US organisation advocates trailer safety

From the July 2019 issue.

The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) has reflected on the success of its recent national awareness campaign, which aims to educate end-users on trailer safety including towing practices and maintenance.

The 2019 Trailer Safety Week (TSW) was held 2-8 June in the US and was hosted by Lane Trailer, Midsota Manufacturing and NATM staff.

NATM stated that TSW featured two events at Lane Trailer Mfg. Co. in Boone, IA and Midsota Manufacturing in Albany, MN on 7 June. Attendees included consumers, trailer dealers, government officials, state troopers and DOT 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 via Lane Trailer. In working with the grounds keeping crew using those trailers and local clubs, Lane used the event to teach both university employees and students about safe trailering practices.

Representatives from Iowa State University were said to be very interested in the trailer safety resources available, like NATM’s Towing Safety brochures. These materials bolstered presentations by Colin Holthaus, NATM Technical Director, and Lane Trailer. Lane brought a trailer into the showroom for the presentation, pointing out safety features and allowing for attendees to ask questions using the actual trailer for demonstration.

NATM Technical Director, Colin Holthaus, was thrilled with event turnout.

"It was great to see the local community at Iowa State turnout for this event," he 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.

"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.”

Midsota co-owner and NATM Board Member, Joel Bauer said: "As a company, we are committed to safety in our facility and for the trailers we manufacture. We thought it is essential we get on board with the national event to promote trailer safety".

Midsota’s event featured local and national legislators and staff. Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-6) spoke of the importance of safety and recognised that trailering is not simply loading, hitching and taking off but executing safe trailering practices correctly. The impact of compliant trailers and safe towing practices is not limited to the trailer owner.

“It’s not only the $50,000 [USD] investment in the motorcycle or the load on the trailer – it’s everyone on the road,” said Congressman Emmer. Emmer previously toured the Midsota facility in May of 2018 after the company was named St. Cloud Area Small Business Owners of the Year.

Newly-elected State Representative Lisa Demuth of Minnesota’s District 13A also spoke to attendees about the important role that companies such as Midsota play on the local economy. Eric Sundby of the Minnesota State Patrol gave a highly popular and well received presentation on what is looked for during a DOT trailer inspection and driver CDL requirements followed by a Q&A session.

Midsota co-owner Joel Bauer and NATM Executive Director Kendra Ansley gave presentations about the company’s and NATM’s dedication to trailer safety and audience made up of end-users, business owners, trailer dealers.

After the presentations, Midsota offered plant tours of the facility and served lunch. Multiple informational tables were set up for attendees including U-Haul with their popular Trailer Demonstrator; Lippert Axles; NTI Tires; NATM and Midsota.

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