When the used trailer got delivered to Aaron Kiefer for his crash test, he noticed that the rear underride guard was damaged. As soon as he told me that, and that after the test he might rent the trailer out to drivers, I said, “I don’t want that trailer out on the road unless the guard is repaired!” No way do I want to knowingly put someone at risk!
Of course, that meant that I was about to embark that morning on an unexpected adventure. . .
Never in a million years did I expect to be 61 years old and driving around Raleigh to a truck parts store where, for $125, I purchased a “bumper tube” — they didn’t know what I meant when I asked for a horizontal bar for a rear underride guard for a trailer. I guess, many in the industry (like the driving public) don’t realize that the “bumper” on the back of a semi-trailer isn’t just to protect the truck from bumping into loading docks.
No, that replacement tube/bar has a label which clearly says:
Failure to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act Standards FMVSS 223/224 (US) or FMVSS 223 (Canada) could result in injury to occupants of another vehicle in the event of a rear end collision with the trailer which, if not avoided, could result in death or serious injury.
Yet, how many trailers are out on the road with rear underride guards in a state of disrepair — like this one was — and not adhering to the FMVSS requirement to keep the guard in a like-new condition so that it is not weakened and lead to an untimely death or life-altering injury?
Enforcement of Proper Maintenance of Truck Underride Guards.pdf
And, by the way, why on earth doesn’t the replacement bar come with the reflective tape on it which they are required by law to have on the guard (so that other vehicles have a better chance of noticing them)?
Here’s the damaged guard:
Here it is after Aaron replaced the horizontal bar with the new bumper tube which I picked up in my Yukon and delivered to where the crash test trailer is awaiting the installation of a side guard for its January 20, 2017, crash test:
As it is, the current federal rear underride guard federal standard only requires a weaker-than-technologically-possible protective device. Couldn’t the industry at least maintain the existing guards in the best possible condition?
And, if they would please — when they do repair their guards — take the time to add Aaron’s newly-developed rear attachment to the outer edges to make their existing guard as strong as possible, I would really appreciate it!
Partner With Us To Protect Vulnerable Victims of Underride Crashes Partner with us to bring about a crash test of Aaron Kiefer’s life-saving and innovative truck side/rear guard on January 20, 2017. We have thought of a way that you could participate in the production & testing of his latest professional-grade prototype.