Before I started working at Flaman, I had never given much thought to trailer safety. I certainly had never heard of the NATM or what they did. I assumed that all trailers were built properly and that manufacturers legally had to follow a list of safety guidelines for each trailer they manufacture. Now that I have done a bit of research, I have learnt that this wasn’t always the case and that only recently NATM has implemented these guidelines. Before 1987, consumers had no way of ensuring that their trailer was safe enough to travel on the roads. Can you imagine if other industries didn’t have safety guidelines? What if car manufacturers weren’t regularly screened for safety? Trailers need to be built properly to ensure no one on the road or the loads that they carry get injured or damaged.
Trailers and safety are two words that should go hand in hand. The National Association of Trailer Manufacturing (NATM) is an organization that takes trailer safety to a new level. “NATM seeks to promote awareness of safety and best industry practices and provide a voice for trailer manufacturers and their suppliers when issues of trailer safety and regulation are considered by relevant government agencies.” As stated on their website. This has to have everyone shopping in the trailer market breathing a sigh of relief.
As a manufacturer, being a member of the NATM and producing NATM approved trailers will benefit you because it helps you maintain a degree of control over your production process. By following the guidelines that are compiled from FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) and industry best practices, you know you are making safe trailers. The inspection process involves an 80-point checklist that is filled out by NATM consultants during their initial visit. After the manufacturer is deemed successful applicants to the NATM program, they are granted a 2-year membership.
As a consumer, buying a trailer from a manufacturer who is an NATM member ensures that the trailer you are purchasing adheres to a strict set of safety guidelines. This gives you peace of mind in knowing that you are buying something that has gone through multiple safety inspections.
So if you’re looking for a new or used trailer, keep this in mind. Look for NATM dealer associate marked trailers and do your research. It’s worth it.