Wabash National Corporation announced it will introduce a new rear impact guard design option for its 53-ft. dry van trailers at the American Trucking Assns.’ (ATA) Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) annual meeting in Nashville, TN. The RIG-16 Rear Underride Guard System is engineered to prevent underride in multiple offset, or overlap, impact scenarios, according to the company.
“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 high-strength steel, and its 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, according to Wabash. The company added that 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 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, Wabash said.
“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,” Giromini added. “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.”