Retrofitting the front bar / cow catcher: This must be taken into account

Current legal situation for front bars

The growing popularity of SUVs and SUVs also led to a proliferation of vehicles fitted with a front bar, commonly referred to as a bull bar, in the 1980s. In the 1990s, there was a heated debate about the fact that the front bars made of steel tubes would pose an enormous risk, especially for poorly protected road users such as pedestrians. In the course of the following years, there were initially different national and EU-wide requirements. These events have made car owners so insecure that today many do not know whether or under what circumstances these front bars are permitted.

Bull bars for off-road vehicles lead to great popularity in other vehicle categories as well
Off-road accessory manufacturers discovered steel bull bars on off-road ATVs and adopted the idea as an accessory for SUVs and later SUVs, light commercial vehicles and trucks. In the years that followed, they were known colloquially as cowcatcher called front bar enormous popularity.

The temples kept getting bigger and more powerful. Since a dispute had already broken out about the risks for poorly protected road users such as pedestrians and cyclists, ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich) carried out extensive tests with sobering results. According to this, many of the front protection bars pose a life-threatening danger for these road users in the event of a frontal accident. After all, there were no standards for the production.

Therefore, motor vehicle owners today are confused as to whether the cow catcher is still allowed or not
However, the discussion continued for many years before it reached politics after the turn of the millennium. In 2005 the time had apparently come. In October 2005, the European Parliament approved a directive that was to be converted into national law as Directive 2005/66/EC in the various member states. However, they ignored the directive.

On the contrary, the will to reduce bureaucracy in Germany at the administrative level meant that from June 1, 2008, the front protection bar should no longer be subject to registration. Brussels reacted to this immediately. From November 2009, a binding new regulation was introduced. However, there was a transitional period of 18 months that was due to end in early 2008. According to this, the sale of stocks of front protection bars that had already been produced was permitted, as was attachment to the vehicle. This back and forth led to the uncertainty among consumers that persists to this day.

The front protection bar becomes the personal protection bar
The new front bars, which are referred to as personal safety bars according to EU regulations, must meet various criteria in order to protect pedestrians. The front protection bars have to be firmly connected to the vehicle so that they are really tight. However, with the help of a mechanism that allows the brackets to give way in the event of an impact with people and, of course, other objects.

To do this, the new generation of front protection bars must also go through demanding test procedures. Due to the enormous testing requirements, the price of the front bar has shifted up a bit. So this is not arbitrary on the part of the provider. The Nissan Navara front bars made of stainless steel or personal safety bars presented here meet these requirements.

To which vehicles the new regulations apply and how the personal safety bars must be designed
Incidentally, under the now binding regulation, front protection bars that extend across the entire width of the vehicle may no longer be installed. In addition to stainless steel brackets, there are other offers made of flexible plastics that look deceptively similar to stainless steel tubes, but are then marked as such. The tubular sills on the sides of the vehicles are not affected by the new regulation, nor are the roll bars for pick-ups and the impact protection on the rear of the vehicle. In addition, the regulations introduced in 2009 for passenger cars and trucks with a permissible total weight of 3.5 tons apply. All trucks and commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight in excess of this are not affected by the regulation, nor are any vehicles first registered before the 2006 deadline.


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