Stoughton® Trailers New Rear Underride Guard Lauded Important for Safety
Stoughton® Trailers, a global leader in transportation equipment, stresses the safety aspect of its new Rear Underride Guard. The underride guard is designed to provide greater protection to the driving public in the event of an accident at the rear of the trailer.
On May 4, 2013, Marianne Karth was driving her full-size sedan when she was struck by a tractor-trailer, sending her car spinning backward into the rear of another tractor-trailer. The tractor-trailer’s rear underride guard could not withstand the crash and detached from the trailer, allowing Ms. Karth’s car to slide backward under the trailer. The trunk of the car went under the rear of the trailer at the outer edge, and the back of the trailer body entered the back seat of Ms. Karth’s car – killing Marianne’s 17-year-old daughter, AnnaLeah, instantly. Mary Lydia, her 13-year-old daughter, died a few days later from her critical injuries.
That tractor-trailer’s rear underride guard met the 1998 Federal underride standards. In 2011, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested underride guards of eight major trailer manufacturers. All of the underride guards tested met the Federal standards but none of them were able to stop underride on the outer edges. Subsequent IIHS testing performed in March 2013 – just two months before the Karth’s fatal crash – revealed that only one of the eight manufacturers had designed their guard to successfully prevent underride at the outer edges, known as a 30% offset crash.
Once the IIHS findings were published, Marianne began advocating for safer tractor-trailers. She even filed her own petition for improved underride rulemaking that went to the Department of Transportation (DOT) on May 5, 2014. In addition, her husband, Jerry began writing letters to trailer manufacturers and truck fleets, asking them to voluntarily upgrade their standards. 2,205 people died in underride crashes in the ten-year period ending in 20141.
At the same time, Stoughton Trailers began developing an improved rear underride guard that would provide underride protection at the outer edges of the rear end of a trailer. Together with the IIHS and the Truck Safety Coalition, the Karth’s helped organize an Underride Roundtable at the IIHS’s Vehicle Research Center on May 5, 2016. The event drew nearly 100 participants, including Stoughton Trailers, which introduced its newly designed rear underride guard to the public through a successful crash test during the Roundtable event.
Stoughton’s newly designed rear impact guard provides underride protection over the full width of the rear end of a trailer, without added weight to the trailer and at no additional cost to the customer. It is now a standard feature on all Stoughton dry van trailers. Upon learning of Stoughton’s decision to make this improved protection available on all of their new trailers, Marianne said, “Stoughton’s cooperative efforts to improve the performance of its rear impact guard demonstrates a genuine commitment to safety. Stoughton is to be commended for taking a significant leadership role in design and safety. In my opinion, many lives will be saved as a result of Stoughton’s efforts.”
Stoughton® Trailers New Dry Van Design Features
Stoughton® Trailers, a global leader in transportation equipment, introduces the latest design features for its Z-Plate® and Aluminum Sheet & Post Trailers.
Built to the highest quality standards in the industry, Stoughton has redesigned dry van components to reduce maintenance, to improve durability, to increase interior space and to be common or standard so they are interchangeable between the Z-Plate and the Aluminum Sheet & Post. Moving to standard components and parts allows for smaller parts inventory and provides more streamlined repair and maintenance flow.
Top Rail & Roof Bows Assembly
The new Top Rail design allows for the side-wall sheet to extend up behind the lower portion of the Top Rail to improve water shedding. By eliminating drilling holes in the Top Rail, we further improve water tightness.
The Roof Bows are now connected using a T-Bolt & Slot design. This allows replacement Roof Bows to be installed entirely on the inside of the trailer, reducing installation time and the need for exterior scaffolding. The Roof Bow is pushed up into position, making the replacement process cleaner. There is no caulk smearing, which occurs on competitive trailers where the Roof Bows have to rotate up over a flange.
Front Wall Assembly
Dry van corner posts and top corner castings are now common corner components, allowing them to be interchangeable, reducing the number of parts needed for trailer repair. In addition, the new design increases the Sheet & Post corner panel to .125 inch from its original .050-inch thickness. The casting profile overlaps with the Top Rail to provide improved fit and better water shed. The new corner posts create a square interior corner, allowing full-width cargo placement to extend to the front lining.
Z-Plate® Lower Rail
With our new Z-Plate® Lower Rail design, the lower rail is 3-½ inches taller, allowing rivets to be placed 3-½ inches higher. By moving the rivets away from the scrape zone, we have improved durability.
Our new Aluminum Side Rail & Scuff combination has been increased to a full 12-inch height. The scuff prevents damage from loading and unloading with no exposed attachments that loads can snag or tear out.
About Stoughton Trailers
Stoughton Trailers is a top 10 international supplier of semi-truck trailers. The Wisconsin-based, family owned company designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of dependable semi-truck trailers used for over-the-road trucking, as well as agricultural trailers and other specialty transportation equipment. It provides one-stop build, finance, rental and fleet management solutions through world-class responsiveness and design value. For more information, visit StoughtonTrailers.com.