We just received good news from Gary Fenton, VP of Engineering at Stoughton Trailers, with the announcement that their newly-designed rear underride guard is now available, as of November 1, 2016, on all new trailers produced by and purchased from them. Gary’s email to me on December 12, was very encouraging:
“Please find attached a press release and ad sheets associated with the Stoughton move to standardize a new under ride structure, designed to widen the area of impact protection on the rear of Stoughton Trailers. Stoughton is now standard on this new design for all straight vans (dry and reefer). The implementation of the design as standard began on Nov. 1, 2016 (pilot run of 100 units built in August). The inclusion of this new protection feature is standard to the customer at no cost or weight penalty.”
This is good in more than one way:
- First of all, it means that — here on out — all new trailers purchased from Stoughton will be safer.
- Secondly, it means that Stoughton has set a new example for the industry in offering it as standard equipment and not merely an option.
Stoughton Trailers is one of four out of the eight major trailer manufacturers, tested recently by IIHS, which have responded to our request for voluntary improvement to their underride protection. The others are Manac (which improved their guard shortly before our crash), Vanguard, and Wabash. One more manufacturer hopes to have their upgrade crash tested early next year.
A more detailed explanation of the underride dilemma is available here: Underride Guards: Can we “sit down at the table together” and work this out? June 27, 2014