In December, the NATM Executive Committee met in person at NATM Headquarters to set the 2020 committee goals and choose committee members. Using the results of interest indicators sent to all NATM members in November, members were selected for each committee. Taking into account the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan and NATM’s Mission, the Executive Committee diligently thought through what each committee could do to help raise the Association to new heights. For more information about becoming more involved in NATM through committee participation, contact NATM Executive Director Kendra Ansley at Kendra.Ansley@natm.com or call (785) 272-4433.
Phase One Trade Deal
On Wednesday, Jan. 15 negotiators for the US and China came together to sign the Phase One trade agreement. The deal, seven chapters in length, covers intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, currency, expanding trade, and dispute resolution. The full text of the agreement can be found here and fact sheets found here.
Though the agreement did not include tariff relief, the President did reaffirm the commitment to cutting the List 4A tariff rate to 7.5% from 15% on Feb. 14. As a reminder, List 4A is primarily clothing. According to Bloomberg, unnamed officials have indicated that no additional tariff relief is to be expected until after the 2020 election.
Notably, China has posted its weakest economic growth in 29 years according to Reuters.
US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)
While many believed USMCA passage might not occur in the Senate until after the impeachment trial by the Senate, on Jan. 16 the Senate passed USMCA 89-10. Next, the bill headed to the President’s desk where he is expected to sign by the end of January.
However, the President’s signature does not yet mean the agreement is in force. Mexico and Canada must take the necessary measures to comply with the agreement. A slight delay can be expected as the Canadian parliament doesn’t resume until Jan. 27. When both countries have taken the appropriate steps, the President must notify Congress in writing 30 days prior to entry into force of the agreement of such action. Still the agreement enters into force after the President and government of Mexico and Canada follow-through with all specified implementing procedures. This is expected in 2020, though the exact timeline remains uncertain.
The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers updated its highly popular Safely Towing a Trailer brochure after distributing 45,000 copies in less than five years. The brochure is based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s consumer safety information. It provides general guidance, tips, and necessary information about important factors to consider and equipment needed to improve the safety of towing trailers.
NATM Members and Dealer Affiliates can purchase printed Safely Towing a Trailer booklets individually, by case, or can opt for selecting a company-specific brochure, in PDF format, for $500. The personalized booklet will feature 8-10 photos or logos from your company throughout the document.
NATM will send you the PDF of the final document so that your company can print as many brochures as you wish! This is an easy, affordable way to market your company while also educating your customers about trailer safety.
The publication includes tips on selecting a tow vehicle, tow vehicle ratings, measuring the weight of a trailer, connecting your trailer to your vehicle, tire safety, loading, and weight distribution, safe driving tips, and the pre-departure safety checklist.
New this year is an extended “Maintenance” section. NATM regularly fields questions and complaints regarding corroding trailers from end-users. This problem is greatly dependent on the use and care of a trailer by its owner. The new maintenance section explains what causes rust, including corrosive materials such as rock salt used for deicing roadways, chips in the protective layer exposing the metal, and galvanic corrosion resulting from dissimilar metals making contact.
End-users are given recommendations on how to avoid and treat corrosion through regular maintenance and cleaning. For more information about preventing corrosion, see NATM’s January/February 2020 issue of Tracks magazine.
NATM Members and Dealer Affiliates can request copies of the brochure by contacting NATM by emailing email@example.com or by calling (785) 272-4433.
Are you a new NATM Trailer Manufacturing member or a manufacturing member who has not attended the Convention in five or more years? You could be eligible for two complimentary full registrations per the NATM New Attendee Promotion! For more details or questions, please contact NATM Membership & Events Director Kelli Maydew at firstname.lastname@example.org or (785) 272-4433.
To see additional Convention & Trade Show details, including the full Agenda, exhibitors and layout, hotel information, etc. please look here.
Rates are going to increase in 2020 with carriers FedEx and UPS. NATM members need to stay informed of the changes in order to keep costs low. Here are the top takeaways you need to know:
PartnerShip®, the endorsed shipping provider for NATM, has sorted through the rate charts and put together a complete guide for members. Download the free white paper for key details about the new rates and how they may impact your business.
NATM members have exclusive access to discounts on select FedEx® services to help offset these increases. Enroll today to start saving.
The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM), known as the resource for safety and compliance for the light- and medium-duty trailer industry, has published the 2019 edition of the Guidelines. This massive document takes the guesswork out of meeting federal requirements governing the manufacture of trailers under 26,000 lbs GVWR and is a benefit of NATM membership.
Building trailers to meet the standards outlined in the NATM Guidelines is not optional. It is required by law and enforced by law enforcement every day on the nation’s roadways. But it can be very time-intensive for trailer manufacturers to research the numerous federal rules, regulations, standards, and accepted industry practices that govern trailer construction.
NATM addresses this by compiling the Guidelines for Recommended Manufacturing Practices for Light- and Medium-Duty Trailers. The document consists of over 400 pages of laws, regulations, rules, standards, and industry best practices. This information is gathered from resources such as the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, the Traffic Safety Administration, the Maintenance Council and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association amongst others. The Guidelines is updated annually by industry experts that stay abreast of changing regulations and vet the addition of recommendations and best practices.
This year through the annual revision process, the 2019 version of the NATM Guidelines received several updates. As part of the effort to help members achieve success, the NATM Compliance Team heavily updated the Compliance Quick Guide, which features a succinct synopsis of compliance requirements. This quick, to the point resource helps members get the information they need to make the change and move on to the next task.
Members report substantial time savings by utilizing the Guidelines, particularly on the topics of lighting and reflectors, VIN and data plates, calculating gross vehicle weight ratings, and state brake requirements. While the Guidelines focus on U.S. regulations, many may have an interest in Canadian compliance. For more information, visit Transport Canada’s website at www.tc.gc.ca/en/transport-canada.html
In recent years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has increased its enforcement activity concerning the compliance of motor vehicle manufacturers – including trailer manufacturers. NHTSA has placed particular concern on meeting Defect Investigations and Record Retention Requirements. 49 CFR 579.5, which requires manufacturers to submit to NHTSA copies of communications such as notices and technical service bulletins to dealers, owners or purchasers of their vehicles, is only one of the many requirements outlined in NATM’s Guidelines.
NATM assists its trailer manufacturing members in avoiding costly fines and decreasing liability related to trailer compliance through the NATM Compliance Verification Program (CVP). The NATM CVP is an unbiased, third-party audit of the trailer manufacturing process and uses the Guidelines as the backbone for the program. The CVP provides biennial on-site consultations to trailer manufacturers, and technical assistance throughout the entire process to ensure companies are manufacturing trailers consistent with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and other industry best practices.
Once a trailer manufacturer has successfully passed the Compliance Verification Program, the company is able to purchase NATM Decals and market their company’s dedication to fulfilling their safety requirements by participating in an unbiased, third-party audit of their trailers. While participation in the NATM Compliance Verification Program is an additional, voluntary cost for manufacturers, there are economic benefits of participation.
“The first-year sales saw a 20 percent boost and blew past the forecast over three years for the sales improvements for revenue targets for the existing trailer product. We will continue to use up the [NATM] labels we have in stock, and then order more,” said Pete Dixon, Engineer at Karcher North America, Inc. regarding the benefit of being a member of the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers.
For more information about how the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers can assist your trailer manufacturing company, visit www.NATM.com, email NATMHQ@natm.com, or call (785) 272-4433.
Causes of Corrosion
For decades, sodium chloride (rock salt), calcium chloride, and magnesium chloride have been used for de-icing roadways. The presence of salt dramatically enhances the rusting of metals. Road debris, sand, gravel, and other deicing materials can damage trailers as well. These substances leave chips in the trailer’s coating and expose the underlying substrate to the corrosive environment.
Many trailer components are also vulnerable to galvanic corrosion caused by dissimilar metals making contact. A simple maintenance repair that pairs the wrong nut, bolt, or washer can create a corrosive response. Problems can also occur as a result of tightened fasteners, which can dislodge surface coatings, exposing reactive metals to one another and the elements. Areas on a trailer with high exposure to road-born moisture, such as around tires, are areas where corrosion is most likely to occur. Other important areas to inspect for corrosion on trailers include rear frames, gussets, rear underride guards, threshold plates, front aprons, upper couplers, landing gear brackets and braces, cross members, end clips, front under-structure, suspension, and axle assembly components, and any ledges underneath a trailer that allow debris to enter.
Roadway pretreating products such as calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are very corrosive and react even to low humidity. Because of this, these substances should be washed off a trailer as soon as possible after coming in contact with them. For example, if a trailer traveled over a road treated with these chemicals in Oklahoma, and concluded the trip in warm weather in Texas. Throughout the eight to ten-hour journey, these corrosive chemicals will continue to react even in low humidity until the trailer is thoroughly washed. To combat this, some of the nation’s largest fleets have implemented daily underbody wash procedures during winter months to prevent corrosive damage caused by the reaction of these two chemicals.
Preventing & Treating Corrosion
Today, trailer manufacturers can use a range of approaches to prevent corrosion when they build trailers. There are also various options on the market available for corrosion prevention on in-service trailers. Trailer manufacturers can fight corrosion on a trailer’s structural cross members with paint applications, two-step zinc and paint combinations, epoxy coatings, and construction methods using galvanized, stainless steel, or aluminum components.
For trailers already in-service, trailer technicians address corrosion issues by taking into consideration what type of corrosion-fighting method was initially used on a vehicle when making repairs. Some coatings and materials are more expensive, and some are more difficult to work with than others. In some instances, a touch-up job may be all that is necessary to slow down or stop the corrosion process.
In addition to several paint applications, galvanized aluminum and stainless steel are very effective in the fight against corrosion. This process applies a protective zinc coating to protect metals from rusting. The zinc prevents corrosive substances from reaching the underlying metal and, when scratched, serves as an anode for the exposed metal surface. Other kinds of protective coatings can also offer a feasible and long-term solution for corrosion control, without the issues inherent in soft film barriers and galvanizing methods. Polyureas and polyurethanes provide exceptional durability and chemical resistance, even in extreme weather. They are flexible and impact resistant and will not cut, peel, crack, or chip. These coatings are similar to spray-on truck bed liner material but have unique properties.
Once the end-user has purchased the trailer, they can take a few proactive steps to address corrosion. First, they should develop a habit of taking the extra time to wash, clean, and detail their trailer before storing it in a clean, dry, and protected environment. This will not only help keep the trailer looking good; it will prevent corrosion and increase the useful life of the trailer. As part of the cleaning process, trailers should be thoroughly cleaned before storing them, including under the floor mats in livestock trailers. Trailers with certain coatings can even be waxed once or twice per year with several automotive detailing products, subject to the trailer manufacturer's recommendations. Owners should conduct maintenance inspections regularly and have any corroded areas immediately addressed by professionals before the corrosion continues to spread. Just like in the used automobile market, taking care of trailers and preventing corrosion pays off when it comes to preserving the resale value of the trailer.
The NATM Safely Towing a Trailer brochure has been updated to feature a new section on corrosion prevention. Published in 2019, the brochure has expanded its maintenance section to educate end-users about their role in preventing rust. To order NATM products, visit www.natm.com/products.
For a list of NATM Associate Members that supply paints and other protective coatings, visit the NATM Online Buyer’s Guide at www.NATM.com. For more information regarding the manufacture of trailers, contact NATM Technical Director Colin Holthaus at Colin.Holthaus@natm.com or (785) 272-4433.
Membership renewals for 2020 have been mailed, and the main contact for your company has received an email notice as well. If you would like to confirm who your main contact is, please contact NATM Membership Services Coordinator Kathy Johnson at Kathy.email@example.com or call NATM at (785) 272-4433. You can also log into the Members Only portal of www.NATM.com and select the “Profile Update” link to make edits instantly to this information.
In addition to paying your membership dues by check or over the phone by credit card, you are also able to pay online using the Members Only portal at www.NATM.com. Once you are logged in using your company’s login credentials, select “Pay My Bills.” If you need your credentials, or have any questions during this process, please contact Kathy Johnson.
For trade show exhibitors, it is important to note that NATM DUES MUST BE PAID BY December 31, 2019 to maintain the member rate for your booth at the February 2020 trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
NATM is committed to improving the compliance program, delivering safety education and information, increasing consumer awareness about the importance of buying compliant trailers, providing opportunities for member input, and continuing to develop relationships with key decision makers on Capitol Hill and in federal agencies to advocate for industry needs.
NATM, the Board of Directors, committees, and staff are working diligently to provide more value to members, and we look forward to working with you in 2020. We sincerely hope that you will allow us to continue to serve your needs and provide value to your organization.
Register Early and Save!
Discounted Early Bird registration rates are available until Dec. 31 for both trailer manufacturers and exhibitors. Attendees can register online or print off forms to mail in by visiting the NATM Convention site. On-site registration will be available, but the earlier you register, the more money you will save! Full registration for trailer manufacturers which includes admission to all events (except Top Golf Tee-Off) begins at $100 if you register before the new year. The price will increase after Dec. 31, so plan to register soon to take advantage of this discount!
NATM is excited to once again offer free full registrations for trailer manufacturers’ spouses. NATM hopes you will plan to bring your other half along to enjoy the show.
Exhibitors can save $50 per person by adding additional booth workers before Jan. 1, 2020. The cost to upgrade to a full registration is just $35!
NATM is thrilled to be once again returning to The South Point Hotel Casino & Spa! The discounted NATM rate for the South Point Hotel is $94 per night including resort fees (Sun-Thurs) and $149 per night including resort fees (Fri/Sat). Located in the heart of the Las Vegas valley, the South Point provides dual views of the surrounding valley and the serenity of the mountains that border it. Hotel accommodations can be made here.
Please note, NATM has not authorized any third-party group hotel room services to call you or solicit your business!
Are You Ready to Par-Tee?!
NATM is excited to announce a new opening event, “Tee Off to Convention!” Help kickoff the week with this newly created Top Golf event, which will include food, drinks and fun on Monday, Feb.10. Tickets can be purchased on www.NATM.com. Spots are limited so get yours today!
Sponsorships Available – Think Outside the Booth
Sponsorships are still available for the 32nd Annual Convention & Trade Show. The success of the NATM convention is directly tied to the support of its generous sponsors. There are marketing and general sponsorship opportunities available from $250 to $50,000 to fit any budget: Top Golf, Aisle Signs, Trade Show Lounges and more! Being a sponsor allows your company early access to booth selection, and provides a wide range of exposure, both electronically on NATM’s website and mobile app, as well as in print on the convention program map and in Tracks. This name recognition will help drive customers to your booth. NATM will work with you to find the sponsorship opportunity best fit to get your company’s name in front of industry decision-makers. Contact NATM Membership & Events Director Kelli Maydew for more information by calling (785) 272-4433 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find the full 2020 Sponsorship Brochure here.
For the latest convention news and updates, visit www.NATM.com or find NATM on Facebook. Never miss an event at the annual show when you use the NATM Mobile App sponsored by H-I-S Industrial Coatings! Setup alarms, notifications, notes and more all on your smart phone or tablet. For more information contact Kelli Maydew at Kelli.Maydew@natm.com or call (785) 272-4433.
Since the economic downturn in 2009, NATM has worked hard to create a healthy financial reserve in order to protect the Association from the inevitable economic downturns that are faced from time to time. The NATM Finance Committee and Board have adopted sound financial policies and with the support of staff, have been able to build up reserves and moderately invest funding to ensure that member investment is utilized to its fullest potential without risking membership funds. Over the years, NATM has adapted these policies and refined their investment approach and today NATM is in the best financial state in its history.
In 2017 as the NATM Board of Directors was reviewing the 2018 budget proposal, it was decided that the Association should look for opportunities to give back to charitable causes when possible thanks to healthy finances. NATM members have a rich tradition of supporting their communities and giving back to causes near and dear. To honor NATM member’s commitment to the greater good of our communities, NATM chose to utilize its success to give back and support a charitable cause. Since the Board’s discussion, NATM has made an annual commitment to charitable giving and selects recipients from a list of reputable, national organizations whose mission touches NATM members and the industry.
In 2019 the Association made a donation of $1,000 to the American Cancer Society. Unfortunately, cancer affects many of us, whether our own diagnosis or that of family and friends. Earlier this year, NATM member company Champion Hoist lost Brian Jones to cancer. Brian was an incredible employee, friend, and family man. He was an active participant in NATM and the industry and his loss touched many people far and wide. NATM is also aware of several other members who are fighting courageous battles against this terrible disease and NATM’s 2019 donation honors the memory of those we have lost by lending a helping hand in the fight against cancer.
The NATM Board of Directors selected the American Cancer Society as the recipient of the 2019 charitable contribution for their work encouraging cancer prevention strategies, providing support for patients, creating resources through volunteerism, working with lawmakers, increasing accessibility to care, funding research, and so much more. NATM is thankful to be able to play a small helping role in the American Cancer Society’s mission to free the world from cancer on behalf of its members.