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.
Retaining good employees is vital to your success, especially in today’s tight labor market. Not only does turnover impact your bottom line in tangible ways, it has other consequences which also impact your bottom line in the form of productivity, safety and quality. The true cost of turnover has been argued for years. A basic assumption that will put it in perspective is that it cost you 1 ½ times an employee’s annual salary when they decide to leave your organization. If your turnover rate is high, these costs can add up quickly. Keep in mind that not all turnover is bad turnover. There are some employees that may be hurting your organization more than they’re helping.
There are several key areas where you can make a difference when it comes to turnover:
Most people assume money is the prime motivation for staying at an organization; however, statistically speaking, only 12% of employees that leave your organization leave for more money. Although it’s important to be competitive, there are many other things you can do than offer more money.
Let’s start at the beginning. How are your interviewing and selection skills? How about the interviewing and selection skills of your manager? Too often, we are rushed to get a warm body to fill a position that may otherwise go vacant when the previous incumbent leaves. We don’t take the time to make sure that the person we select to fill that position is a good fit for our organization. Consider that organizations have a tendency to hire on skills such as work experience, education and training; but they actually fire employees based on behavior such as not showing up for work, having a bad attitude and the inability to work with a team. Review your hiring systems and make sure interviewers are conducting behavior-based interviews. We need to hire based on behavior because we can typically train for skill but we can’t train someone to have a good work ethic.
Once the right employees are on board, it’s important to invest in them. From the beginning, give them an emotional connection to the organization. During their first days on the job, tell them how the organization was developed or created and why the work they do everyday matters. Put together a well-developed presentation that shows them you care about the message they receive on their very first day. Tell them the history of the organization. Outline all the important policies from the handbook. Tell them who to go to with certain questions or issues. Give an introduction to each of the benefits you offer. Employees often have a lot of questions about their benefits but are too afraid to ask. Give them the opportunity at the very beginning as they’re signing up for their benefits. Develop a one-page quick guide to the benefits offered by the organization but don’t let that be a substitute for your explanation of these benefits. On their first day, have a thought-out plan or agenda that includes the presentation, a tour of the building and any important areas like the break room or cafeteria and lunch with the boss or co-workers. Make sure they feel welcome.
Now that you’ve set the tone, keep it going by showing them you care about the work environment. Above all, make sure your managers are trained on how you want employees to be treated. Too often we make the mistake of promoting someone into a management position that was good at doing the work. Most often the skills to do the work and the skills to manage people are very different but we fail to set them up for success by teaching them how to coach, lead, motivate and most importantly stop behavior that leads to legal issues for the organization. You should have a full management training program for anyone in a management position. Even with prior management experience, you want to make sure they follow the basic principles and values of the organization as they manage your employees. The number one reason employees leave a position is the relationship with their direct supervisor.
It's also vital that everyone in your organization is holding employees accountable for their behavior. Star employees are often demotivated when they realize that employees with less than desirable performance are allowed to continue that performance while your star employee is going above and beyond without being differentiated from poor performers. Managers need to understand how to have difficult conversations with employees and when those conversations should result in a tangible consequence or discipline.
When we talk about the work environment, we mean culture. Culture is not something that organizations typically define. It is typically developed over time through leadership behaviors and overall communication (either from managers to employees or among co-workers). What things do you celebrate as an organization (if anything)? What do you reward employees for doing? How do you reward them? Other ideas to help with your overall culture include:
As you can see, there are many things you can do to impact employee retention. None of them will be easy. If you treat it like a task to check off your list, you will not make a difference with your implementation. These changes take time and diligence. Make sure you set goals for each potential project and give it the time and attention it deserves.
About the Author:
Tracey Goold is the Director, Human Resources Consulting at Marsh & McLennan Agency, an insurance brokerage specializing in property & casualty, employee benefits and personal insurance. She assists clients in implementing and maintaining solid Human Resource policies and practices including employee relations, performance management, compensation design, employee and management training, employment law compliance and managerial coaching.
A letter to our members...
NATM has been committed to trailer safety for more than 30 years. While NATM has long worked with trailer manufacturers and industry suppliers and service providers, trailer safety can only be improved through dealer interaction and consumer education. That’s why NATM is excited to announce the launch of the NATM Dealer Affiliation on June 1, 2019.
It is NATM’s mission to “promote trailer safety and the success of the trailer manufacturing industry through education and advocacy” and we are confident that including trailer dealers in our work will strengthen the industry and improve roadway safety. Dealers can aide NATM in its efforts to close the communication gap between trailer dealers and end-users all while generating awareness about the importance of NATM Compliant trailers.
While NATM is excited to launch the Dealer Affiliation program, we recognize that our NATM members might have questions or concerns. That’s why we’re inviting all members to submit their questions and concerns via the button below. In addition to gathering member questions, NATM invites you to participate in the Dealer Affiliation Q&A on Facebook Live. We’ll be going live on NATM's Facebook page Thursday, May 30th at 3pm CST to discuss what the Dealer Affiliation will look like as well as answer any member questions.
NATM members who wish to notify their dealer contacts are encouraged to utilized the Dealer Outreach Marketing Kit by clicking the button below. This kit includes several pre-crafted social media posts, social media graphics, and a Dealer Invitation.
NATM fully believes that the launch of the NATM Dealer Affiliation is an opportunity to unify the trailer industry in an effort to improve trailer safety. While NATM remains committed to trailer manufacturers, the Association has long looked at how to better bring in dealers as key stakeholders for trailer safety and this program offers an exciting opportunity to support dealers and help them educate end-users as well as better raise awareness about the NATM Compliance Verification Program.
Updated Company Information Needed by May 31!
The annual NATM Membership Directory & Buyer’s Guide will be mailed to all members in August. In order to have current and accurate company information printed in the Guide, members should login to their NATM account to verify that all information is correct.
For those who do not know their company’s login credentials: usernames and passwords can be re-sent to the main contact’s email by clicking this link.
Additionally, the main contact for your company has already received an email with editable PDF documents if changes are needed. These documents can be sent back to email@example.com.
All changes must be received by May 31 end of day in order to be published in the Guide. Please contact Kelli Maydew at firstname.lastname@example.org or (785) 272-4433 if you have questions or concerns.
NATM has been named a 2018 All Star Award winner by Constant Contact, a company in email marketing solutions. The annual award recognizes the most successful 10 percent of Constant Contact’s customer base, based on their significant achievements using email marketing to engage their customers and drive results for their organization during the prior year.
NATM has made significant strides in enhancing its email marketing strategies. The Association’s communications department has been hard at work in its efforts to reduce the amount of emails that hit users’ inboxes.
“We’re happy to be recognized by Constant Contact for achieving strong marketing results and engaging with our customers. We’re grateful for our subscribers who are consistently engaging with our content as well as providing constant feedback for how we can improve our marketing efforts,” said NATM Executive Director Kendra Ansley.
Small businesses and nonprofits using Constant Contact’s email marketing tools are eligible for this award. Criteria used to select this year’s All Stars included the following during 2018:
“Constant Contact’s primary goal is to fuel small business success. We know it’s not an easy road for small businesses, which is why we work to provide easy and affordable marketing tools and advice that can elevate their customer engagement and awareness to new levels,” said Holli Scott, Vice President of Customer Success. “The campaigns created by this year’s All Stars demonstrate that a business, regardless of its size, can accomplish their marketing goals and we celebrate NATM's impressive achievements with this All Star Award.”
Not subscribed to NATM’s mailing list? No worries! You can subscribe to NATM's monthly newsletter, NATM Insider, here or text “NATM” to 22828 to automatically subscribe. For more questions or concerns regarding NATM’s marketing efforts, contact NATM Marketing Coordinator Savana Morrison.
NATM continuously aims to provide exceptional membership services and benefits. One way the Association attempts to do this, is by conducting a phone survey to both Regular and Associate members, in hopes to better understand the current climate of the supplier and manufacturing industries.
There are several common themes that have surfaced when asked about challenges or barriers that members are experiencing:
Armed with this knowledge, NATM will strive to provide educational opportunities and resources in the coming year to assist members in tackling the hurdles that they may be facing or expect in 2019. The 2019-2021 strategic plan aligns well with the feedback received. The Board, committees, and staff are already at work to address these barriers and add more value for your investment. NATM will provide updates on these actions in upcoming issues of Tracks and the NATM Insider eNewsletter as well as Government Affairs updates via email.
If there are additional topics or hot button industry issues that you would like to discuss further, please do not hesitate to contact Kelli Maydew, NATM Membership & Education Director.
Membership renewals for 2019 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 & Education Director Kelli Maydew or call NATM at (785) 272-4433. You can also log into the Members Only portal of www.NATM.com and select the “Update Your Contact Information” 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 NATM Membership & Education Director Kelli Maydew.
For trade show exhibitors, it is important to note that NATM DUES MUST BE PAID BY DEC. 31, 2018 to maintain the member rate for your booth at the February 2019 trade show in Lake Buena Vista, FL.
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 2019. We sincerely hope that you will allow us to continue to serve your needs and provide value to your organization.
Please contact NATM Membership & Education Director Kelli Maydew if you have any questions at (785) 272-4433 or email Kelli.Maydew@natm.com
It’s no secret that health care costs are rising. A number of factors contribute to these increasing costs—some of the biggest contributors include:
Increasing Pharmaceutical Costs and Use:
Health care costs are growing in part due to the increased use of prescription drugs, and an increase in the number of newer, more expensive drugs prescribed. Though prescription drug manufacturers have revolutionized modern medicine, these advances come at a cost.
As pharmaceutical companies develop new drugs to treat serious medical conditions, the market for those drugs expands accordingly. The trend in the pharmaceutical industry is to maximize profits by developing drugs to treat conditions for which there were previously no drug treatments. These new “lifestyle” drugs treat or control conditions like nail fungus, impotence, obesity or hair loss. Manufacturers then use direct-to-consumer advertisements that encourage customers to ask their doctors for prescriptions for these medications.
The increased use of lifestyle medications and direct-to-consumer advertising have raised serious questions about where America’s health care dollars are being spent and if consumers are getting the best value for their money.
New, Expensive Medical Technology:
New medical devices, diagnostic tests and medical imaging tools are enabling doctors to deliver care that would have been impossible in years past. Medical technology, just like pharmaceuticals, has revolutionized medicine and improved the lives of many people—but those advances have also come with hefty price tags. As the number of older Americans increases, these new devices and treatments are being used even more and with escalating price tags.
The health care system is primarily geared toward providing acute care and curing diseases. However, many people need care for chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Chronic conditions are the major cause of illness, disability and death in the United States, and they account for a significant portion of health care spending.
Before managed care revolutionized the American health care system, individual medical providers determined the fees for their services. However, with the domination of managed care plans, most providers have been forced to negotiate their prices lower or risk losing patient volume from managed care plans willing to exclude non-compliant providers from their networks.
In order to maintain or regain some negotiating power, providers in many communities have consolidated their medical practices, effectively monopolizing procedures within specific service areas. These large provider groups have a much greater ability to negotiate with managed care plans that wish to provide convenient care options for their members.
Health care costs and, consequently, employee health benefits costs have been increasing at a very high rate for nearly a decade. Unfortunately, cost increases are still outpacing the rate of inflation, making health care a growing cost burden for consumers.
As costs increase, frustration grows for health insurance buyers and the consumers of health care in our nation. Advances in medical technology and expanded pharmaceutical dependency will only grow and continue to drive your health care higher. So, what is a business owner to do? How can consumers of health insurance better manage the costs of the benefit they are providing?
Association Health Plans (AHPs) will allow businesses to join together through an Association such as NATM to form a larger, more influential buying pool for the purchase of health insurance. This leverage should allow the AHP to negotiate more aggressive insurance pricing as well as the cost of administering those plans.
NATM Members from more than 20 states have already provided information for NATM’s Association Health Plan (AHP) evaluation.
To learn more about how to leverage NATM Membership to better manage healthcare cost:
Plan to join Marsh and McLennan Agency for the workshop session scheduled at the 2019 NATM Convention & Trade Show on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 8:00 am. Schedule a one-on-one meeting with Marsh and McLennan Agency consultants during the 2019 NATM Convention & Trade Show to discuss your specific employee benefit challenges, strategy and NATM’s Association Health Plan initiative. Contact Lane McNeil at Lane.McNeil@natm.com to sign up.
Complete a Data Collection form for your company and if you want to be included in NATM’s AHP evaluation, please submit the completed form to Lisa Clark at Lisa.Clark@marshmma.com.
Contact Lisa Clark if you have specific questions regarding your employee benefit plan or NATM’s Association Health Plan progress prior to the 2019 Convention at Lisa.Clark@marshmma.com.
For more information about Marsh & McLennan Agency, visit www.marshmma.com.
Membership renewals have already been sent to members, which makes the end of the year a perfect time for the Association to reflect on how membership dues are critical in supporting the actions, services and educational programs that NATM provides for its members and the light- and medium-duty trailer industry.
In 2018, NATM membership dues allowed NATM to:
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 NATM Membership & Education Director Kelli Maydew
Membership dues will again go unchanged in 2019. Rates are $795 for Associate (Supplier) members, $135 for Associate (Supplier) Branch members, $925 for Regular and International Regular (Trailer Manufacturer) members, $300 for Regular (Trailer Manufacturer) Branch members. If you joined between February and October of 2018, your 2018 dues will be for the prorated amount provided when you joined.
For trade show exhibitors, it is important to note that NATM DUES MUST BE PAID BY DEC. 31, 2018 to maintain the member rate for your booth at the February 2019 trade show in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
As NATM enters the final quarter of 2018, membership numbers remain strong. All categories of membership are up from the same time last year. As of Oct. 15, 2018, NATM has a total of 930 members. The membership breaks down as 425 Regular Members, 50 Branch Regular Members, 28 International Regular Members, 386 Associate Members and 41 Branch Associate Members.
Contact NATM Membership & Education Director Kelli Maydew if you have any questions at (785) 272-4433 or email Kelli.Maydew@natm.com.
*Consultation estimates as of Oct. 15, 2018
To directly communicate proper trailer usage and safety to end-users, NATM recommends that all trailers include an owner’s manual. As members of NATM, trailer manufacturers understand the importance of safety and build trailers accordingly. Unfortunately, it does not matter how well a trailer is built if the end-user improperly hitches, loads or fails to maintain a trailer.
To educate customers, trailer owner manuals provide instructions regarding maintenance and safety, as well as important warnings. Creating owner's manuals for the trailers you manufacture can be a daunting, and often expensive task. Fortunately, NATM has made it easy and affordable for members to include manuals with their trailers as an additional resource and benefit to doing business with their dealers. By providing a quality owner’s manual with every trailer, it not only markets the company as reputable, but also helps to reduce liability due to legal issues and misuse by end-users.
NATM offers manuals for 12 trailer types. Bumper pull style trailers include: utility, enclosed, horse, livestock, dump, and boat trailers. Gooseneck-style trailers include: utility, enclosed, horse, dump and boat trailers.
Every manual purchased will be personalized to include the company’s name and address, and each manual is product-line specific. The manuals have the required compliance items and include the following sections:
One of the top shortcomings of trailer manufacturers working to become NATM Compliant is failure to include the NHTSA notification statement. It is required that trailer manufacturers provide the following statement to the purchaser in the owner’s manual, or, if there is no owner’s manual, on a one-page document:
If you believe that your vehicle has a defect that could cause a crash or could cause injury or death, you should immediately inform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in addition to notifying [Insert company name here].
If NHTSA receives similar complaints, it may open an investigation, and if it finds that a safety defect exists in a group of vehicles, it may order a recall and remedy campaign. However, NHTSA cannot become involved in individual problems between you, your dealer, or [Insert company name here].
To contact NHTSA, you may either call the Vehicle Safety Hotline toll-free at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153), go to http://www.safercar.gov; or write to:
1200 New Jersey Avenue S.E.
Washington, DC 20590
You can also obtain other information about motor vehicle safety from http://www.safercar.gov.
By including an owner’s manual, trailer manufacturers are easily able to meet this requirement of both NHTSA and NATM, as well as reduce the chances that customers are left frustrated and confused. The inclusion of an owner’s manual helps to avoid mistreatment and misuse of the trailer in a way that could damage both the trailer and your company’s reputation by word-of-mouth.
The manuals are available for purchase by members only and are sold individually, but discounts are available when ordering multiple manuals. Once purchased, they are emailed as a non-editable PDF format and can be easily reprinted as many times as necessary.
For more information about purchasing generic owner’s manuals, or having your manuals updated, contact Marketing Coordinator Savana Morrison.