Wabash National Corporation (NYSE: WNC) will introduce a new rear impact guard design option for its 53-foot dry van trailers at the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.
The RIG-16 Rear Underride Guard System is engineered to prevent underride in multiple offset, or overlap, impact scenarios.
“Safety is our number one value and priority, and we have a responsibility to our customers and the motoring public to continue to advance our trailer designs to new levels of performance,” said Dick Giromini, president and chief executive officer.
“We have been building our rear impact guards to exceed U.S. and Canadian standards since 2007, but we haven’t stopped there. For the past three years, we have spent considerable time, money and facility resources in R&D specifically focused on enhancing rear impact guard performance. As part of these efforts, we also consulted and worked with some of the premiere testing facilities in the country, and engaged in numerous crash tests, before releasing the RIG-16 Rear Underride Guard System. ”
The new rear impact guard is constructed of advanced high-strength steel. Its patent-pending design features two additional vertical posts and a longer, reinforced bumper tube, all of which are engineered to work together to absorb energy better and deflect rear impact at any point along the bumper. In addition, the new guard is fully galvanized to resist corrosion.
“Nothing is more important than safety, and I know our customers agree,” said Brent Yeagy, group president, Commercial Trailer Products. “After years of rigorous testing of various guard designs, we’re confident this new option will satisfy customers as just one of several ways we’re addressing road safety performance.”
J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., one of the largest transportation logistics companies in North America, recently ordered 4,000 Wabash National DuraPlate dry van trailers with the new rear impact guard. Production of the new J.B. Hunt units began in January.
“At J.B. Hunt, we value safety above all else,” said John Roberts, president and chief executive officer, J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. “We applaud Wabash National’s leadership and advancements in rear impact protection, and we’re proud to be the first fleet to specify the new rear impact guard design.”
Wabash National’s new rear impact guard is in a limited production phase currently and will ramp up during the next 18 months.
“Our work on the rear impact guard, and trailer performance in general, isn’t finished,” added Giromini. “Innovation is ongoing at Wabash National. We’re continually looking at ways to optimize total performance through engineering and the use of advanced materials in ways that make sense for our customers.”
“We believe strongly in safety leadership at Wabash National, and this is our latest contribution to industry innovations designed to address road safety,” Yeagy said. “But, while this rear impact guard demonstrates our commitment to impact protection, we believe collision avoidance is just as important.”
Wabash National was the first trailer manufacturer to design its own stop light system to enhance collision avoidance. The ID/Auxiliary stop light system, which works similarly to the auxiliary stop light system seen in vans and SUVs, includes rear ID lights at the top of the trailer that increase in brightness when the brakes are applied, giving motorists better visibility to truck/trailer braking.
For more information about Wabash National’s new rear impact guard, please visit Wabash-Trailers.com or contact Sean Kenney, vice president of sales, Commercial Trailer Products, at 765-771-5300.