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.
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.
Membership renewal forms were mailed and emailed to NATM members this November. In order to avoid a membership lapse, 2020 dues are to be paid by January 31, 2020. Per NATM Bylaws, all membership benefits will be suspended beginning Feb. 1 for any member with unpaid dues.
For Trade Show Exhibitors, it is important to note that NATM DUES MUST BE PAID BY DECEMBER 31st, 2019 to maintain the member rate for booths at the February 2020 Convention & Trade Show in Las Vegas, NV.
Membership dues will again go unchanged in 2020. Rates are $795 for Associate (Supplier) members, $135 for Associate Branch members, $925 for Regular and International Regular (Trailer Manufacturer) members and $300 for Regular Branch members. If you joined between February and October of 2019, your 2020 dues are prorated accordingly.
NATM greatly values your membership and 2020 promises to be another fantastic year to be a NATM member. You can pay by check, over the phone, or online. The NATM website has a “Members Only” section where members are able to sign in and pay dues at any time.
If you have questions, including username and password information for the “Members Only” site, please contact NATM Member Services Coordinator Kathy Johnson at (785) 272-4433 or Kathy.Johnson@natm.com.
Members of NATM are cordially invited to attend the annual NATM Membership Meeting during the 2020 Convention & Trade Show on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 10:15-11:15 a.m. No ticket is required for entry.
During the membership meeting, NATM will report on the many exciting achievements that took place over 2019, will give an update on the status of the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, and will communicate about anticipated changes to the Association in the future. The NATM Executive Committee will be in attendance to answer questions. NATM Board Members will be dispersed throughout the room for one-on-one discussions as well.
In addition, we look to you as members for feedback and input on any topics and issues important to you that you would like to see NATM and its Board of Directors address. To submit comments regarding the Membership Meeting, please contact email@example.com.
Those that are not NATM Members in good standing are unable to attend the event but may attend the Awards Luncheon with a ticket following the Membership Meeting.
NATM is excited for new and revised sponsorship opportunities for 2020! There are marketing and general sponsorship opportunities available from $250 to $50,000 to fit any budget. 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.
You can find the 2020 Sponsorship Brochure at: https://www.natm.com/sponsor.html. Don’t delay – these opportunities are going fast!
For more information about NATM’s 2020 Convention & Trade Show, including sponsorship opportunities and exhibit space, please contact Kelli Maydew at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (785) 272-4433.
Registration for the 32nd Annual Convention & Trade Show officially opens Wednesday, September 4 on NATM.com!
Discounted Early Bird registration rates are available until Dec. 31 for both trailer manufacturers and exhibitors. Attendees can register online by visiting NATM.com.
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.
New to the Show? Get Complimentary Registrations and Room Nights!
NATM trailer manufacturers who have never attended the NATM Convention, or who have not attended in the last five years, are eligible for two complimentary full registrations and two complimentary hotel room nights (while available) as part of the New Member Promotion. Full registrations include access to all events and meals (except Top Golf Tee-Off) outlined in the show calendar. This is an affordable opportunity for trailer manufacturers to receive top notch education, networking and develop supplier relationships all under the Vegas lights. Please contact NATM Membership & Events Director Kelli Maydew at Kelli.Maydew@natm.com or call (785) 272-4433 to take advantage of this promotion!
New! Tee-Off to Convention Top Golf Event
NATM is excited to announce a new opening event, “Tee Off to Convention!” Help “tee off” 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!
Do You Know Your NATM Login Credentials?
In an effort to keep member profiles more secure, our website software provider will no longer allow NATM access to member passwords. Your login credentials have not been changed. However, with multiple upcoming events we wanted to ensure that every member can successfully log on to the website with their login credentials. If you haven’t done so recently, we would encourage you to log on to the members only side of NATM.com to ensure you know your company’s login credentials.
Can’t remember your username/password? No problem! You can reset your password here: https://bit.ly/33D2sCO. Simply enter your main contact’s email address and wait for the reset email from NATMHQ@natm.com. You may also call NATM at (785) 272-4433 and have your company’s credentials manually reset by NATM staff.
In order to receive member pricing on Convention & Trade Show registration, you must be logged in to your member profile.
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.
The NATM Board of Directors said farewell to two members seeking opportunities outside of trailer manufacturing and welcomed Lyle Berning of Novae Corp. and Serena Moran of Sun Country Trailers to fill the open positions with the terms ending in February of 2021. With expansive histories in many capacities in trailer manufacturing, Berning and Moran promise to bring new insights and experience as the Board continues its work. To learn more about the newest members of the Board, click here.
Lyle Berning is Corporate Product Manager for Novae Corp., a company that builds open utility, dump, enclosed cargo, and deckover trailers. With positions such as engineering manager, buyer, plant manager, national account sales, and warranty manager under his belt, Berning brings vast professional, technical, and business experience to the NATM Board of Directors. Lyle serves as the Chair of the NATM Guidelines committee.
Serena Moran is owner and Vice President of Sales and Operations for Sun Country Trailers/Playcraft Trailers, builder of utility, watercraft, equipment, car hauler, and dump trailers. An NATM member company since 2014, Moran currently serves on the NATM Strategic Plan Steering Committee. When asked why she would be a good fit for the board, Moran answered, “I have passion for what I do and care about the industry’s future. Safety is first for me and I feel that based on my experiences from starting my business from zero to (several) million in revenue, I can help others from what I have been able to learn and experience along the way.”
The NATM Board welcomes Berning and Moran and is looking forward to their input and expertise as they continue overseeing the work of the Association
The NATM Board of Directors submitted a series of changes to the Bylaws to those of the NATM membership that hold voting rights as outlined in the Bylaws for approval. Some of the changes reflect the evolution of NATM since its inception and better clarifies practices. Other changes reflect changes in policy that need to be made before action can be taken.
The window for voting has closed and the membership has approved the changes as submitted.
While many of the changes have little impact on the membership directly, these changes have helped the NATM staff and Executive Committee work more efficiently. These changes include:
However, the membership can expect to see one significant change with the renewal process. Beginning with 2020 renewals, NATM members failing to pay their dues by the Jan. 31 deadline will have all membership benefits suspended until outstanding dues payments are made. NATM will continue to give members until May 1 to pay their dues without cancelling their membership as outlined in the Bylaws, however the Association will no longer provide the member benefits such as compliance consultations, technical support, advertising opportunities, educational content such as Tracks magazine, and the like during the time of their delinquency.
If you have questions about these changes or would like a copy of the NATM Bylaws, please contact NATM Executive Director Kendra Ansley.