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What to Check as You're Replacing Your Trailer's Reflectors

Reflective tape helps save lives, especially along poorly lit roads and in poor weather. Poorly maintained tape is also one of the most common violations during safety inspections. While glancing over the taped areas to check for damaged, torn, or obstructed tape can be quick, knowing where and how to place it in the first place requires rigid attention to detail. Here are some of the regulations to keep in mind:
  1. Make sure the tape is placed along the right sections of your trailer. The reflective tape should stretch along the length of your trailer. While the line doesn't have to be fully taped, any dashed line has to be composed of at least 50% tape and needs to start and end as close to the front and back as possible. Horizontal lines of tape should also mark the bottom of the trailer's rear section (in an area no shorter than 15 inches of the ground and no higher than 60 inches), as well as along the top's edge and corners.
  2. Get the right colors. the FMCSA's recommends alternating strips of red and white tape for maximum visibility. When you're taping the lines, make sure each piece is between six and eighteen inches before changing to the next color. While red and white stripes are recommended for the majority of the tape lines, the tape along the top of your trailer's rear section should just be white.
  3. Regularly clear away mud and dirt. Having the tape is the first step, but if it's covered it can't help keep you and passenger vehicles safe. Always check that the tape isn't obscured especially when you stop after driving through rain and snow.

Reflective tape is one of the best safety materials semi trailers have, and it's also the most visible when it's out of compliance. Keep your trailer safe and go to Country Supply for more tips and information about safety regulations.

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