MRO Magazine

Federal Highway Administration/AASHTO Joint Task Force Finds No Further Crash Testing Warranted for Trinity Highway Products’ ET Plus® System


September 14, 2015
By Business Wire News

DALLAS

The Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (“AASHTO”) have announced the results from a second joint task force formed to determine whether there is any evidence of performance limitations unique to the ET Plus® System, an extruding w-beam guardrail terminal system manufactured by Trinity Highway Products, a subsidiary of Trinity Industries, Inc. (NYSE: TRN), and the degree to which any such performance limitations extend to other brands of extruding w-beam guardrail terminals (see link to the report provided at the end of this release).

The joint task force consisted of six representatives from the FHWA, three representatives from AASHTO, nine representatives of state Departments of Transportation, and independent experts. The findings, conclusions and recommendations, as presented in the joint task force conference call and report, include the following:

  • There are no performance limitations unique to the ET Plus® System
  • There will be real-world conditions that exceed the performance expectations of all manufacturers’ w-beam guardrail end terminal systems. These conditions include, but are not limited to, installation, maintenance or repair issues; terrain features; and guardrail placement, in addition to physical laws; vehicle stability; vehicle crashworthiness; site conditions; and impacts outside of the criteria established by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 350 (“NCHRP Report 350”)
  • Additional crash testing of all existing NCHRP Report 350-compliant extruding w-beam guardrail terminals, including the ET Plus® System, “would not be informative” and “would be irrelevant”
  • A transition to AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (“MASH”) criteria for all new installations of guardrail terminals is recommended

These findings follow the results from the first AASHTO-FHWA joint task force released in March 2015, which concluded there was no evidence of multiple versions of the ET Plus® System on roadways and that the terminals successfully crash-tested at the Southwest Research Institute in December 2014 and January 2015 were representative of the devices installed across the country.

Trinity’s ET Plus® System has been thoroughly reviewed by federal and state highway officials and multiple independent experts. Since its introduction, the ET Plus® System has been accepted by the FHWA for use on the nation’s roadways and has an unbroken chain of eligibility for Federal-aid reimbursement.

Trinity supports the second joint task force’s recommendation to transition to the MASH criteria for all new installations of guardrail terminals. MASH is the current crash testing standard for all new roadside hardware introduced to the market since 2011. Trinity currently sells a w-beam guardrail end terminal product that has been successfully tested under MASH criteria and been determined to be accepted for use on the nation’s roadways and eligible for Federal-aid reimbursement.

Trinity Highway Products is committed to the safety of American roadways. We are the leading manufacturer of guardrail, end terminals and crash cushions in the United States. We have been manufacturing roadside hardware for more than 40 years and lead the industry in providing the most innovative technology.

Virginia’s Decision to Conduct Its Own Crash Testing

As previously announced, the Virginia Department of Transportation (“VDOT”) intends to conduct its own crash testing of the ET Plus® System, including certain non-standard tests. The joint task force considered additional crash testing of all existing NCHRP Report 350-compliant extruding w-beam guardrail terminals, but concluded that such testing would not be informative. We agree with the joint task force that no further crash testing is warranted.

Earlier this year, the ET Plus® System successfully passed all eight crash tests that were requested by the FHWA, which included two tests requested by VDOT. FHWA and VDOT officials observed each test. All eight standard tests were successfully conducted under NCHRP Report 350 guidelines and the data and outcome of each test was reviewed and validated by an independent expert and professor at Virginia Tech.

Trinity Highway Products’ commitment to safety extends to the Commonwealth of Virginia where the Company is a major supplier of roadside safety products. Trinity takes pride in the role our products have played in helping reduce reported fatalities on Virginia roadways by 92% during the last ten years. Those reductions have happened, in part, because of one simple fact: The ET Plus® System works. The ET Plus® System has been installed on Virginia roadways for more than eight years and the VDOT recently confirmed to the FHWA as part of the data it submitted to the second joint task force for review, that the end terminals on Virginia’s roadways are performing as expected.

Additional Information

The Report from the Joint AASHTO-FHWA Task Force on Guardrail Terminal Crash Analysis may be found at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/guardrailsafety/isptf.cfm

Information from the FHWA pertaining to the ET Plus® System may be found at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/guardrailsafety/

General information pertaining to purpose, function, and crashworthiness of guardrails, the FHWA document entitled “Guardrail 101,” may be found at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/guardrailsafety/guardrail101.pdf

Information on the ET Plus® System by the product’s designer, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, may be found at: http://tti.tamu.edu/etguardrailresources/

For additional facts and product information related to the ET Plus® System, you can refer to www.etplusfacts.com

Trinity Industries, Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a diversified industrial company that owns market-leading businesses, which provide products and services to the energy, transportation, chemical, and construction sectors. Trinity reports its financial results in five principal business segments: the Rail Group, the Railcar Leasing and Management Services Group, the Inland Barge Group, the Construction Products Group, and the Energy Equipment Group. For more information, visit: www.trin.net.

Some statements in this release, which are not historical facts, are “forward-looking statements” as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements about Trinity’s estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies for the future, and the assumptions underlying these forward-looking statements. Trinity uses the words “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “forecasts,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “guidance” and similar expressions to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical experience or our present expectations. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recent fiscal year.

Trinity Industries, Inc.
Investor Contact:
Jessica L. Greiner, 214-631-4420
Director of Investor Relations
or
Media Contact:
Jack Todd, 214/589-8909 or 214/589-2567
Vice President of Public Affairs