New underrun protection can impact bodybuilders negatively

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You probably know that new regulations for underrun protection are coming into force. There is always a certain degree of uncertainty when new regulations are introduced, and many operators in the industry are presumably thinking about how their businesses will be affected. One type of business likely to be significantly affected is bodybuilding.

The time for new thinking is now

The new regulations come into force on 1 September 2019, and will apply to new type-approved vehicles. Also, from September 2021, the same regulations will apply to all newly registered vehicles. This may not entail much change for vehicle owners, who can usually expect their vehicles to be delivered with all the requisite certification in line with applicable regulations. For bodybuilders, however, the regulations may result in completely different consequences, since normal work procedures may need to be modified in order to meet the new requirements.


New regulations are changing conditions

The new UNECE R58 Revision 3 regulation essentially involves increasing road safety by strengthening and improving underrun protection. This is chiefly accomplished in two ways:


There are tightened requirements for permissible ground clearance dimensions, overhang and section height, and, most importantly, testing forces are being doubled.

  1. Requirements for physical, controlled deformation tests (instead of solely relying on computer calculations and simulated crash tests, as is the case today).
  2. The requirement for physical deformation tests has no impact on bodybuilders since the onus is on underrun protection manufacturers to perform and document these tests. On the other hand, the new dimensions may have considerable impact on some bodybuilders.

A small change that may entail huge consequences

For certain vehicle types and applications, the changed regulatory dimensions are of no major significance. The only consequence of the new regulations for these vehicles will be a heavier weight due to the larger dimensions. For other vehicles and applications, however, the changed permissible ground clearance and lengthwise placement of the protection may entail huge consequences. Bodybuilders will have less leeway and latitude owing to the stricter requirements. This may, in turn, necessitate re-evaluation and alternative solutions.

Being well prepared is the safest bet

For bodybuilders who build vehicles where the space under the rear end is critical, it may be wise to already start thinking about whether the new regulatory framework will require changes in solutions or work methods. Moreover, it is not only dimensions and components that will change, but the product range on the market as well, since some manufacturers will not be able to meet the new requirements.

This means that bodybuilders may find themselves in a difficult situation, where new solutions must be identified at the same time as new suppliers must be found who are able to meet the stricter requirements. That’s why, if you are a bodybuilder, you should familiarise yourself with the new regulation and consider how it will affect your business. By being well prepared you can avoid any unpleasant surprises.

To simplify matters for you, we have summarised the forthcoming changes in a document containing the new dimensions and requirements for different vehicle types. Feel free to download it. It will help you to ensure you are well prepared by 1 September 2019.


Download summary of new R58 regulation

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