Trailer Talk


1  -  20  of  20

Why Safe Coupling Procedures Matter

Four people died when their car ran into a semitrailer sitting on a busy highway. How'd it happen?

For a better chance at properly hitching the fifth wheel onto the kingpin, hook up and charge the air hoses, then set the trailer’s brakes before backing onto it.  Photo courtesy of Con-way

March 17, 2015

It could've been driver error, mechanical failure or both, and we won't know for a while. But it sure matters.

Tags: Safety, Trailers, Fatal Accidents, Driver Safety Tips

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, March 17, 2015 12:51 PM | » Comments(2)

Blinding Snow Turns a Trailer into a Tow Truck

A trucker unwittingly takes a minivan for the ride of its life.

February 19, 2015

A minivan plowed into the rear of a semi on I-75 in northern Michigan, and got dragged along for miles by the rig because its driver was totally unaware that he had something hanging on.

Tags: Winter Driving, Safety, Trailers, rear-end collisions, Rear Impact Guards

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, February 19, 2015 5:00 PM | » Comments(0)

Out-of-Control Doubles Make Spectacular Video

On black ice, all the anti-lock braking systems in the western world can't do much to control a multi-trailer combination.

The truck had gone over the divider by this point coming to rest, only moments before being struck from behind.

January 26, 2015

This video is so graphic that parts of it, shot by a motorist along the New Jersey Turnpike, were picked up by ABC and CBS in their evening newscasts one day last week. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Tags: Safety, Fleet Safety, Double-trailers, Black Ice

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, January 26, 2015 1:47 PM | » Comments(2)

Why Can't Those 3 Upper ID Lights Be Mounted Low?

They'd be safer to reach for repairs, but they're up there for some good reasons.

On the move, they're still visible -- and more artsy. Photo by Jim Park

January 8, 2015

The three identification lights at the top-rear of the trailer, mounted around the center line of the vehicle, are to alert following drivers that the vehicle equipped with these lights is wider than 80 inches.

Tags: Regulations, Safety, Trailers, Lighting

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, January 8, 2015 1:15 PM | » Comments(0)

Done Properly and Legally, Supplemental Signal Lights Enhance Safety

In heavy street traffic, a flashing light cues motorists to react early by slowing down or moving over to avoid being delayed -- but they also can cause confusion.

June 16, 2014

The Transportation Safety Equipment Institute reports that its member companies are seeing an increase in requests to add innovative lighting devices, and questions arise about their legality. Senior Editor Tom Berg takes a closer look in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Lighting, Auxiliary Lighting, Transportation Safety Equipment Institute, Truck-Lite, Peterson Manufacturing, Trailers, Safety, Regulations

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, June 16, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Twin 33s Would Be Safer than 28s, U of Michigan Researcher Says

A 33-foot trailer's 5-foot-longer wheelbase would make it more stable when part of a doubles combination.

April 23, 2014

Double-trailer rigs with a pair of 33-foot trailers would be “inherently more stable” and therefore safer than the twin 28s now running throughout the United States, according to John Woodrooffe, director of commercial vehicle research at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute.

Tags: Vehicle Safety, Safety, Doubles, Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Amber Rear Turn Signals Are Safer Than Red, But Few Use Them

A light flashing yellow means "turn" and one flashing red means "stop." The result is less confusion for drivers behind.

Tanker fleets are more likely to use amber turn signals than other operators. This trailer also has white backup lights.

March 13, 2014

Lights on the rear of most vehicles have all red lights because that's all the regulation requires. Maybe that should change.

Tags: Safety, Trailers, Lighting, Truck-Lite, Wabash National

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Why Better Underride Guards, and Maybe Other Stuff, Are Worth It

When the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested underride guards in 2010, one guard failed. That trailer manufacturer has since redesigned its guards, and it worked properly in the IIHS&#39; latest round of tests.<br />

June 3, 2013

Senior Editor Tom Berg offers some personal insight into trailer underride guards and why they're so important in his "Trailer Talk" blog.

Tags: IIHS, Safety, Trailers, Underride

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, June 3, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Police sirens, Quiet-Zone crossing could be factors in Texas truck-train tragedy

Drop-deck semitrailer remains intact after being struck near its rear by the fast-moving train. Chairs are still strapped in place.

November 19, 2012

Many thoughts went through my head when I first heard about the tragic train-truck collision in Midland, Texas, on Nov. 15: Oh, those poor military guys and their families! How could this happen? How could the truck driver mess up like this?

Tags: Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, November 19, 2012 1:55 PM | » Comments(0)

Paschall improves CSA scores with contract 'readiness' program

A fleetHQ technician inspects a trailer where it&#39;s parked, and after a go-ahead from Paschall Truck Lines, will fix whatever&#39;s wrong.

May 31, 2012

With more than 2,700 trailers scattered across the lower 48 states and Mexico, conducting regular trailer inspections and repairs has been a daunting task for Paschall Truck Lines. But a contract service adopted more than a year ago has effectively complemented the fleet's effort

Tags: Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, May 31, 2012 10:38 AM | » Comments(0)

What are drivers thinking before they get rammed at railroad crossings?

March 9, 2012

"Stop, Look and Listen." You'd think professional truck drivers, of all people, would heed that warning at railroad crossings, but not all of them do

Tags: Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, March 9, 2012 10:39 AM | » Comments(1)

Feds want anti-rollover systems on tank trailers and tractors

February 21, 2012

The feds have become believers in electronic roll-stability control (RSC) systems, and want tank-trailer operators to buy them, though it won't be right away, reports the American Trucking Associations

Tags: Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8:26 PM | » Comments(2)

Electronics can cut rollover wrecks; so can structural stiffness and lighter weight, Fontaine says

Box sections replace crossmembers in Fontaine Trailer&#226;€™s Revolution flatbed, making it more resistant to flexing and rollover.

February 17, 2012

Rollover wrecks by tractor-trailers are among the worst kinds of accidents, safety people say, because property damage is high and driver injuries are severe

Tags: Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, February 17, 2012 8:29 AM | » Comments(0)

Underride guards in Japan look weaker but cover more area than here

Like all commercial vehicles of any size, this trailer sports underride barriers on three sides. Its tractor&#39;s engine was idling, like all other heavy vehicles at this Japanese truck stop.

January 20, 2012

Underride guards are becoming topical in the United States as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is petitioning federal safety authorities to toughen the regulation that govern the design on rear bumpers on trailers.

Tags: Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, January 20, 2012 2:09 AM | » Comments(0)

'E-Z Guider' begs the question, Why don't trailers have backup lights?

August 25, 2011

Ever back a trailer into a dark alley or loading dock? Talk about a black hole!

Tags: Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, August 25, 2011 1:33 PM | » Comments(0)

Must-see video shows twister tearing up a trailer, but driver survives

June 3, 2011

Tornados that ravaged parts of Oklahoma on May 24 included one that hit a tractor-trailer right where it was on a highway

Tags: Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, June 3, 2011 11:43 AM | » Comments(0)

You Can Run, But Sometimes You Can't Get By Good-Guy Truckers

Caught on tape! Fleeing driver tries to edge by a rig but the trucker squeezes him into a guardrail. He ran down the slope but troopers collared him.

March 16, 2011

Most truckers are good guys and good citizens who appreciate law and order. Their tractor-trailers make good road blocks, and drivers have been known to deploy them to help police officers capture criminals on the run

Tags: Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, March 16, 2011 10:30 PM | » Comments(0)

There's a Website for Everything, Including Truck Spills

On January 2, 2009, shortly before 8:00 a.m., thousands of shoes mysteriously appeared on a Miami highway. Who spilled the shoes? Nobody knows. But they disrupted traffic on the Palmetto Expressway for hours.

February 6, 2011

We've just heard of a website that displays incidents of freight spilled from tractor-trailers onto highways

Tags: Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Sunday, February 6, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Oh-Oh! Over She Goes!

August 5, 2010

A short video now making the rounds of truck folks' e-mail boxes shows a huge and heavy steel I-beam girder, and the trailer dollies it's on, falling over in a freeway curve

Tags: Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, August 5, 2010 7:57 AM | » Comments(2)

Man Holds Onto Trailer 'For Dear Life' as He Calls 911

(Photo by Highway Trailer Sales)

June 28, 2010

The semitrailer had a ladder, which proved a lucky thing for a man who jokingly climbed aboard in the wee hours of Friday, June 18

Tags: Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, June 28, 2010 3:06 PM | » Comments(0)



We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.



The expert, Mark Betner from CITGO, will answer your questions

View All



The expert, Rence Oliphant from Hendrickson, will answer your questions

View All