Fuel for Thought


By Greg Huggins
Posted Nov 21st 2021 9:31AM

You may have seen the news about rear impact guards on trailers now being a part of the annual inspections. While most expediters tend to drive straight trucks and cargo vans, this new inspection does not only pertain to trailers. Sure, cargo and sprinter type vans are not affected by this, but straight trucks certainly fall in this category as well. 

There are certain standards for what will pass as a rear impact guard (RIG). Most, if not all, straight trucks that have a rear impact guard, will have a welded rear bumper (RIG), and these welds will need to be checked for cracked welds before it will pass the new DOT inspection standards. If you have one of these, you should have already been keeping it in proper working order, but now it will be even more important to carefully inspect the RIG during your pre and post trip inspections.

Many straight trucks have a liftgate and no rear bumper. This also satisfies the requirement. You do not have to have a specific rear bumper to pass inspection, but the rear of the vehicle has to meet specific standards to be considered in compliance.

In case you need the specifics during a roadside inspection, I am including the regulation below.

§ 393.86 Rear impact guards and rear end protection

49 CFR 393.86(b)(3)

Vehicle components and structures that may be used to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section.  Low chassis vehicles, special purpose vehicles, or wheels back vehicles constructed and maintained so that the body, chassis, or other parts of the vehicle provide the rear end protection comparable to impact guard(s) conforming to the requirements of paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall be considered to be in compliance with those requirements.

See you down the road,