Defective Cab Guards

Cab guards, also called bulkhead guards or headache racks, protect drivers of large commercial trucks and 18 wheelers and other large or big trucks from shifting loads that could protrude into the occupant space of the vehicle. 

By law, they are required in large commercial trucks such as logging trucks that pull flat bed trailers.

Unfortunately, poorly designed cab guards as well as inadequate welding, and improper installation can all cause cab guards to fail. Cab guards can weaken over time without showing any signs of defect until they fail.

When a cab guard fails, cargo that slams forward during a 18 wheeler or big truck accident or if a 18 wheeler or big truck must make a sudden stop or sudden maneuvers such as braking or swerving can protrude into the cab of the truck, and the results are often fatal.

Federal laws require a minimum strength in cab guards to protect truck drivers and their passengers, but many cab guard manufacturers cut corners and do not live up to these standards. Sadly, defective cab guards typically go undetected until someone is seriously injured or killed.

What are heavy truck cab guards?

Cab guards or headache racks are required as front-end structures on 18-wheelers that pull flat beds, trailers and log trailers. Cab guards are to prevent shifting cargo from contacting the cab of heavy trucks. 

What are the dangers associated with heavy truck cab guards?

Many cab guards are designed of welded heat treated aluminum which results in a weakening of the cab guard over time. The weakening of the cab guard due to fatigue stress is relatively unknown to drivers. The failure to follow such guidelines results in poor welds, poor quality control, and poorly designed cab guards for their intended purpose of protecting truck occupants. 

What can an injured truck driver or passenger do?

If you feel you have a claim, our attorneys would like to talk to you. You may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require 18-wheelers to have cab guards or headache racks to prevent shifting cargo from contacting the cab of heavy trucks. The problem with many cab guards is that they are designed of welded heat-treated aluminum which results in a weakening of the cab guard over time. The weakening of the cab guard due to fatigue stress is relatively unknown to drivers. 

What can be done?

Lawyers in our firm can investigate and pursue a claim for you against cab guard manufacturers under a number of theories: 

You can allege design defect in the manufacturer’s choice and usage of aluminum since the material fails when put to its intended use of protecting occupants from shifting cargo. 

Alternative design would be to use steel since steel will bend and stretch, unlike aluminum, which breaks when not properly engineered. In addition, welded aluminum products are susceptible to fatigue, whereas welded steel products have nearly an infinite fatigue life. 

You can challenge the manufacturer’s use of non-certified welders in welding the aluminum cab guard. In many cases, cab guard manufacturers train welders on the job instead of hiring welders who have already been certified even though aluminum welding is more difficult than welding steel. 

You can challenge the manufacturer’s failure to follow the American Welding Society’s specific standards for welding aluminum. 

You can allege that the manufacturer was negligent in testing its product. 

If you would like more information regarding cab guards, please call.
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