One of the most common equipment citations given to delivery trucks is for improper or worn mudflaps. It's a common problem for producer's fleets because of the severe conditions in which mixers and dumps deliver.
To help provide guidance on where to properly locate a mudflap, we contacted Bob Raybuck, technical services director at the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA). Raybuck advises body manufacturers and dealers on the most current federal rulings regarding equipment.
The federal government currently has no regulations pertaining to mud-flaps or splash/spray suppression devices for commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), says Raybuck. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't pay close attention to mudflaps.
“Many states have enacted their own regulations governing the type, size, and location of mudflaps and/or splash and spray suppression devices on CMVs,” says Raybuck. To help understand these rules, NTEA recently published the technical report, “State Requirements for Mud Flaps.”
The report is available to NTEA members under the Technical Resources section at the association's Web site, www.ntea.com. The document details regulations for mudflaps and splash/ spray suppression devices for CMVs for all 50 states.
Many states require fenders, covers, mudflaps, or other splash/spray suppression devices that minimize the splash or spray of water, rocks, mud, or other materials from being thrown onto the windshields of following vehicles. These regulations vary by state.
Fleet managers should be aware that most manufacturers and distributors of trucks, truck bodies, and trailers install mudflaps or splash/spray suppression devices at the time of body installation and manufacturing. Many often do not know where the customer plans to place the vehicle in service. If the seller knows this early in the process, the manufacturer or dealer can place or locate these devices to conform with the applicable state regulations, says Raybuck.
When the supplier is uncertain, it can refer to the guideline for placement and length of the mudflap outlined in the Society of Automotive Engineers' (SAE) Recommended Practice J682.
While SAE provides guidance for locating mudflaps (SAE Recommended Practice, J682-Rear Wheel Splash and Stone Throw Protection, Aug. 2002), these guidelines cannot be used in lieu of more stringent state regulations, says Raybuck.
“The guidelines may be applied only where individual state regulations do not designate a specific mounting location,” he adds.