At Camco Wheel & Axle, our top priority isn’t just to provide our clients with the best fabrication and utility trailer customization services in the Rio Grande Valley, but to ensure their safety for you and your team members. In order to accomplish this goal, it is vital that fleet managers and your personnel are aware of some of the safety guidelines established by the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers.
These are relatively simple changes or additions that can be made without much of a hassle but which can keep your workers and other drivers on the road safe.
The guidelines focus on safety standards, the proper use of safety equipment, and certain administrative requirements. They are as follows:
1. Record keeping is a safety priority.
The administrative system that you have in place to maintain your records is vital to meeting safety standards. A few of the most important aspects of recordkeeping trailer manufacturers should follow include:
- Keeping complete records of each unit made including VIN number.
- Up-to-date information provided to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Record keeping of trailer parts including data.
- A system to assign Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings.
Record keeping helps to ensure that the utility trailer you are using has been properly made following the strictest of protocols.
2. Meeting equipment safety standards is a must.
There are a number of utility trailer accessories and parts that need to meet safety standards including:
- Commercially used utility trailers must meet federal brake standards.
- Hydraulic braking systems must use DOT approved hoses.
- Emergency breakaway systems must be able to hold the brakes in place for a minimum of 15 minutes.
- Proper tire records must be maintained.
- Safety chains and/or cables must be properly used.
Equipment safety should be a number one priority and is highly regarded by NATM.
3. Lighting standards.
In order to meet the NATM safety guidelines, you will need to have a number of lighting lamps and reflectors, depending on the size of your trailer. Generally, you will need:
- Tail lamps
- Rear turn lamps
- License plate lamps
- Rear side marker lamp
- Front side marker lamps
- Stop lamps
- Rear side reflex reflectors
- Front side reflex reflectors
Trailers longer than 30 feet in length require:
- Intermediate side reflex reflectors
- Intermediate side marker lights
Utility trailers wider than 80 feet in length require:
- Rear clearance lamps
- Front clearance lamps
- Rear identification lamps
4. Conspicuity (reflective) tape.
Reflective tape is required for utility trailers 80 inches in width or wider and 10,001 lbs. GVWR or larger. This tape should be placed at numerous strategic locations on your bumper and frame including:
- The rear of the trailer, closer to the top and as far left and right as possible.
- 2 inch horizontal red and white tape strips should be placed continuously along the full width of the trailer.
- Tape should be placed continually across the rear bumper or underride guard.
Camco Wheel & Axle is ready to provide you with the best commercial vehicle utility trailer parts and upfitting services so that you can meet industry safety standards.
There’s a reason Camco Wheel & Axle has been a trusted supplier of utility trailer accessories and maintenance services for over 30 years. We stock a wide variety of utility trailer parts to meet the needs of our diverse clientele in the McAllen metro area and the greater Rio Grande Valley.
Contact us today at (956) 781-4800 to find out more about our services and how we can meet your commercial vehicle needs.