DO YOU KNOW WHETHER YOUR EN 12642 CODE XL SUPERSTRUCTURE IS STILL STRONG ENOUGH?
If you want to transport a load with a positive fit (i.e. without using aids such as lashing straps), you must be able to prove that the superstructure is strong enough. You can do that by having your superstructure tested in accordance with EN 12642 code XL. But how do you know whether your superstructure is still able to withstand those forces years later? Our load securing specialist Niels Bouwmeester has written a blog on the subject below.
EN 12642 CODE XL SUPERSTRUCTURE
Anyone reading this will probably recognise the stickers shown below, but what exactly do they mean?
These stickers indicate that a superstructure has been tested and certified to EN 12642 “Code XL”. At the time of delivery, the owner of the vehicle is given a manufacturer’s certificate guaranteeing the stability of the superstructure. That certificate will also specify the conditions that need to be met in order for the certificate to remain valid. Those conditions will also depend on the specified load capacity of the vehicle.
Each part of the superstructure is individually tested and all the parts are covered by a single certificate which will then constitute proof of a stronger roof structure, reinforced headboard, reinforced rear doors and frame, sturdier tarpaulins, stanchions with a higher load capacity, stronger shoring bars, etc. Reinforced superstructures are ideally suited for positive-fit loads, i.e. ‘contained’ loads. Please note, there are also guidelines for these.
EN 12642 CODE XL REINSPECTION
An EN 12642 code XL certificate is only issued once. But how do you know whether your superstructure is still strong enough some years later? I have been trying to introduce a mandatory annual superstructure reinspection in the Netherlands for some time now. According to EN 12642, this reinspection is not necessary but it is carried out in Germany (under VDI 2700). An inspection, a stamp and another guarantee that the superstructure is still strong enough.
Why is reinspection based on EN 12642 code XL important?
It is necessary to reinspect a reinforced superstructure in order to improve safety. As I mentioned above, each individual component is tested and all the components are covered by a single certificate. But what if damage is caused to the superstructure? In that case, the damaged component in question will probably be replaced.
If there is damage to the doors, the repairer should fit XL-certified replacement doors, but is that what actually happens? And if there is damage to the tarpaulins, they are often not replaced with reinforced tarpaulins because of the ‘costs’ involved. So now the tarpaulin no longer complies with the relevant forces prescribed on the already ‘existing’ certificate. These are just two examples, but the same actually applies to every certified component.
If XL-certified components are not used as replacements, the certificate expires because you now no longer know whether the superstructure is still able to withstand the forces from the previous tests. However, the main certificate is only issued once and then no-one looks at it again. Even if the superstructure is not damaged, you should not just assume that it is still able to withstand the forces exerted on it.
Does it therefore not make sense for a reinforced superstructure to be inspected by an expert every so often (as is the case in Germany)? Until this is made mandatory in the Netherlands, I recommend that if it is damaged or in the course of time, you make your own arrangements regarding the reinspection of your superstructure.