When safety matters, truck and trailer bodybuilders should carefully consider their choice of material to build rear impact guards for underride protection. The right type of steel in rear impact guards can help to lower the risk of fatal injuries in rear-end collisions involving heavy-duty vehicles and passenger cars, two-wheeled vehicles or lighter-duty vehicles.

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Regulations for rear impact guards drive higher safety

Statistics show that the number of serious or fatal injuries is still high. To reverse this trend, new regulations from the UN’s Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) were implemented in 2019-2021. To get approval under the new regulations, manufacturers must build rear impact guards that can absorb roughly double the test force for trucks (classes N2, N3 over 3.5 t) or trailers (classes O3, O4 over 3.5 t) compared with the old directive.

These stricter ECE R58 03 regulations was fully implemented in September 2021. Vehicle body builders will need to equip newly registered commercial vehicles with rear underrun protection devices and rear impact guards that comply with this regulatory update.

In terms of strengthening safety performance in the U.S., the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) required starting in December 2021 that rear impact guards be inspected annually for commercial motor vehicles.

With the right RUPD design and Strenx® steel, fleet owners and bodybuilders can comply with ECE R58 regulations, while getting a better strength-to-weight ratio compared with aluminum.

How do I beef up protection from an underride guard without adding extra weight?

One consequence of this rule tightening is a heavier rear impact guard. Another is a potentially limited range of approved underrun protection devices.

Yet manufacturers are facing great pressure to lightweight their trucks and trailers. So, how to build stronger and safer underride guards that aren’t heavier? How can you balance requirements for mechanical strength, tightened positioning and deformation constraints, and reasonable costs?

High-strength Strenx® 960, combined with clever design, is helping fleet managers offer the underride protection they need to improve truck and trailer safety while meeting lightweighting goals. It’s a structural steel with an impressive yield strength at 960 MPa that remains formable, so you can design a variety of components to meet your specifications.

These are some reasons why Strenx® steel is gaining ground in the automotive and transportation industries.

Partner with us on rear impact guard design!

Not sure exactly what you need? No problem. SSAB will collaborate with you to design the ideal rear impact guard. Its performance will depend on parameters like material choice, shape and thickness of different parts, distance between supports, and the design of connections between the parts.

The combination of different parameters results in many different underrun protection designs. An engineering study is necessary to evaluate them and find the one that satisfies cost and performance requirements. SSAB actively cooperates with you to design the optimal rear impact guard.

In addition to Strenx® 960 and Strenx® 700 tube, sheet and plate products for rear impact guards, SSAB also offers tube and tube laser cutting for more complex shapes, as well as cutting and press brake bending for different types of support structures for underride guards.

We recommend you look into following Strenx® Tubes:

  • Circular, Strenx® Tube 960QLH 121 x 4 mm (4.76” x 0.157”)
  • Rectangular, Strenx® Tube 960MH 120 x 80 x 4 mm (4.72" x 3.15" x 0.157”)
  • Square, Strenx® Tube 700MLH 120 x 120 x 4 mm (4.72" x 4.72" x 0.157”)
  • Square, (rhombus position) Strenx® Tube 900MH 100 x 100 x 4 mm  (3.94" x 3.94" x 0.157”)


Discover other Strenx® steels in the product tables below.

Strenx® steels for Rear Impact Guards

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    Product Name Thickness range (mmin) Yield strength (min MPaksi) Standards Datasheet
    Strenx® Tube 700MLH 2.5 - 10.00.098 - 0.393 700101 EN 10219-3

    Strenx® Tube 700MLH

    Strenx® Tube 960MH 3.99 - 5.990.157 - 0.236 139 EN 10219-3

    Strenx® Tube 960MH

    Strenx® Tube 960QLH 3.0 - 6.00.118 - 0.236 960140 EN 10210

    Strenx® Tube 960QLH

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      Note: Please contact SSAB to check the availability of the dimensions you want.

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        Product Name Thickness range (mmin) Yield strength (min MPaksi) Standards Datasheet
        Strenx® 960MC 3.00 - 10.000.118 - 0.393 960139 EN 10149-2

        Strenx® 960MC

        Strenx® 960 Plus 2.00 - 8.000.079 - 0.315 960139 EN 10025-6

        Strenx® 960 Plus

        Strenx® 960 CR 0.8 - 2.10.03 - 0.083 960139 SSAB Specification

        Strenx® 960 CR

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          Strenx® 960 for Stronger and Safer Rear Underrun Protection Device

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