Senate urged to reject bigger double-trailer trucks

“I don’t like Congress mandating that states do this,” said Central Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall, who signed a letter to Cochran along with the state’s other two elected commissioners. “I’m a whole lot more interested in the safety of Mississippi’s drivers than I am the financial welfare of a national corporation.”

National highway safety advocates also are fighting the measure, along with another passed by the House that would extend a freeze on stricter regulations on when and how long truckers must rest between long hauls.

Mississippi is one of 39 states that does not allow “double 33s,” or two 33-foot trailers to be pulled behind a single truck. The state allows double 28-foot trailers, but Hall said “I’m not a fan of double trailers, period.”

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TRUCK UNDERRIDE HAZARDS

Truck underride is when a passenger vehicle crashes into and penetrates beneath, or “underrides”, the taller rear or side of a large truck or trailer. The top of the car is crushed or ripped off, and the occupants suffer severe head trauma or may be decapitated. Rear guards on trucks and trailers were initially required in 1953, and are known as ICC bumpers (Interstate Commerce Commission), but such rear bumper devices are typically defective…. too high above the road, too narrow across the truck’s rear, and too weak to prevent the underride hazard.

A safer rear guard is lower, full-width, and stronger. The guard should be about 16 inches above the road, to engage the frontal structures of even the smallest cars, and wide enough across the entire rear of the truck, and strong enough so it won’t break away, with supports at the rear corners of the trailer. After 30 years of industry delay and politicizing, and stimulated by a Congressional Hearing in 1991, NHTSA finally issued a safety standard to require safer guards, but only for new trailers effective as of January 1998. All pre-1998 trailers and large trucks already on the road, and all new trucks after that date, are still not covered, and may well be defectively designed and ineffective.

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Underride guards on most big rigs leave passenger vehicle occupants at risk in certain crashes

Modern semitrailers for the most part do a good job of keeping passenger vehicles from sliding underneath them, greatly increasing the chances of surviving a crash into the back of a large truck, recent tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show. But in crashes involving only a small portion of the truck’s rear, most trailers fail to prevent potentially deadly underride.

Most semitrailers are required to have underride guards. These are steel bars that hang from the backs of trailers to prevent the front of a passenger vehicle from moving underneath during a crash. Earlier research showed that the minimum strength and dimensions required for underride guards are inadequate, prompting the Institute to petition the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2011 for tougher standards. The Institute also asked the agency to consider applying the standards to other types of large trucks such as dump trucks that aren’t required to have any underride guards.

Although NHTSA hasn’t responded yet, trailer manufacturers already are installing guards that are much stronger than the agency requires. These guards generally work well to prevent underride, except in crashes occurring at the outer edges of trailers, the crash tests show.

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Auto Truck Wire Harness Repair

Wiring Harness Repair

Wire diagrams are getting bigger!

In case you haven’t noticed, cars and trucks have a lot of wires running through them nowadays! I have files of wiring diagrams for cars I’ve fixed over the years. The 1970’s cars had diagrams that fit on 2 pages. By 2000 a wire diagram on a Cadillac or high end import was twelve pages or more. The diagrams are mostly online now, but they’re either incomplete, or huge.

Often wires get damaged in cars, since they run almost everywhere.

Common causes of wire failures

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