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Averitt - ERM
A.D. Transport - SR
A.D. Transport Express
Ace Hardware
American Central Transport
American Central Transport - CD
Anderson Trucking Service (ATS)
Anderson Trucking Service - SR
Anderson Trucking Services
Atlas Van Lines
Averitt - DAP PT
Averitt - DSS
Averitt - HIL PT
Averitt - Shoe Carnival Flex
Averitt Express, Inc.
Barber Trucking
Barr-Nunn Transportation - Company Drivers
Barr-Nunn Transportation - OTR Solo
Barr-Nunn Transportation - Teams
Barr-Nunn Transportation Established Teams
Barr-Nunn Transportation OTR & Regional
Basin Transportation
Bay & Bay Transportation - CD
Bengal Transportation
Bennett Motor Express
Big M Transport
Blair Logistics - LP
Blair Logistics Inc
Boyd Bros. Transportation, Inc. - SR
Butler Transport
Celadon Driving Academy
Celadon Specialized Fleet
Celadon Trucking - CD
Celadon Trucking - Flatbed
Central Oregon Trucking CO.
CFI - Student
CHS, Inc.
Clark Transfer
Covenant Transport
Cowan Lease Purchase
Cowan Lease Purchase S.R.
Crete Carrier Corp
Crete Carrier OTR
CRST Dedicated CAT
CRST Dedicated YRC
CRST Expedited
CRST Expedited - California
CRST Expedited Plus
CRST Malone
CRST Van Expedited
CRST Van Expedited Pro
Crum Trucking
Crum Trucking - SR
Dart Transit - Company Drivers
Dart Transit Company
Davis Express
Decker Truck Line, INC
Dedicated Delivery Professionals
Dynamic Foods
Dynamic Transit
E.L. Hollingsworth
Estenson Logistics
EW Wylie Corporation
Experior Transport
Fleetmaster Express, Inc.
Fort Transfer - Baton Rouge
Fort Transfer Mid-West
Fortrans Inc.
Forward Air Transportation Services
George Hildebrandt
George Hildebrandt - Canaan
Giltner Inc
Go-To Transport, Inc.
Groendyke Transport
Hartt Transportation Services North
Hartt Transportation Services South
Heritage Dedicated Services, Inc.
Hill Brothers
Hirschbach Motor Lines, Inc
Hobby Lobby
Hogan Transports
Hoge Motor Company
Hub Group Trucking
Hyway Trucking
Iowa 80
Island Transportation Corp.
Island Transportation Corp. Mechanic
J & R Schugel
J.B. Hunt Transport
K&B Transportation
Landstar Crosson
Logan Trucking
Loudon County Trucking
Magnum Express, Inc.
Marten Transport
Marten Transport - Regional/OTR
Maverick - Dewitt, IA
Maverick - Orangeburg, SC
Maverick Priority Division
Maverick Transportation
McCloskey International - Service Technician
McCloskey International - Technical Salesperson
McLane - Portland
McLane Cincinnati
McLane Cumberland
McLane Denver
McLane Findlay
McLane Oklahoma
Melton Truck Lines
Milan Supply Chains
Montgomery Transport
National Freight Inc
National Strategic Transportation
Noblehouse Home Furnishings
NTB Trucking
Olsen and Fielding Mayflower
Outwest Express LLC
P&S Transportation
Panther Premium Logistics - Cargo Vans
Panther Premium Logistics - Straight Truck
Panther Premium Logistics - Tractor-Trailer
Paschall Truck Lines - Lease
Paschall Truck Lines - Students
Penske Logistics Corporation
Perfect Timing Transportation
PGT Trucking, INC
Phenix Transportation
Poly Trucking Inc
Prime Inc.
Prime Inc. - SLC Technician
Prime, Inc. - Student
Professional Driver Agency
Quality Carriers - Tennessee
Quality Companies - Better Management Corp (BMC)
Quality Companies - Kelle's Transport Service (KTS)
Quality Companies - Zeitner & Sons (ZS)
Quality Custom Distribution - Florida
Quality Custom Distribution - North Carolina
Quality Custom Distribution - Virginia
Quest Global
Quest Global OO
R B Browns Trucking
R. E. Garrison
R.W. Earhart
RE Garrison-Birmingham
Red Classic Transit
Riechmann Transport
Roy Miller Freight Lines
Royal Express
RWI Transportation
Schneider National
Seaboard Transportation
Smith Systems Transportation
Smith Trucking
Southern Pines Trucking
Southern Refrigerated Transport
Southern Refrigerated Transport- Student
Star Transportation
State Tractor
Stevens Distributors
Summitt Trucking
Super Service Recruiting
Swift Transportation - Experienced
Swift Transportation - Recent Grads
Swift Transportation - Students
TGL Logistics
The Waggoners Trucking Company
Thomas Transportation
Thomas Transportation LLC
TransAm Trucking
Transcarrier Inc
Transco Lines, Inc.
Transport America
Tri-State Expedited
US Xpress - Student - SR
US Xpress - Dedicated
US Xpress - Experienced
US Xpress - Lease
US Xpress - PRO
US Xpress - Team
US Xpress OTR Regional Dedicated
Venezia Transport
Venezia Transport- LPG/ASP
Venture Logistics
Vernon Milling Company
Watkins & Shepard
Weinrich Truck Line, Inc
Wellborn Cabinet
Werner - Nationwide
Werner - Northeast
Werner Midwest
Werner Southeast
Werner West
West Side Transport
West Side Transport - Dedicated
Western Express CD
Western Express Company Driver
Western Express LP
Western Express Recent Grads & Students
Western Express Students
Whiteline Express
WTI Transport
Zeller LLC
Should Truckers be Required to Use Side Guards on Big Rigs? Should Truckers be Required to Use Side Guards on Big Rigs?
Should Truckers be Required to Use Side Guards on Big Rigs?
Written By
March 15th, 2017

As a truck driver you want to get to your destination safely, and you want others driving alongside you to be safe, as well. The last thing you want to happen is for a passenger car vehicle to slide up under your tractor-trailer, which often leads to a fatality. Yet this happens every day, resulting in hundreds of highway fatalities. What if there were safety devices that could prevent this from happening? Would you want to use them on your big rig? More importantly, is the federal government going to add the use of side guards to the growing list of regulations required by the truck driving industry?

Use of Side Guards for Safety

If you are a truck driver operating independently or as a company driver for companies like Bridger Transportation, Mercer Transportation, and RW Earhart, then your safe driving is your lifeline. Accidents and fatalities will cause you to get sidelined and possibly lose your CDL, as well as your truck driving jobs. Keeping your rig on the road is vital for everyone involved including the customers you are delivering to and for. So perhaps the use of side guards for safety isn’t such a bad idea. After all, side guards are used by almost all big rigs in Europe.

The application of a side guard involves plastic or fiberglass guards that are affixed to the backside of a big rig underneath each side of the trailer. These guards prevent cars from getting sideswiped when a semi makes a right turn, as well as due to under-ride collisions. In addition to cars getting hit by big trucks, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists are also susceptible to the dangers of the undercarriage of semi trailers. Adding these side guards along with reflective tape could help reduce such accidents and prevent deaths.

Cons of Side Guards

Yet there are several reasons why side guards are not put into action. According to the truck driving industry side guards aren’t cost effective. This could be due to a lack of US manufacturers of these safety devices for semis. Obviously they are being used in Europe, so somebody’s making these devices. Yet for the already burdened trucking industry this could be a main reason why getting side guards for the millions of US truck drivers is not feasible at this time.

Furthermore, these guards add dangerous weight to the trailer to which they are attached, while also weakening some areas of the trailer itself. For truckers who are already pushing their weight limits to the max to make more money, these guards cut into pay rates as well.

Additionally, the Department of Transportation has been considering the use of side guards since the 1960s. After all, if they can prevent nine of 10 fatalities due to collisions caused by under riding, this could be a major plus to trucker safety. So what’s the hold up here?

Federal Take on Side Guards for Semis

According to safety advocates side guards aren’t being used because there are truck driving company advocates that don’t want to use them, plain and simple. The cost of adding these guards to trucks, as well as the maintenance, is what’s holding up progress here. But is this true?

As we have seen time and time again, it doesn’t generally matter what kind of money needs to be spent on safety regulations and compliance. Take the latest industry regulation in the works, those electronic logging devices or ELDs. They are going to cost truckers and trucking companies thousands of dollars to get installed and to maintain ongoing. The cost isn’t a factor for this safety regulation, so surely it’s not the bottom line for why side guards aren’t being required.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s former leader Joan Claybrook states, “[Side guard use] would safe a lot of lives, but the trucking industry opposes it. The trucking industry gives a huge amount of money to members of Congress.” This is the case in many instances, such as the $731,500 sent to Chairman John Thune by the trucking industry over the last five years. But could this really be the reason why side guards aren’t being required by regulators?

The Trucking Alliance is one of the biggest trucking industry safety advocate groups out there. Their board does not mention side guards as part of the alliance’s mission statement. While e-logging devices and new truck driver safety training is included on their to-do list, they simply haven’t gotten around to pushing for side guards. This could be because the research hasn’t been done, or there may be a lack of quality and affordable vendors for side guards in the US.

If the safety advocate groups are interested in requiring side guards, it looks like they will have to form their own lobbyist groups to make headway in this regulatory request. At the same time, it’s not the greatest season to try to get new regulations passed given Trump’s promise to deregulate industries across the board.

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