NATM Compliance Program

Since its inception, the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) has worked to improve the under-26,000-pound-gross-vehicle-weight rating (GVWR) segment of the trailer industry through the promotion of acceptable manufacturing practices. It has done this through education and publication of the Guidelines for Recommended Minimum Manufacturing Practices for Trailers Under 26,000 lbs. GVWR (Guidelines). This publication is a compilation of federal rules and regulations that govern trailer construction and is a valued member service saving the manufacturer numerous hours of research time.

NATM released the Compliance Decal in May of 2002 with the purpose of recognizing NATM members who have verified compliance with NATM Guidelines. The Guidelines are the basis for the compliance program, which is designed to evaluate members who voluntarily undergo an inspection by NATM to ensure that the trailers they produce are built in accordance with federal regulations and other industry standards. Of particular concern are the safety related items and components found on trailers and the regulations that govern them. NATM’s goal is to provide to the public some level of assurance that trailers carrying the red, white and blue NATM Compliance Decal, have been built by the manufacturer in compliance with those safety standards. While this program is strictly voluntary, the number of NATM members who undergo this inspection process continues to increase each month.

“The compliance program is one of the most important programs initiated by the NATM,” says Brad Henning, NATM president. “NATM’s vision and mission is to improve safety within our industry, and our compliance program is the vehicle to drive these improvements. As our participating manufacturers go through the consultation, they become better informed and the end result is that the buyer has a safer trailer. That is the major goal of the compliance program.”

The amount of NATM members voluntarily under-going a compliance consultation is increasing on a daily basis. Currently, over half of the association’s manufacturing members have undergone a consultation. The amount of compliance decals being purchased has also increased by approximately 10 percent in 2004.

In 2004 free marketing materials became available to NATM members who are in compliance. These materials, which include posters and countertop displays, are designed to educate the public about the significance of the compliance decal. These materials can be distributed to dealers who sell trailers with the compliance decal. More than 5,000 posters have been distributed to certified NATM members since the materials became available.

NATM urges all of its members to volunteer for the Compliance Program. Consumers are encouraged to look for the compliance decals when purchasing a trailer. This 3-inch decal displayed on a trailer is your assurance that the manufacturer put safety first in the production of your new trailer.

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