to say that he had wanted to be sure and tell us about it and thank us for the letters, which Jerry wrote to J.B. Hunt–along with the major trailer manufacturers and many other trailer buyers, back in 2014 before we launched our first petition. Those letters, he said, had raised their awareness about the underride problem and spurred them on to talk to the trailer manufacturers about producing safer trailers.

That brought a smile to Jerry’s face.

We look forward to finding out more details about its design features and what level of protection it provides. Also, we hope to see additional attention given to side and front underride protection and retrofitting existing trailers as well.

Meanwhile, we are encouraged to see that progress is being made in moving toward the best possible protection with both voluntary and regulatory action. The Vision Zero Petition Book has arrived!

Dragon Underride Protector 004Father Daughter Dance2111a Picture 14322 (1)12a Christmas 2012 Rocky Mount 066

Father Daughter Dance 2.18.09 0078 Mary AnnaLeah Vanessa Dad Father Daughter Dance 001

 

First set of letters which Jerry  sent to trailer buyers in February 2014 (a variation of this went to trailer manufacturers):

Trailer Buyer Letter JB Hunt February 2014

One of the letters which went out to trailer manufacturers in February 2014:

Letter to trailer manufacturer February 2014

A second set of letters went out in March 2014 to clarify our role/position:

Dear CEO trailer buyers JB HuntDear CEO trailer buyers JB Hunt 2

Another letter went out asking for support to our petition request for stronger underride guards:

Request for Statement from JB HuntRequest for Statement from JB Hunt 2

And then Jerry sent a follow-up letter in the fall of 2014, including with it copies of the IIHS Status Reports which had articles on underride guards:

Letter to trailer buyers fall 2014 JB Hunt

IIHS Status Reports with articles on underride guards, which we included with the letters to the trucking companies:

Finally, after setting up our non-profit, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety, in the summer of 2015, we wrote to all of the truck companies again–asking for their help to voluntarily find safer underride guard designs:

Underride Research Project Letter JB Hunt

Also, sometime after our letter writing, we were discussing our efforts with John Lannen at the Truck Safety Coalition. He asked for our list and said, “Thanks – I’ll follow up with Greer since I know him well.  What reaction did you get?”

In our efforts to not only improve regulatory federal standards on underride guards but, also, to catalyze voluntary industry improvement, we heard back from several other companies to whom we had written, including:

  • UPS in Atlanta (Dan)
  • CR England (Chad England)
  • Extra Mile Transportation (Brent)
  • J.B. Hunt (Greer Woodruff, Lowell, AK
  • UPS (buys from Great Dane)
  • FedEx

For more details on the response we got from them, see: Additional response from trucking industry to our request for voluntary action on underride problem.

Photo Album of Jerry and his girls:  With Dad. . . Family Man Jerry prays for his children every morning (lifting them before their heavenly Father/Abba). He is proud of them, teases them, enjoys spending time with them, and treasures each of his special children.

Jerry shares our story at the Fall 2015 Sorrow to Strength conference in DC hosted by the Truck Safety Coalition:

 

 

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