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CTEA Meeting Challenge of Compliance

With Growing List of Vehicle Regulations, the challenge of compliance with a growing list of vehicle safety regulations was the big topic of discussion at the annual meeting and manufacturers' conference of the Canadian Transportation Equipment Association (CTEA). It was held October 18 and 19 at the Radisson Hotel des Gouverneurs in Montreal, Quebec.

CTEA President Eddy Tschirhart announced the successful completion of the Generic Rear Impact Guard project. The final report was issued as a CD (compact disk) to stakeholders in the project so that they can better use it in designing and manufacturing their trailers (see previous article).

"Two major US trade associations (The Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations and the National Truck Equipment Association) are included in our investor group," said CTEA President Tschirhart. "These breakthrough strategic alliances are evidence of a growing spirit of cooperation for the common good of our industry."

On an issue close to the heart of platform trailer manufacturers, Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 905 came into effect on September 1, 1999. "This made-in-Canada regulation requires the certification of trailer cargo anchoring devices to meet a minimum strength requirement," said Tschirhart. "The CTEA played an important role in developing this regulation and specifically in negotiating the 2,268 kg (5,000 lb) working load limit standard."

Load Securing Devices Test method 905 for Trailer Cargo Anchoring Devices requires that stake pockets, webbing winch assemblies, and D-rings or similar load-securing devices each must withstand a vertical force of 67,000 N (15,056 lb) for 15 seconds without failure. This "breaking strength" test of a tie-down component assures a "working load limit" (WLL) of one-third or 2,268 kg (5,000 lb). The Department of Transport conducts its compliance tests on completed trailers. Post-test deformation of a cargo anchoring device and the surrounding support structure is permitted as long as it does not fail during the breaking strength test.

"The self-certification process is alive and well in Canada," Tschirhart said. "Transport Canada conducts planned audits of vehicle manufacturing companies and expects to be provided with evidence of testing and engineering analysis when requested. An understanding of the CMVSS requirements, along with proper recordkeeping and evidence of quality control procedures within the manufacturing process, will help to assure a passing grade. A Red Tag Day in your shop is to be avoided at all costs.

Air Brake Compliance "The generic Trailer Air Brake Compliance program continues to provide a value-added benefit to our trailer manufacturing members," the CTEA president said. "As of today, 150 North American Trailer manufacturing members have invested in this program and are registered with Transport Canada. This program is estimated to have saved CTEA trailer manufacturers $5 million since its commencement.

"At present, the database holds approximately 60 axle/brake combinations. This joint venture has spawned other ideas. The Technical Committee on Brakes (TECB) is presently reviewing a formula for calculating the number of parking brakes required for various trailer configurations. The committee also is reviewing a new test procedure for CMVSS 121 that could demonstrate trailer certification to CMVSS/FMVSS 121 by combining the current brake certification test with a static brake test on a dynamometer.

"At the provincial level, the CTEA held direct meetings with the Ministry of Transport of Ontario with respect to proposed changes to vehicle weights and dimensions," Tschirhart said. "In part, the VW&D changes contain a requirement for new triaxle trailer configurations incorporating self-steering axles. This proposal is a reminder to manufacturers and suppliers that they must collaborate and be much more proactive in bringing forward new designs and concepts to our industry.

Avoid More Rulemaking "We must anticipate the issues and solve them in time to avoid more rulemaking," Tschirhart said. "In a letter of concern for our customers sent to the Ontario Minister of Transport, we predicted the proposed changes could create an estimated $400 million loss in the residual value of an estimated 10,000 triaxle units affected by a five-year weight reduction plan. Such changes have the potential to cause havoc in a market due to uncertainties they create. As a direct result of our concerns, the Ministry is taking a second look at dump trailer configurations.

"A long awaited breakthrough of special significance to trailer manufacturers is a provision that was added to the proposal at the request of the CTEA," Tschirhart added. "The Ministry agreed that 'any conversion of existing trailers must be done by a holder of a Transport Canada National Safety Mark or by a US manufacturer recognized by Transport Canada.'"

Tschirhart announced a 10% increase in CTEA membership in the past 12 months. "Over 300 companies have placed their confidence in this Association and its hands-on approach to problem solving." o

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