Photo from SMMT
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Trailer coupling: How to improve safety

March 17, 2016

What can be done to couple and uncouple trailers more safely?  An upcoming publication will offer guidance. 

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) working group involving the UK-based Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), other trade associations, trade unions, traffic commissioners and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), is about to release new guidance on safe trailer coupling and uncoupling procedures.

One of several new recommendations is that there should be a standard position on semi-trailers for the park-brake valve, making it easier for drivers to locate. It is recommended that the valve should be mounted on the nearside front of the chassis side-member, forward of the trailer landing legs.

The UK has been reporting a high number of accidents and incidents involving truck and trailer runaways.  The study also indicates that many drivers simply do not understand how trailer parking brakes work.  One central conclusion of the by the UK’s Health and Safety Laboratory research is that failure to apply the tractive unit and/or trailer parking brakes is the primary cause of runaway incidents.

The new, free HSE guidance will replace a similar publication dating back to 2006 and will focus more on driver training, including a pictorial guide to the safest trailer coupling and uncoupling procedures.

For details, click here.