The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) declared the recently completed 2019 Trailer Safety Week, a national awareness campaign featuring onsite events hosted by Lane Trailer and Midsota Manufacturing, a success.
The event went off “without a hitch” June 2-8, NATM said, thanks to its allies and hard-working staff.
“NATM and our members work really hard at trailer safety and to see that paying off in discussions with end-users was great to experience,” said Colin Holthaus, NATM’s technical director.
Lane Trailer and Midsota hosted events June 7 for consumers, trailer dealers, government officials, state troopers and US Department of Transportation representatives. Both events featured U-Haul’s trailer demonstrator, an interactive module wherein a car, towing a trailer on an elevated treadmill track, is loaded with weights to show the dangers of improper loading and trailer sway.
Lane Trailer focused its efforts on reaching out to the local university, Iowa State. All trailers used by Iowa State undergo annual DOT inspections through Lane Trailer. In working with the groundskeeping crew using those trailers and local clubs, Lane taught university employees and students about safe trailering practices.
Representatives from Iowa State were very interested in trailer safety resources, like NATM’s Towing Safety brochures, which complimented presentations by Holthaus and Lane Trailer.
“It was great to see the local community at Iowa State turnout for this event,” Holthaus said. “This was a new population of attendees, everyday trailer users, and it was great to be able to spread trailer safety awareness. It was also neat to talk directly to consumers about the work my compliance team and NATM does by partnering with companies like Lane Trailers in helping companies build compliant, safe trailers.”
Midsota’s event featured local and national legislators and staff.
“As a company, we are committed to safety in our facility and for the trailers we manufacture,” said Joel Bauer, Midsota co-owner and NATM board member. “We thought it is essential we get on board with the national event to promote trailer safety.”
Rep Tom Emmer, a Republican from Minnesota, spoke of the importance of safety, and recognized that trailering is not simply loading, hitching and taking off, but executing safe trailering practices correctly.
“It’s not only the $50,000 investment in the motorcycle or the load on the trailer—it’s everyone on the road,” said Emmer, who previously toured the Midsota facility in May 2018 after the company was named St. Cloud Area Small Business Owners of the Year.
Rep Lisa Demuth, another Minnesota Republican, also spoke about the important role companies such as Midsota play in the local economy, and Eric Sundby of the Minnesota State Patrol gave a presentation about what officers look for during DOT trailer inspections and driver CDL requirements.
Bauer and Kendra Ansley, NATM’s executive director, talked about NATM’s dedication to trailer safety, and the audience of end-users, business owners, trailer dealers and community members were directed to various safety resources.
After the presentations, Midsota provided plant tours, and tables were set up with information from U-Haul, Lippert Axles, NTI Tires, NATM and Midsota.
In addition to the two events, Trailer Safety Week enjoyed “enormous” growth with online participation, NATM said. Allies, ranging from police departments and insurance companies to trailer manufacturers, suppliers and dealers, utilized the TSW communications kit, which is full of pre-crafted marketing materials to communicate the importance of trailer safety, helping generate awareness and drive traffic to trailersafetyweek.com.
Through the #TrailerSafetyWeek social media campaign, and with the help of more than 150 TSW allies, the importance of safe trailering reached thousands across several social media channels, NATM said. In addition, NATM created several #TrailerTipOfTheDay informative videos featuring the NATM compliance team sharing trailering tips every trailer user should know, and reached more than 16,000 people on Facebook. TSW allies’ efforts led nearly 500 new visitors to trailersafetyweek.com throughout the week.
“The National Trailer Safety Week was once again a huge success thanks to the support of NATM members across the country,” Ansley said. “NATM is already looking for new ways to further expand the reach of our efforts next year. Various companies in the trailer industry are regularly contacting the association to learn more about participating and the staff is using this momentum and excitement to begin planning for next year’s Trailer Safety Week that will be held June 1-6, 2020.
“We are encouraging all types of members to participate as much as they would like. Suppliers and trailer manufacturers can share the event’s logo and resources as Trailer Safety Week allies, or even host an event.”