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Headquarters Report Tracks

Headquarters Report By Pam Trusdale, NATM Executive Director

NATM staff members met with NHTSA offi cials in May and again in July. NATM wants to be proactive in addressing issues of concern to NHTSA to ensure NATM members are fully complying with all regulations governing trailer manufacturing. NHTSA identifi ed three priorities for collaboration: vehicle to vehicle communication and how that might impact trailers in the future, an un-researched but forthcoming component of the already existing communicat ion systems in passenger cars and trucking; the NATM Compliance Verifi cation Program; and improved consumer education.

As a result of these meetings, along with marketing committee goals, NATM has published a brochure entitled, “Safely Towing a Trailer.” Much of the information comes from the 2002 NHTSA brochure with the same title. Information in the brochure has been updated, including new photos and additional information and safety tips, including a pre-departure safety checklist. NATM hopes to distribute these to consumers primarily through manufacturers and dealers. The brochures were hugely successful at the NATDA trade show where more than 100 dealers signed up to receive them in the mail. The dealers expressed a dire need for providing consumers general maintenance and trailer use information and these brochures provided them with that opportunity. Small quantities will be provided free of charge and larger quantities (100 or more) are available for purchase at $25 per 100. Contact the NATM offi ce if you are interested in providing these educational brochures with your trailers.

Convention registration opened Sept. 1. Online registration is now available and the convention committee has a number of great promotions to help increase attendance. The early bird promotion offers big discounts to those trailer manufacturers who register early. Full registration for the convention (includes all events and the trade show, except golf) is $300. However, for those members who registered in September, it was only $100. The registration fee increases by $50 per month and on Jan. 1, 2016, registration will be at the full amount of $300. If you register early you can bring more people and benefi t from the educational workshops, technical forum and networking events. A new “speed networking” event has also been added to facilitate one-on-one meetings between trailer manufacturers

and suppliers. For more information on this event, turn to page 22. Participation is limited, so be sure to sign up early. Room rates at the host hotel South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa are $59 for week nights and $95 for the weekend. It’s easy to fl y into Las Vegas from almost anywhere, so with reduced registration and reasonable cost on rooms and fl ights, this is a convention every member should plan to attend.

Fall is the time when members can volunteer for committee assignments for the upcoming year. The number of volunteers has been growing every year and unfortunately there are usually more volunteers for the technical committee than can be accommodated. This is one of the most active committees, meeting monthly and addressing important issues. All of the committees meet by conference call varying from monthly to quarterly. If you want to get more involved and do something that helps the industry, please consider volunteering for a committee. A complete list of the committees, their purpose and goals can be found on the NATM website: If you are interested in making an even bigger commitment, you may want to consider running for a position on the NATM Board of Directors. But if you want to test the waters fi rst, committee service is the best way to start. Contact Pam Trusdale for more information.

In the past year, NHTSA has levied more in fi nes than in the combined history of the agency – and trailer manufacturers are included in those numbers. To assist members in complying with Early Warning Reporting (EWR) and Recall requirements, NATM has engaged K&L Gates to create an EWR and Recall Compendium. The document is undergoing the fi nal stages of review and should be released by the end of the year. Every member will be provided with a copy of this document because all manufacturers, no matter the number of trailers they manufacture, have certain obligations with which they must comply. All NATM members should have received a letter concerning 49 CFR § 579.5, which has been of particular concern to NHTSA. The EWR and Recall Compendium will elaborate on the information in that letter, as well as all EWR and Recall requirements. It will feature both the regulation, legal interpretation, explanations and examples all in the hopes

November/December 2015 7

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