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NATM 5-year plan targets advocacy, education

June 6, 2023
The association is largely aiming to grow awareness of its brand and membership throughout the next three years

The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers board and staff have developed a new strategic plan for 2023-2026 which sets out four areas of focus for the association. (The version below has been edited for length. Visit for the complete plan.) 

Advocacy and Partnerships

The goal of Advocacy and Partnerships for the association is to promote and protect the light- and medium-duty trailer industry through key legislative and industry relationships.

Regulatory roundup, government affairs, and NHTSA: NATM will continue working with legislators and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on gathering additional funding for Trailer Safety Week. Further, through lobbying efforts and the Regulatory Roundup, NATM will seek to gain advocates for our industry on key external committees in Congress. NATM will also work to collaborate with state DOTs on understanding the value of the NATM Decal and what it means for trailer safety and compliance.

Read more: NATM's 35th Annual Convention set records

To achieve these goals, the association will work to increase member participation in grassroots efforts. NATM will explore legislative relationships in key states for our members. Further, NATM will work to establish a network of members in key states and actively work to build relationships between those members and their state-level legislators.

Industry alignment: NATM will work to build relationships with organizations like the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the RV Industry Association, and other relevant groups to identify current issues and determine opportunities where such associations may be able to collaborate and assist the industry as a whole.


NATM will provide the industry with access to educational resources and promote the production of safe trailers. In addition to this, NATM will work to increase dealer and end-user knowledge of NATM and provide those groups with accessible educational information about safely towing a trailer.

Industry access to educational information: NATM will work to build more repositories of educational resources that can be shared with members to assist in building safe trailers. NATM will engage subject matter experts who can provide educational webinars or presentations to members on areas of interest to the industry.

NATM will hire an Education Director, whose job will be to focus on expanding educational content offerings and work to build out the NATM Academy. The NATM Academy will assist members with training their staff on identified best practices in the industry and offer a resource library that can be used to store this information for on-demand viewing.

Increasing dealer, end-user knowledge of NATM: NATM will work with staff and members to generate educational content that is intended to assist end-users in safely towing their trailers. To achieve this goal, NATM will continue to collaborate with our Dealer Affiliate members and work to grow this network. NATM will provide resources to our Dealer Affiliates that can be shared with end-users. End-users will be encouraged to visit and view materials that are intended to provide best practices while towing a trailer. NATM also will work to make sure Dealer Affiliates and end-users have a better understanding of the association’s decal and what steps manufacturers must take in order to place the decal on members' trailers.

Decal awareness and growth

NATM will work to expand our dealer network and provide education on what our decal stands for, along with the process manufacturers must complete in order to display it on their trailers. The association will work to increase decal sales amongst the membership and seek to increase membership participation by providing more “value” in the decal. NATM will utilize compliance verification consultations to educate manufacturers and their interested employees on both NATM and the decal.

Through a collaboration with NATM’s Dealer Affiliates and members, dealers will seek out trailers featuring the decal as it will help ensure that the trailers they sell have had a third party verify the company has the processes in place to build trailers that meet the required Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. By increasing the understanding and awareness of the decal, NATM seeks to increase members participating in the decal program.

Cohesive Industry

NATM, with the assistance of the board and committees, will work to ensure we are the reputable resource of trailer information for consumers, trailer manufacturers, component suppliers, trailer dealers, OEM vehicle manufacturers, and regulators.

Industry participation growth: By continuing to expand our educational offerings, trailer safety information, and compliance programs to the entire industry, including end-users, NATM will continue to grow our membership in all areas. NATM will seek to engage non-members on the benefits of NATM and what we offer to the industry. NATM members will also work to bring their dealer networks into the Association’s Dealer Affiliate Program, this continued growth will assist in providing information to both dealers and end-users.

By having a cohesive and concerted message shared by members about the importance of trailer safety, brand awareness will grow, and NATM can continue to further its mission of promoting trailer safety and overall industry success.