Many people own trucks these days and never know the history behind the use of bumpers on their truck, because trucks didn't start out with protective bumpers on either the front or rear of the truck.
So let's learn a bit about bumper history!
What is a Truck Bumper?
A truck bumper is a structure attached to front and rear of a vehicle or truck and was invented by a British mechanical engineer Frederick Richard Simms in 1901.
Initially, the bumper was designed mainly for cars; however, in 1967 the NHTSA required the placement of a rear bumper on trucks after the death of Hollywood actress Jayne Mansfield in a motor vehicle/truck accident.
The bumper is usually made of a plastic mold which consists of a steel re-enforcement bar underneath; however, all bumpers are not designed the same as trucks come in various shapes and sizes, so each bumper is designed to fit the shape of the truck.
What is the Purpose of a Truck Bumper?
The main purpose of front and rear bumpers is to absorb the energy of a low collision impact; high collision impacts have their own issues.
Yet the purpose of a truck bumper is not only to absorb energy in a low collision impact; they are also designed to prevent underride collisions with smaller vehicles.
Truck bumpers especially for large scale trucks require the bumpers to be at least 22 inches from the ground.
After 1967, when it became a requirement for trucks to have both front and rear bumpers, there was no regulation for the maintenance of these bumpers, especially after the bumper was damaged.
In 1996, regulations were placed for regular maintenance of the truck bumper and more recently updated in 2015.
If you are a truck owner, it is crucial to be certain that your front and rear truck bumpers are regularly maintained and replaced if required.
If the truck bumpers are not maintained, this can cause a safety hazard in particular for underride accidents which do occur at the rate of 500 people dying due underride collisions annually in the United States.