Creating Safer Trailers And Roadways

For trailer manufacturers that are members of the NATM, there is a mandatory program called CVP (compliance verification program). It is geared toward creating safer roadways by involving multiple components that create safer trailers.

What Is the NATM?

Those letters stand for the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers. It is a trade association for suppliers of services and products to the trailer industry involving light and medium trailers; as well as for manufacturers of medium-duty and light-duty trailers. Through advocacy and education, they promote the success of the trailer manufacturing industry and safety.

Their value statement promises that they will lead with honesty and integrity. They will promote compliance with recommended practices, industry standards, and regulations. They will proactively represent the needs of the medium-duty trailer and light-duty trailer manufacturing industry. They encourage and promote towing and trailer safety to end-users, dealers, and manufacturers. And they assist members in achieving verified compliance through tools, benefits, resources, and valuable education.

To Start With – The Guidelines

These guidelines are, of course, just the beginning of the program. They are basicallyindustry best practices, regulations, and federal motor vehicle safety standards all compiled into one place. This provides easy access to federal regulations and reference materials with which manufacturers of trailers must comply. In addition to these guidelines, technical support is offered to further and assist with understanding. Trailer construction and the complex regulations that apply to it can be difficult to comprehend at times.

Independent, Third-Party Consultation

One of the program’s key components is an NATM independent third-party who conducts consultations and is knowledgeable regarding requirements. The following are some of the items that consultations can include:

  • based on industry best practices, various recommendations are provided/included
  • for trailers 10,001 pounds GVWR or more, and trailers 80 inches in width or more, conspicuity tape as required
  • required lighting for trailers including the following: trailers under 80 inches in width, trailers 80 inches in width or wider, trailers under 30 feet in length, and trailers 30 feet in length or more
  • safety standards including rear under ride, emergency breakaway systems, brakes, safety cables or chains
  • administrative issues including the following:owner’s manuals, Vin labels, record keeping (early warning reporting, tires, etc.), current NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) information, WMI number

NATM compliance decals can be purchased for and displayed on trailers once the manufacturer/member has completed (successfully) the compliance consultation. These decals are affixed to the frame of the trailer and designate that not only is the manufacturer of this trailer an NATM member, but that they have successfully completed the compliance program.

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