Tag Archives: rear underride guards

Stoughton Trailers Stronger Rear Underride Guard Now Standard On All New Refrigerated Trailers

Stoughton Trailers is once again stepping up to the plate and offering their stronger rear underride guard as standard on all new refrigerated trailers. They made the announcement at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta.

Wish I could have been there to see it.

The new refrigerated trailer comes standard with the company’s rear underride guard. It resists compartmental intrusion of an automobile when the location of impact is at 30% to 100% overlap of the width of the car to the guard. It complies with all applicable U.S. and Canadian regulations. The new Stoughton PureBlue refrigerated trailer will be available the beginning of first quarter of 2018.

Fleet Equipment Magazine, Jason Morgan, September 27, 2017,  Stoughton Trailers unveils a new refrigerated trailer

Thank you, Stoughton.

I hope that they will also have retrofit kits.

Here is someone who survived because of a stronger Stoughton rear underride guard on one of their new dry vans:

(Photos below are from Stoughton’s Press Conference at the February TMC Show in Nashville, February 28, 2017 — Marianne Karth with Gary Fenton, VP of Engineering, and Bob Wahlin, CEO)



I Survived Because Of Stoughton: An improved rear underride guard saved this man from an underride death

Stoughton Trailers sent me a copy of their flyer which they will be sharing publicly over the next few months — announcing the wonderful news that Terry Rivet and his passenger, Mark Robinson, survived a truck crash, on March 2, 2017 in New York, because the improved rear underride guard on the new Stoughton trailer stopped their car from going under the trailer, thus preventing an underride tragedy!

At least 3 people injured in pileup on NYS Thruway in Warners, By Samantha House | shouse@syracuse.com on March 02, 2017 at 1:46 PM, updated March 02, 2017 at 4:38 PM

I Survived Because Of Stoughton

Stoughton Offers Retrofit Kit For New Rear Impact Guard

I just received an email from Stoughton Trailers’ Product Brand Manager.  She has begun advertising their new rear impact guard Retrofit Kit (at about $500-$600) and is already getting inquiries.


Think of the lives which could be saved by this! It has brought tears to my eyes.

2 Moms Collaborate With Innovative & Insightful Truck Industry Leaders

After two full days of attending the ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council conference in Nashville, I am having a hard time figuring out what to talk about first.

It has been very good to spend that time with Lois Durso, a mom who also lost a daughter to truck (side) underride. We first began talking on the phone a couple of weeks ago and planned to meet at the conference. Having a bond of similar grief, we have talked almost non-stop — both about our daughters as well as strategies for truck safety.

In fact, we were both guests of Stoughton Trailers at the conference and they asked me to share our family’s crash story and the safety advocacy which followed, as well as our appreciation of how Stoughton stepped up and voluntarily improved their rear impact guard and are able to offer it as standard on all new dry van trailers — at no added cost or weight penalty to their customers.

Gary Fenton, VP Engineering, Stoughton Trailers, Marianne Karth, Bob Wahlin, CEO Stoughton Trailers

I received a wonderful surprise this morning when I unexpectedly found out that Stoughton now has a rear impact guard (RIG) retrofit kit available for purchase to install as a replacement on all existing (compatible) Stoughton trailers, as far back as 2007. I talked with the Products manager and she roughly estimated the cost to trailer owners to be around $500-600.

I am not indicating that Stoughton’s new RIG is necessarily better than any of the other manufacturers who have also stepped up to the plate and designed rear guards to receive the Toughguard award. But I am commending them for making the safety of the driving public a priority.  In fact, I do not have specific crash test information to rate one new design compared to the others.  At the end of the day, Jerry and I are thankful to the many persons and companies which have helped to bring about this progress in underride protection.

We will continue to advocate for the strongest possible underride protection on all trucks. That, of course, includes side underride protection, which Lois and I discussed with many industry leaders this week. It also means that Single Unit Trucks still need to be addressed, along with front override, retrofitting, maintenance, and identifying the outer limits of underride protection.

We are not done yet. They haven’t seen the last of us. We’ve got more lives to save.

Lois Durso, Dick Giromini, CEO of Wabash Trailers, Marianne Karth

Stay tuned for news from IIHS on trailer manufacturer underride protection awards.

Update: IIHS announcement at 10 a.m. on March 1; Trucks.com article: Insurance Institute Launches New Safety Ranking of Truck Trailers

Other articles covering this story:

  1. Trucks.com article: Insurance Institute Launches New Safety Ranking of Truck Trailers
  2. Today’s Trucking article on the Stoughton Press Conference: Activist applauds Stoughton for tougher guards
  3. Trucknews.comStoughton improves rear impact guard
  4. Fleetowner.com: New refrigerated model on the way from Stoughton Trailers
  5. Truckinginfo.com: Stoughton Underride Guard Earns Kudos from Crash Survivor, Insurance Institute

Thank you, IIHS for your commitment to this crash testing project, which has highlighted the continuing underride problem and guided the way to a solution. Thank you, as well, to the trailer manufacturers who have voluntarily improved the rear underride protection on the trailers which they produce and sell (and/or lease).

Here is a Youtube video, posted by Cars-Trucks TV, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the improved rear underride guards designed by five of the major trailer manufacturers — Great Dane, Manac, Stoughton, Vanguard, and Wabash — from 2013 to 2017.
They have proven that creative minds can come up with better underride protection. The cars are damaged from the crash, but underride is prevented and lives are preserved.

Trucking co. responds to dad’s plea to only use safe trucks: “Your request is not falling on deaf ears”

Today, I was taken by surprise when I got a phone call from Clifton Parker, President/CEO of G & P Trucking Company. He was responding to the letter which a bereaved dad (Jerry) sent to him — asking him to make sure that the trailers, which his company uses, have the strongest possible rear underride guards.

First of all, Mr. Parker told me how sorry he was about our loss of AnnaLeah and Mary. Then he told me several times how the letter had impacted him and how he wanted us to know that our appeal was not falling on deaf ears.

He then told me in great depth how in the last 24 hours since he received our letter, he had made the decision to send back the trailers which they had been renting from the companies which have not yet voluntarily stepped up and improved their rear underride guards. He had gone out in his yard and looked at the trailers and intends to follow-through and have his company figure out which trailers could be retrofitted to get stronger rear underride guards, including trailers with damaged guards — as well as making sure that new purchases have safer rear underride guards.

Jerry has written letters to trucking companies in the past with good results. Recently, he decided that it was time to contact some more companies. When we were traveling, we started making note of trailers produced by the four major manufacturers, who have not yet voluntarily stepped up to the challenge to offer better rear underride guards–Great Dane, Hyundai, Strick, and Utility. We would also write down the name of the trucking company (on the tractor) which was pulling that trailer and then we wrote them a letter.

Here is the letter which we sent to Clifton Parker earlier this week), Letter to G & P Trucking 2017 ,

including this excerpt:

We have been told that the initial correspondence which we sent, in early 2014, to the major trailer manufacturers, as well as to transport companies like Crete Carrier, has spurred three of the eight major trailer manufacturers—Wabash, Vanguard, and Stoughton—to design a new underride guard which surpasses the present U.S. and Canadian standards. A fourth, Manac, had already improved their guard a short time before our fatal underride crash. . .

We have observed that G & P Trucking is utilizing 1,500 trailers – at least some of them from Utility, who has not yet stepped up to the new de facto standards that are now in existence for the underride guard. This leaves your company in the position of having a liability exposure due to the trailers which you are presently utilizing. We are writing to encourage you to consider replacing your fleet of trailers from one of the four companies, who have voluntarily upgraded their trailers to safer standards.

Along with the letter, we included a hard copy of the IIHS Status Report which reported on our crash and on the weakness which IIHS had found in the current federal regulations for rear underride guards.

I cannot adequately describe to you what it meant to me to have Mr. Parker express his reaction and resulting actions upon reading the letter from our family — and to take the time to call us. He encouraged us to keep doing what we were doing, to keep making the industry safe.

If you would like to do join us in thanking Clifton Parker, you can write him at this address:

Clifton Parker, President
G & P Trucking
126 Access Road
Gaston, South Carolina 29053


And you can help us inform other trucking companies in the same way — because raising awareness seems to be making a big difference. Simply write down the manufacturer name on trailers which you see — like Great Dane, Hyundai, Strick, and Utility — and the name of the trucking company as marked on the tractor. Send that information to us at marianne@annaleahmary.com, or write to them yourself.

Roads Safer


Good news from Australia: A Stronger Rear Underride Guard Rule Has Been Proposed!

Yesterday, I received good news on underride rulemaking from the Australian front. George Rechnitzer and Raphael Grzebieta were able to impact Standards Australia to issue a proposed rear underride rule which will be much stronger than their current rule (and than U.S. underride rules) and which will require a crash test.

Comments will be accepted through June 22, 2016 on the proposed standard: STANDARDS AUSTRALIA Rear Underride Proposed Rule

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Mary would likely get excited!

The following is the letter which I received from Raphael Grzebieta, as well as the letter which he received from Standards Australia:

Hi Marianne,

Great news! Our Australian/New Zealand National Standard is now out for public comment before it is ratified as a standard for regulators (DOTs) and others in Australia and New Zealand.

We will be the first kids on the planet releasing such a standard that demands a crash test for an underrun barrier fixed to the rear of a heavy truck.

It has taken more than a quarter of a century (and many horrific deaths) but George and I have finally done it at last. We got it into the Standard.

There was some resistance by one of the DOTs but after some strong persuasion (by me and other DOTs, particularly NZ) at a couple of key Standards Committee meetings, all DOTs are on board with it now.

See attached – Section 7 and Appendix G.

Any one of you (and others – please email it out) are of course most welcome to submit a comment to Standards Australia. Good comments I hope.

All the best.

Kind Regards


Raphael Grzebieta PhD (Professor, Road Safety)

Australian Naturalistic Driver Study, Lead Chief Investigator

The letter to Raphael from Standards Australia:

Dear Raphael Grzebieta,

Please note that the following draft is open for public comment:

Draft Number:

AS/NZS 3845.2


Roadside safety systems and devices – Temporary work sites, bollards, light poles and sign supports

Project Committee:

CE-033 Road Safety Barrier Systems

Public Comment Closing Date:

22/06/2016 23:59

You can view the draft and any incoming comments here after entering your Standards Hub login details.

All comments are to be submitted on the Standards Hub. Follow the link above, login and select the “New Comment” button.

If you have any queries regarding the submission of comments, please contact us on the details given below or contact the relevant Project Manager.

Kind Regards
Standards Australia

Level 10, 20 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW 2000, GPO Box 476 Sydney NSW 2001
+61 2 9237 6171    FreeCall 1800 035 822  F +61 2 9237 6010  mail@standards.org.au

Standards Australia is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, recognised
by the Australian Government as the peak non-government Standards body in Australia. Standards Australia develops internationally aligned Australian Standards® that deliver Net Benefit to Australia and is the Australian member of ISO and IEC,
Standards Australia is the Principal Sponsor of the Australian International Design Awards www.designawards.com.au

Recently-Submitted Public Comments Posted as Underride Rulemaking Process Continues

Underride NPRM screenshot 007

With the formal Public Comment period on the rear underride rulemaking for trailers now closed, recently-submitted comments have been posted and can be viewed at these links:

Notifications from Regulations.gov

The link to the Proposed Rule is here:
DOCKET:            NHTSA-2015-0118 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;dct=FR+PR+N+O+SR;rpp=10;po=0;D=NHTSA-2015-0118)
FREQUENCY:        Daily
EXPIRES:          01/11/2017

The most recently-posted comments are individually listed here:
DOCUMENT ID:    NHTSA-2015-0118-0022 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0022)
POSTED DATE:    02/22/2016
DOCUMENT TITLE: Comment from Seven Hills Engineering, LLC.

DOCUMENT ID:    NHTSA-2015-0118-0023 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0023)
POSTED DATE:    02/22/2016
DOCUMENT TITLE: Comment from Randy Gates

DOCUMENT ID:    NHTSA-2015-0118-0024 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0024)
POSTED DATE:    02/22/2016
DOCUMENT TITLE: Comment from Jerry Karth

DOCUMENT ID:    NHTSA-2015-0118-0025 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0025)
POSTED DATE:    02/22/2016
DOCUMENT TITLE: Comment from Courtney Wood

DOCUMENT ID:    NHTSA-2015-0118-0026 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0026)
POSTED DATE:    02/22/2016
DOCUMENT TITLE: Comment from Marianne Karth

DOCUMENT ID:    NHTSA-2015-0118-0027 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0027)
POSTED DATE:    02/22/2016
DOCUMENT TITLE: Comment from Brian Vires

DOCUMENT ID:    NHTSA-2015-0118-0028 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0028)
POSTED DATE:    02/22/2016
DOCUMENT TITLE: Comment from Andy Young

DOCUMENT ID:    NHTSA-2015-0118-0029 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0029)
POSTED DATE:    02/22/2016
DOCUMENT TITLE: Comment from Erin Roth

DOCUMENT ID:    NHTSA-2015-0118-0030 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0030)
POSTED DATE:    02/22/2016
DOCUMENT TITLE: Comment from Peter Kurdock


Thank you, Wabash, for creating a safer truck rear underride guard!

Ted Scott, from the American Trucking Association, just emailed me with the news about the new rear underride guard design announced yesterday by Wabash (a trailer manufacturer).

The new rear impact guard is constructed of advanced high-strength steel. Its patent-pending design features two additional vertical posts and a longer, reinforced bumper tube, all of which are engineered to work together to absorb energy better and deflect rear impact at any point along the bumper. In addition, the new guard is fully galvanized to resist corrosion.  Wabash Debuts Rear Impact Guard Design for its Dry Van Trailers

Thank you, Wabash, for your commitment to safer trucks.

“Our work on the rear impact guard, and trailer performance in general, isn’t finished,” added Giromini. “Innovation is ongoing at Wabash National. We’re continually looking at ways to optimize total performance through engineering and the use of advanced materials in ways that make sense for our customers.”

I hope that means that they will also be looking at side guard and retrofitting solutions as well.

And thank you, J.B. Hunt, for already ordering 4,000 new trailers with the improved underride protection to put on our roads.

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Public Comment Period Now Open for Proposed Rule for Rear Underride Guards on Trailers

Comments can now be submitted on NHTSA’s proposed rule for rear impact guards and rear impact protection on trailers. The Public Comment period will end on February 16, 2016.

More information on this rule and how to submit comments can be found here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA_FRDOC_0001-1548

IIHS October 2014 Status Report Article First Page

article can be found at: IIHS Status Report October 2014

It is our hope that public comments on this rule, and the Underride Roundtable planned for May 5, 2016, will result in the best possible protection on the backs of trucks. Please pray for this important process.