ECE Regulation on Commercial Vehicle Cab Safety Updated
On 4th January 2012, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) published an 03 series of amendments to Regulation No. 29 on commercial vehicle cab safety which introduced some significant amendments to the impact tests applicable to truck cabs. These updates to ECE Regulation No. 29 were developed by a specialist UN ECE Informal Group on truck cab strength which began working on these updates in 2007.
This Informal Group first reviewed the available real world accident data to identify the most frequently occurring accident scenarios in terms of occupant fatalities and injuries. The three most important accident scenarios identified by the group were as follows:
- Frontal impacts - where the vehicle either strikes the front of another vehicle (head on collision), the rear of another vehicle (rear end collision) or a fixed object.
- 90° rollover followed by a subsequent impact - where the vehicle rolls over onto its side and then strikes another vehicle or object.
- 180° rollover - where the vehicle rolls over completely onto its roof.
To address these accident scenarios, the 03 amendments introduce the following new or revised impact test procedures:
- For the frontal impact scenario, the existing front pendulum impact test procedure is retained, but the energy impact levels are increased to 29.4 kJ for vehicles with a GVW not exceeding 7500 kg and to 55 kJ for vehicles with a GVW exceeding 7500 kg. This test is referred to as Test A.
- For the 90° rollover followed by subsequent impact scenario, a new pendulum impact test procedure is introduced. This new test procedure involves a pendulum impact with a cylindrical impactor, impacting the vehicle's windscreen and "A" pillars midway between the upper and lower edges of the windscreen aperture. This new test is referred to as Test B and is similar to, and is based on, an existing Swedish national test requirement.
- For the 180° rollover scenario, a revised roof crush test for vehicles with a GVW over 7500 kg is introduced. In this new test procedure, the cab is subjected to an angled pendulum impact into its top edge prior to being subjected to a roof crush test. This new test is referred to as Test C and is similar to, and is based on, an existing SAE standard.
For all of these impact tests, the Regulation specifies minimum survival space requirements which must be met after each impact.
As before, ECE Regulation No. 29 still applies to all N category vehicles, from small pick-ups to heavy commercial vehicles, but the 03 series of amendments clarifies the applicability of the impact tests to various vehicle types and vehicle designs as follows:
- The scope of the Regulation is amended to clarify that it only applies to vehicles with a separate driver's cab, i.e. not to "single box" van type vehicles.
- The front pendulum impact test (Test A) is only applied to vehicles with a "cab over engine" design, i.e. bonneted vehicles are not required to be subjected to this test.
- Vehicles with a GVW not exceeding 7500 kg are not required to be tested to the cylindrical pendulum impact test (Test B) or to be subjected to the angled pendulum impact prior to the roof crush test.
Compliance with the requirements of ECE 29.03 becomes mandatory for new types of vehicle from 30th January 2017.