More stringent requirements placed on lorry underruns
Are you already aware of the new ECE R58-3 requirements?
In order to increase transport safety, the EU has altered underrun requirements for lorries and trailers. These new ECE R58-3 guidelines entered into force back in 1 September 2019 for new type approvals. After 1 September 2021, individual tests will be required to meet the more stringent regulations for underruns. If you construct bodies or trailers, it will be handy if you are prepared for this! After all, the more stringent requirements have consequences for the construction, height, location and installation of the underrun. However, the structure of the vehicle, to which the underrun is attached, also needs to be a bit stronger.
A lorry or trailer must be fitted with an underrun (otherwise known as a bumper or underrun protection) on the back. An underrun prevents other road users from ending up underneath the vehicle in the event of a collision. The requirements for underruns are laid down in ECE Regulation 58.
WHAT HAS CHANGED IN THE NEW ECE R58-3 GUIDELINES?
The biggest changes in the new ECE R58-3 guideline for unladen vehicles >8 tonnes are:
- the underrun must be able to withstand higher forces at 5 test points
- the height of the underrun profile was 100 and is now 120 mm
- the more stringent requirements that are being placed on the installation of the underrun on the vehicle
- the height from the ground to the underrun (the footboard height) was 550 and is now 450 mm
- the distance from the back of the vehicle to the underrun structure must not exceed 400 mm.
WHAT DO THE NEW REQUIREMENTS MEAN FOR THE STRUCTURE OF THE UNDERRUN AND THE VEHICLE?
The underrun must be able to withstand higher forces at 5 test points. This has consequences for the underrun structure. The underrun structure must be made heavier or from a different grade of steel. In many cases, this causes the weight of the underrun structure to increase, potentially causing the total weight of the vehicle to increase. This does not necessarily have to be the case, of course; an engineer will try to recover weight in other places (such as by using lightweight toolboxes) in order to keep the useful load capacity the same. However, the vehicle structure must be made stronger. If calculations show that the structure meets the requirements, a practical test will often not be required. Each underrun structure must include a distinct and indelible seal of approval. Any changes to the structure must be reported to the RDW at all times.
EXCEPTIONS TO UNDERRUN REQUIREMENTS
Special requirements apply to dump trucks and vehicles that have tailgates. For tractor units and vehicles where it is not possible to use an underrun structure as it would render the vehicle unusable, an exemption may be requested from the RDW in the Netherlands.
POMMIER UNDERRUN STRUCTURES
Our underrun supplier Pommier has adapted its entire range to meet the new requirements. The permanent, lifting and retractable underruns have now been approved. When developing the underruns, Pommier has tried to reach as close a compromise as possible between an improved mechanical strength, tightening of new positioning and distortion preventions and control of weights and costs. Watch the video:
For further information about the new ECE R58-3 guidelines, the Pommier underruns or specially tailored advice, contact our specialists on +31 (0)88 130 60 90 or fill in the contact form. They will be happy to help you.