Diamond Standard issues advisory on step bumpers

Jan. 1, 2020
Diamond Standard Parts

LLC has announced its release of a 2012 - 2013

Industry Advisory and White Paper on Stepbumpers.

Diamond Standard Parts LLC announced its release of a 2012 - 2013 Industry Advisory and White Paper on Stepbumpers (a safety, non-structural part) examining the federal standards and guidelines in testing non-structural parts to the Vehicle Equipment Safety Commission (VESC) Regulation V-5 test limits and extensive testing and certification conducted by Diamond Standard to the V-5 test limits and to the extreme limits.

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Passing the VESC V-5 standard is intended to reduce towing and hitch related accidents by testing the connecting arrangements used for drawing trailers by mechanical power. Based on the limited understanding by the consumer of proper and safe towing procedures documented in the advisory, Diamond Standard believed it vital to certify part performance through VESC V-5 testing at twice the load levels of the standard test and share that with the industry.

Three new Diamond Standard brand rear stepbumper assemblies for the 1988-1998 Chevrolet Silverado were subjected to three quasi-static load tests using VESC V-5 standard methodology.

The applied extreme loads were more than twice the minimum loads defined in the regulation and were conducted on the two most extreme VESC V-5 test cells simulating hard breaking and right traverse force of a sideways jackknife trailer position. MGA Design Research of Burlington, Wis., conducted the tests and certified the resultsjust as they had done previously in 2005 when the Diamond Standard part was first tested to the VESC V-5 standard limits.

Diamond Standard has engaged  the services of MGA since 2002 for extensive destructive, and dynamic comparative performance testing to OEM service parts. The testing is recognized to be within a credible, independent third party system of testing by industry experts used by all OE manufacturers.

Based on the test results above, one chrome stepbumper was subjected to the hard brake simulation test applying a downward vertical force more than twice the VESC V-5 load requirement with a compressive longitudinal force significantly above the requirement. A chrome and painted stepbumper were subjected to the righttraverse jackknife simulation test to establish there is no difference in performance by coating. While there was deformation as indicated by the ball axis movement, the ball and tongue coupling remained intact in each test.

According to George W. Neat, former NHTSA expert and Chief of the Vehicle Crashworthiness Division, U.S. Department of Transportation/Volpe National Transportation Systems Center who validated the MGA certified extreme test results:

“The 2012 Diamond Standard tests demonstrate that the minimum conditions as defined by VESC V-5 have been met and exceeded in a more meaningful test of load carrying devices.” In comparing the extreme results to the 2005standard test results “for Test E (jackknife) the change in angle of the ball axis was essentially the same. For Test A (hard breaking), the net change in angle of 2.1 degrees is only slightly larger than the 1.7 degrees in the 2005 tests and less than half the limiting value of 5 degrees as specified in VESC V-5”.

Tests covering 125 Diamond Standard Brand full assembly stepbumpers and their vehicle applications have been conducted and the performance certified as meeting and exceeding the VESC V-5 towability standard by MGA, a requirement of NSF’s Automotive Parts Certification Program. An additional 209 Diamond Standard full assembly stepbumpers and face plates and applications are available which do not include pull bars or require the OEM pull bar and not applicable or VESC V-5 tested.

Mike O’Neal, President of Diamond Standard Parts, said “The Diamond Standard Brand culture of quality is a commitment to the industry through ‘One Quality Part Manufacturing’ that permeates our team platform. Precision engineering, an intimate knowledgeof material properties, OE process controls, expert crashworthiness testing and certification on all measures of quality to the OE service part are the backbone of Diamond Standard Brand parts and why our parts are consistent and the highest quality parts in the industry. It is with a great deal of pride that we release our Stepbumper advisory and performance of our parts to the extreme levels of the VESC V-5 Standard”.

“A pivotal piece in our development of a unique branding program addressing the major issues of theindustry is testing by crash experts with certification of equivalent functional performance to the OE service parts they replace”, said Geoff Crane, Director of Industry Relations. “To our knowledge we are the only manufacturer to have conducted such expansive andextensive testing and been willing to publish the results for total transparency. Diamond Standard Brand part functional performance, validation by past crashworthiness experts from NHTSA and certification by NSF and MGA is leading a broad movement by carriers to adopt a Diamond Standard parts only policy for structural parts and fullassembly stepbumpers within the past several months.”

For more information and a copy of the industry advisory and white paper contact Geoff Crane at (901) 398-5759 or geoff@ diamondstandardparts.com.