The 2019 Trailer Safety Week (TSW) went off without a hitch June 2-8,2019. This national awareness campaign, which aims to educate end-users on trailer safety including safe towing practices and maintenance, saw incredible growth in its second year.
Trailer Safety Week 2019 was a success thanks to onsite event hosts Lane Trailer Mfg. Co. and Midsota Manufacturing, the many TSW Allies and the hard work of the NATM staff.
The week featured two successful events at Lane Trailer Mfg. Co. in Boone, IA and Midsota Manufacturing in Albany, MN on June 7. Attendees included consumers, trailer dealers, government officials, state troopers and DOT representatives. Both events featured U-Haul’s trailer demonstrator, an interactive module wherein a car, towing a trailer on an elevated treadmill track is loaded with weights to show the dangers of improper loading and trailer sway.
Lane Trailer focused its efforts on reaching out to the local university, Iowa State. All trailers used by Iowa State undergo annual DOT inspections done through Lane Trailer. In working with the grounds keeping crew using those trailers and local clubs, Lane utilized the event to teach both university employees and students about safe trailering practices.
Representatives from Iowa State University were very interested in the trailer safety resources available, like NATM’s Towing Safety brochures. These materials complimented presentations by Colin Holthaus, NATM Technical Director, and Lane Trailer. Lane brought a trailer into the showroom for the presentation, pointing out safety features and allowing for attendees to ask questions using the actual trailer for demonstration.
NATM Technical Director Colin Holthaus, thrilled with event turnout, said “it was great to see the local community at Iowa State turnout for this event. This was a new population of attendees, everyday trailer users, and it was great to be able to spread trailer safety awareness. It was also neat to talk directly to consumers about the work my compliance team and NATM does by partnering with companies like Lane Trailers in helping companies build compliant, safe trailers. NATM and our members work really hard at trailer safety and to see that paying off in discussions with end-users was great to experience.”
“As a company, we are committed to safety in our facility and for the trailers we manufacture,” said Midsota co-owner and NATM Board Member Joel Bauer. “We thought it is essential we get on board with the national event to promote trailer safety.”
Midsota’s event was a huge success and featured local and national legislators and staff. Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-6) spoke of the importance of safety and recognized that trailering is not simply loading, hitching and taking off but executing safe trailering practices correctly. The impact of compliant trailers and safe towing practices is not limited to the trailer owner.
“It’s not only the $50,000 investment in the motorcycle or the load on the trailer– it’s everyone on the road,” said Congressman Emmer. Emmer previously toured the Midsota facility in May of 2018 after the company was named St. Cloud Area Small Business Owners of the Year.
Newly-elected State Representative Lisa Demuth of Minnesota’s District 13A also spoke to attendees about the important role that companies such as Midsota play on the local economy. Eric Sundby of the Minnesota State Patrol gave a highly popular and well received presentation on what is looked for during a DOT trailer inspection and driver CDL requirements followed by a Q&A session.
Midsota co-owner Joel Bauer and NATM Executive Director Kendra Ansley gave presentations about the company’s and NATM’s dedication to trailer safety and audience made up of end-users, business owners, trailer dealers, and members of the local community were directed to various safety resources including those housed on NATM’s TrailerSafetyWeek.com website.
After the presentations, Midsota gave plant tours of the facility and served lunch. Multiple informational tables were set up for attendees including U-Haul with their popular Trailer Demonstrator; Lippert Axles; NTI Tires; NATM and Midsota.
In addition to the two onsite Trailer Safety Events hosted by NATM trailer manufacturing members, Trailer Safety Week saw enormous growth with online participation. Trailer Safety Week Allies utilized the TSW Communications Kit which is full of pre-crafted marketing materials to effectively communicate the importance of trailer safety. Allies played an important role in helping generate awareness and drive traffic to TrailerSafetyWeek.com. TSW Allies ranged from police departments and insurance companies to trailer manufacturers, suppliers and dealers as well as various companies in the transportation industry.
Through the #TrailerSafetyWeek social media campaign, and with the help of more than 150 TSW Allies, the importance of safe trailering reached thousands across several social media channels. Countless social media posts were created and shared on Facebook in hopes to better educate end-users on important safety measures to take when trailering. In addition to this, NATM created several #TrailerTipOfTheDay informative videos featuring the NATM Compliance Team. These videos featured trailering tips every trailer user should know and reached over 16,000 people on Facebook alone. You can view these videos on NATM's Facebook page. TSW Allies’ efforts led nearly 500 new visitors to TrailerSafetyWeek.com throughout the week—a testament to the impact Allies have on generating safe trailering awareness.
Trailer Safety Week has continued to be a step in the right direction for the trailer industry. With the support of event hosts, an effective social media campaign, countless TSW Allies and coverage in several news publications, this safety awareness campaign allowed safe trailering to become more visible to the general public.
“The National Trailer Safety Week was once again a huge success thanks to the support of NATM members across the country,” said NATM Executive Director Kendra Ansley. “NATM is already looking for new ways to further expand the reach of our efforts next year. Various companies in the trailer industry are regularly contacting the Association to learn more about participating and the staff is using this momentum and excitement to begin planning for next year’s Trailer Safety Week that will be held June 7-13, 2020. We are encouraging all types of members to participate as much as they would like. Suppliers and trailer manufacturers can share the event’s logo and resources as Trailer Safety Week Allies, or even host an event.”
Those interested in joining this trailer safety movement can find more information at https://www.trailersafetyweek.com/interest or by contacting the TSW team at TrailerSafetyWeek@natm.com.