This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Welding Complaints Tracks Welding Complaints By Kendra Fritz, NATM Assistant Director

NATM has, over the course of the last couple of years, and with more frequency in the last six months, received complaints regarding the weld quality of member trailers. While the issue of weld quality is not part of the NATM Compliance Verifi cation Program nor regulated by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), NATM wants to ensure its members are aware of consumer needs and issues.

Furthermore, NATM recently achieved ISO 17020:2012 accreditation for its compliance verifi cation program. One requirement of this standard is that NATM track all complaints, undergo analysis to determine if follow-up action is necessary and carry out any such action deemed appropriate. Due to the frequency of weld complaints, it was determined that NATM should notify members of this trend.

Weld failures are the most frequent complaint NATM receives from end users. The Association and its technical staff are aware that this will always be the most common complaint as weld failures are part of trailer usage due to constant fl exing and movement. These issues are exacerbated by road conditions (smooth blacktop versus gravel back roads), overloading, and incorrect distribution of the load, all of which contribute to stress on welds, and all of which are outside the control of the manufacturer.

However, there are instances when the contributing factors to weld failure are within the control of the manufacturer such as the penetration of the weld not being deep enough, poor product design, and incorrect welds.

NATM members are committed to making safe trailers and recommit to this with every dues payment and compliance consultation. Although welding is not a part of the consultation process and is not federally regulated by FMVSS, NATM wants its members to be aware of potential issues facing the industry. This past February at the annual Convention & Trade Show NATM featured the workshops, “Fatigue of Welded Connections” and “Listen to the Steel: Learning from Failures” by Dr. Duane Miller, Sc.D., P.E. who has been awarded the Silver Quill Award of the American Welding Society and is an expert in his fi eld.

NATM has also published a number of Tracks articles covering this topic which are available online. Below is a list of recent articles featured in NATM’s magazine:

30 November/December 2015

• Basic Welding Information Systems Drive Continuous Improvement – July/August 2015

• Eight Tips for Effective Grinding – March/April 2015

• Three Optional Techniques for Beveling – May/June 2015

• Aluminum MIG Welding Repairs: Process Options, Techniques and More – Jan./Feb. 2014

• What You Should Know about Shielding Gas – March/ April 2014

• Weld Fume Source Capture: Understanding the Options and Advancements in Technologies – May/June 2014

• Aluminum Welding Made Easier with the Right System, Filler Metal – Sept./Oct. 2014

• Troubleshooting Weld Defects – Nov./Dec. 2014

• Choosing the Right Aluminum Filler Alloy – Nov./Dec. 2014

NATM is continuously looking for ways to provide added value to members. If there is information on welding (or any other topic) that you would like to see an article, workshop, or other educational session cover, please do not hesitate to contact NATM.

It is important to note that any consumer complaint received about a member is always relayed to the member company immediately and confi dentially. It is the policy of NATM not to mediate complaints between members and consumers, but only ensure the company is aware of the issue being presented. Any issue pertaining to the requirements of the Compliance Verifi cation Program are handled in very specifi c and well documented manner. Consumers are required to provide photographs and identifying information in order to determine a possible compliance issue. However, NATM acts in accordance with its confi dentiality policy, and never reveals to the consumer or any third party whether the complaint contains a compliance violation. Consumers are provided other avenues for follow-up such as contacting the member manufacturer or, but NATM is not able to confi rm a violation. Should the evidence suggest that the trailer has failed an item that is on the compliance checklist, NATM works with the member manufacturer in accordance with the Compliance Verifi cation Program Policies and Procedures.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68