SMMT showcases UK light trailer sector in Westminster

06 September 2012 #SMMT News

SMMT’s ‘Light Trailer and Trailer Equipment Section’ represents the interests of those SMMT members that manufacture, import, distribute or retail light trailers (not exceeding 3.5t), trailer kits, towing attachments for vehicles, and trailer components or accessories.

Ahead of new Type Approval rules that come into force in late October, two members of the Section are exhibiting their products to raise awareness of the legislative changes and latest technological advances in the sector.

From 29 October this year, every trailer that is built in a single stage will need to comply with European Whole Vehicle Type Approval requirements before it is used on the road.

This milestone is the latest in the programme of Europe-wide changes to Type Approval Regulations. From the end of October, every trailer manufactured will need European Community Whole Vehicle or National Small Series Type Approval. Without one of these approvals, trailers will not be permitted to use the road. Alternatively, the trailer can be subjected to an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) inspection.

To help trailer manufactures, bodybuilders, converters and vehicle manufactures to achieve the required Type Approval quickly and easily, SMMT has developed its SENTA Guide. This online tool provides guidance to companies seeking Type Approval and uses a simple step-by-step system to produce Type Approval documentation. The service is free to SMMT members and charges a one-off fee to non-members.

For more information on Type Approval and SMMT’s SENTA tool go to

Exhibitor: AL-KO Kober

AL-KO is the UK’s market leading caravan chassis specialist producing over 20,000 chassis per year for the UK leisure market. The company is exhibiting a lightweight caravan chassis at SMMT, complete with the full range of fitted accessories including an automatic manoeuvring system, AL-KO ATC, the latest design AKS Stabiliser and Shock Absorbers.

Towing safety is taken very seriously by the Warwickshire based manufacturer, and for more than 10 years AL-KO has developed products aimed at assisting people who tow trailers either for commercial or leisure applications.

Two of the most important improvements in increasing towing stability, the AKS Stabiliser range and AL-KO ATC Trailer Control, have been developed to minimise snaking and suppress instability automatically to keep the trailer under control.

The AKS range of stabilisers minimise pitching and yawing movements of caravans and trailers that can quickly develop into more dangerous lateral swings. In these more dramatic situations, ATC will act in a similar way to ESP by applying the brakes gently, bringing the trailer back into line in a safe and controlled manner. Around 75% of all caravans manufactured in the UK are fitted with ATC as standard.

Exhibitor: Knott-Avonride Ltd

As a major supplier to the light trailer industry, Knott-Avonride Ltd has been instrumental in raising awareness of the requirements for Type Approval within the industry through various exhibitions and seminars.

The trailer chassis on show in the SMMT exhibition space demonstrates the specific areas of compliance that Type Approval imposes upon trailer manufacturers in order to satisfy the new requirements.

Under the new regulations, every trailer imported or manufactured for use on the road will have to be certified via one of three routes: Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA), EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) or National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA).

Knott-Avonride Ltd is able to supply fully Type-Approved components, including: axles, brakes, chassis parts, cables and couplings. All components are compliant to EEC Directives and UNECE Regulations together with all the associated certification required by the authorities to assist the light trailer industry in meeting the new requirements.

The SMMT exhibit was visited this week by Andrew Griffiths MP, Member of Parliament for Burton and Uttoxeter, the constituency where Knott-Avonride Ltd is based.

Click through the slideshow below to see all the photos from SMMT’s exhibition space.

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