New Standards for ICC bars
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published new standards requiring rear impact guards (ICC bars) on new trailers to meet size location and performance criteria, and to be certified at the time of manufacture.
While the new standards are effective for trailers built after January, 1998, many trailer manufacturers have already changed their designs, and about 1/4 of semi trailers on the road today have newer style,stronger rear impact guards. Although the primary purpose of the new standards is to reduce the chance of death or serious injury if an automobile collides with the rear end of a trailer, conforming rear impact guards also provide distinct safety advantages for loading dock operations equipped with vehicle restraints.
1. STRONGER REAR IMPACT GUARDS
Trailers will be less likely to be able to separate from the dock even if the truck driver ignores communication signals and attempts to pull out when a vehicle restraint is engaged. Damage to rear impact guards is much less likely. Preliminary survey results indicate the new rear impact guards to be five to ten times less susceptible to damage than typical “old” designs. If damage does occur, the Federal Highway Vehicle Administration is likely to require repair of the guards,ensuring their continued strength and integrity in protecting against unscheduled departure.
2. MORE UNIFORM SIZE AND LOCATION OF REAR IMPACT GUARDS
Fewer “odd-ball” rear impact guard designs will reduce the incidence of difficult or ineffective trailer restraint engagement. Percentage of restrainable over-the-road trailers is likely to increase over the historic 95-98% rate.
These guidelines mean trailer restraints will be more effective at your loading dock.
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