An agreement has reached between United States trailer manufacturers represented by their local dealers and Mexican trailer manufacturers regarding standards that became effective Dec. 24, 2003.
The agreement, designed to give US manufacturers time to meet the standards, has been officially accepted by the authorities and was published in the Official Gazette on March 4, according to Salvador Saavedra, a trailer manufacturing consultant in Mexico who also is a representative for Canada's KG Industries from Canada, a distributor for Trucklite.
This agreement includes the following main changes:
-- Trailers produced between December 1, 2003, and May 1, 2004, do not have to meet the requirements of the standard.
-- Axles and suspensions (spring or air ride) should have a minimum rating of 25,000 lbs; axle thickness is not restricted.
-- Minimum GVWR for tandem axle semitrailers must be 72,900 lb.
-- Air brake tanks should be eight times the service chambers; additional air requirements to be assured by trailer manufacturer.
--- Supply air brake tubing is to be 1/2" minimum; control line is to be 3/8" minimum.
Saavedra said negotiations for the definitive standard continue.
On Dec. 23, the NOM-EM-010-SCFI-2003 "Safety Requirements for Trailers and semitrailers" was published in the Diario Oficial (Official Gazette), effective December 24.
For the first time in Mexico, a standard sets the safety requirements that this equipment must comply with. Previously, there were standards for tires, conspicuity tapes, and weights and dimensions, but none for trailers, including brakes, lights, etc.
Saavedra says that before NAFTA, a permit from the Commerce Department in Mexico was needed to import trailers. As NAFTA was negotiated, it was agreed that no permits would be needed to import new trailers starting in 1995 and the same would apply to used trailers starting in 2004. Trailers manufactured in the US for the Mexican market after 1995 were designed and built strong enough for the tougher Mexican conditions.
He says that as a result of these differences, a trailer built for Mexico is heavier and may carry much more payload than a similar one for the US market. In 2001, the Mexican trailer manufacturers associated with the CANACINTRA (Mexico's National Association of Manufacturers) started the procedures to promote a standard for trailer safety.