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IIHS Toughguard Award

It is always nice to see when semi-trailer manufacturers get honored for their quality production.  Recently, five semi-trailer manufacturers received such honors.The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recognizes those companies who produced the top-most rear underride guards within the semi-truck industry.  The recipients of this IIHS’s Toughguard Award included Manac, Great Dane, Vanguard National Trailer, Stoughton Trailers, and Wabash National.   


Underride Guard

An underride guard is a metal bumper fitted specifically for semi-trailers.  Its sole purpose is to protect smaller vehicles from sliding under a semi-trailer during a rear collision.  Underride guards are extremely effective in improving the survival rates of passengers traveling in smaller vehicles during semi-trailer impacts.     

Standards for Toughguard Award

All of the recipients of this years Toughguard Award presented rear guards that prevented midsize cars from underride.  Three tests were performed - full-width, 30% overlap, and 50% overlap - to determine the quality of the manufacturer's rear guards.  In each of the tests, a midsize car collided with a parked semi-trailer at 35 mph.  

At first, only the Manac semi-trailer passed the test, but the other four winners took heed of their semi-trailer’s weak underguards and improved upon them until they passed IIHS’s rigorous test.  

IIHS designed the test to mimic real-life scenarios where underride guards failed in the past.  The institute was more than pleased to see that five manufacturers stepped up their safety game and redesigned their underguards to pass their test and receive the prestigious Toughguard Award.

The underride test encompassed six years of research, which included multiple tests of various semi-trailers from eight of the largest North American semi-manufacturers.


Impact On Semi-Truck Safety

The IIHS test reports allowed semi-truck manufacturers to closely examine their underguard protectors in real-life simulations.  Many manufacturers who did not pass the test the first time, redesigned their underguards and tested them out again.  Those who failed IIHS’s safety test a second time were still left with underguards that exceeded current industry standards.


In fact, the results of the test were taken into consideration by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration while they considered raising the safety standards for semi-trucks in both the U.S. and Canada because of it.  If they do choose to raise new underguard standards, It will be the first time that a set of safety standards will be assigned for both Canada and the U.s.       


Bright Future


Not so long ago, in 2015, 427 passengers in smaller vehicles died due to underride collisions with semi-trucks.  This was a 39% increase from 2011, where 260 smaller-vehicle passengers lost their lives in semi-underride collisions.  The Toughguard Award and the test it employs has already begun to cause a positive impact towards the reduction of the number of fatalities in semi-truck fatalities.  The main reason is due to manufacturers becoming increasingly aware of the current condition of their underride guards.


About Country Supply

Country Supply is located in Chicago, Illinois.  The company was incorporated in 1975 by Dean and Roger Hupe, who had the brilliant idea of combining Transcraft flatbed trailers and Princeton piggy back forklifts to deliver sod to the Chicago area.


Today, Country Supply is a one-stop-shop for multiple industrial name brands.  The company retains a capable crew that is fully-equipped to fulfill leasing, rental, purchasing, sales, parts, service, and warranty needs.  


For more information about Country Sales and its multi-faceted services and products, please contact us.

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