Tuesday, January 6, 2009

the wire handling aspects on most horse trailers is a black-eye

NOTE: Look at this quote:

Regretfully, the wire handling aspects on most horse trailers is a black-eye in the trailer manufacturing industry.”

So We addressed this issue back in 2004 by requiring reflector tape to be applied on trailers
under 3,000 pounds in Virginia so what does the industry do??
They tried to undo the law in 2005 because it cost $8.00 to comply. Why?

Here is the evidence.. Carry On Trailers

Pollard is also taking heat from transportation safety advocates who opposed his draft legislation to exempt mesh trailers under three thousand pounds from state inspection. Traditionally, Virginia legislation required that trailers weighing less than 3,000 pounds have either two or more reflectors of an approved type, or at least 100 square inches of reflective material, to outline the rear end of the trailer. In 2005, Pollard patroned legislation which would have redefined a utility trailer so as to exempt it entirely from the requirements of approved reflectors or reflectorized material to outline the trailer. Pollard’s bill (HB4290) defined a utility trailer as a device “whose body and tailgate consist largely or exclusively of mesh and whose end extends 18 inches or more beyond its tail lights.”

In 2005, the year of Pollard’s bill to reduce regulation of utility trailers, he received more than $3,200 in campaign money from Richmond and national lobbyists for transportation interests, including independent auto dealers and trucking interests, according to records maintained by the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP.org). Public safety crusader Ron Melancon, who successfully lobbied to remove Pollard’s definition of a utility trailer from the final bill, accuses Pollard of acting at the behest of the trucking and transportation industry to the detriment of public safety.

In an interview this week, Melancon noted that under Pollard’s attempted legal change, anyone could build a trailer under 3,000 pounds without any inspection requirement or trailer-outlining reflection. Campaigning on behalf of public-safety interests in 2005, Melancon convinced senators that under Pollard’s bill, one could have a mile-long trailer with only a single set of tail lights positioned 18 inches from the bumper. Melancon keeps a registry of all of the accidents involving defective utility trailers at www.dangeroustrailers.com, and his registry now includes the recent Bay Bridge accident that claimed three lives this spring. In 2005, the State Senate’s focus on examples of the evident danger doomed Pollard’s attempt to relax safety standards.

USRider Gives Tips for Proper Care of Breakaway Batteries

Release: December 11 2008

By USRider

Imagine what would happen if your trailer became disconnected from your tow vehicle, and your emergency breakaway battery was fully discharged. Disaster! However, when a breakaway system is working properly, it will lock the brakes automatically if the trailer becomes disconnected from the tow vehicle.

“Be a good steward—don’t take chances with the safety and welfare of your precious cargo,” said Mark Cole, managing member for USRider, the nationwide roadside assistance program for equestrians, which provides emergency road service to its members in the Continental United States, Canada and Alaska.

To ensure your breakaway system is in good working order, USRider offers the following safety tips:

· Have a qualified mechanic test the system for proper operation annually.

· Have your battery load tested to check the current in the battery. A qualified trailer mechanic or personnel at most auto parts stores can do this test. Replace old and weak batteries.

· Regularly inspect the cable and switch for the breakaway system. Replace the cable if it is showing signs of wear.

· Keep the top of the battery and the battery terminals clean. A small wire brush and dielectric grease will help maintain an excellent electrical connection. The battery should be removed from the trailer when the trailer is stored or not used for extended periods. If possible, store the battery in a warm area away from children.

· Be sure that the proper battery is being used for your breakaway system. Consult your owner’s manual, or check with the trailer manufacturer.

· If your battery has removable cell caps, maintain acid levels by adding distilled water. Take care when adding water. Be sure to wear protective eyewear and do not overfill.

· Maintain charge—do not allow a battery to remain discharged for extended periods. 12 volt batteries are considered totally discharged below 11.9 volts. Check voltage with a digital voltmeter.

To help maintain a battery’s charge, USRider highly recommends a built-in battery charger. These systems can be installed on your tow vehicle to charge your battery every time you tow. For rigs that are used infrequently, we recommend using a charging system that provides a “float” charge for extended times when your trailer is not in use.

“For frequent travelers, we especially like breakaway battery systems with built-in chargers and battery status LEDs,” added Cole.

In addition to maintaining your breakaway battery, be sure to keep your trailer’s brake and electrical system in good condition as well.

“We have seen numerous wiring issues with horse trailers,” said Cole. USRider has addressed this issue with a safety bulletin recommending that all horse owners have their horse trailers’ wiring checked by a competent mechanic. “Regretfully, the wire handling aspects on most horse trailers is a black-eye in the trailer manufacturing industry.”

USRider provides roadside assistance and towing services along with other travel-related benefits to its members through the Equestrian Motor Plan. It includes standard features such as flat-tire repair, battery assistance and lockout services, plus towing up to 100 miles and roadside repairs for tow vehicles and trailers with horses, emergency stabling, veterinary referrals and more. For more information about the USRider Equestrian Motor Plan, visit www.usrider.org online or call (800) 844-1409.

For additional trailer safety information, visit the Equine Travel Safety Area at www.usrider.org.

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