Kevin Tillotson, general manager of Modul-System International explains: “Research carried out in conjunction with Volvo Cars Crash Research Centre has provided us with vital information concerning the forces experienced by racking installations, flooring systems, loads carried, installation points and even the fixings used.
“We have applied this knowledge and experience to the development of our product range and are confident that in a crash situation our products will not fail and will remain in place causing the least risk from injury possible due to an unsecured load.
“We have also applied this knowledge across Europe by sharing this information with our installation partners so that when our products are installed into vehicles they are done so with safety at the forefront of the installation.”
Mr Tillotson wrote an industry ‘white paper’ last year on the subject and has been lobbying government and industry bodies for some time on the subject, activity he now sees paying off with the subject now firmly on the agenda.
His proposal is a set of minimum safety standards that should be enforced and regulated, much of which could be done by existing licensed MoT stations (see table).
Mr Tillotson added: “It is not known how many deaths or injuries are caused by loose loads leaving the load area and striking the vehicle occupants but given that a 100kg load becomes a lethal missile weighing the equivalent of 2,500kg in a 30mph frontal collision we must assume that there is a significant number that could be avoided by the introduction of some legislation into this marketplace.
After all if just one life is saved then it would be worth it.”
Modul-System believes the minimum standards for van racking should be:
1. All vehicles to be fitted with a steel bulkhead to protect driver and passenger from loose loads.
2. Loads on LCVs should be secured during transport so that neither the whole load nor part of it shall leave or protrude from the area intended for the load as a result of mass forces caused during acceleration and braking.
3. Fastening devices for lashing should be capable of withstanding certain forces.
4. Fastening devices for lashing should be secured at certain places in the load area to ensure safe load restraint.
5. Any vehicle racking installations should be crash tested and remain in place when subjected to forces of more than 10g.