How to Apply Retro-Reflective Sheeting

Our goal at Ryder Fleet Products is to help everyone on the road operate safely and remain in compliance with regulations. That’s why we created the Ride Safe blog; to easily discuss fleet maintenance tips and solutions, whether you maintain your own fleet, run vehicles, or manage warehouses.

truck-lite tape

There has been an increased emphasis on retro-reflective sheeting with the CSA, and today we will walk you through how to properly use and apply it. Particularly there is an increased focus on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation 571.108 Standard No. 108. Regulation 571.108 covers lamps, reflective devices and associated equipment.

Why Use Retro-Reflective Sheeting?

The purpose of retro-reflective sheeting (conspicuity tape or plastic reflective material) is to increase the visibility of vehicles and to ultimately reduce traffic accidents, injuries and deaths. Conspicuity tape is effective in all scenarios with reduced visibility, both in daylight and in darkness.

Rear of the Tractor (Mud-Flap Area)

Retro-reflective sheeting must be applied to the rear of each trailor:

    • Two strips of sheeting (whether the conspicuity tape or plastic reflective material) in alternating colors (red/white), each not less than 600mm (23.6 in) in length. Located as close as practicable to
      • Edges of the rear fenders OR
      • Mudflaps or mudflap support brackets
      • Strips on the mudflaps should not be mounted lower than 300mm (11.8 in) below the upper edge of the mudflap
    • If the tractor is not equipped with mudflaps, the strips may be mounted:
      • On brackets behind the rear axle
      • Ahead of the rear axle (above the top of tires)
      • To the back of the cab as close to the outer edges as practicable (not more than 60 inches above the road)

Rear of the Tractor Cab

    • Two pairs of white strips of sheeting, each pair consisting of strips 300mm (11.8 in) in length
    • Applied horizontally and vertically as practicable to the right and left upper contours of the cab
    • Close to the top of the cab and as far apart as practicable
    • No more than 25% of the area may be obscured by the vehicle equipment
    • If the rear window is very large as to occupy the space, you may attach the strips to the window itself

Tractor Retro-Reflective Sheeting Do’s and Don’ts

how to apply retro-reflective sheeting
retro-reflective sheeting regulations

Non-compliance with Regulation 571.108 could result in a CSA DOT violation, a fine and impact your Vehicle Maintenance rating. The violation would go under your DOT number and you would be responsible for paying the fine if you are operating the vehicle. The violations for no reflective sheeting on mud flaps / back of the cab include:

  • Violation 393.11TL
    • “Truck Tractor manufactured on or after 7/1/1997 with no retro-reflective sheeting or reflect reflectors on mud flaps”
    • Violation severity weight = 3
    • Violation in the DSMS? Yes
  • Violation 393.11TT
    • “Truck Tractor with no retro-reflective sheeting/reflex reflectors manufactured on or after 7/1/1997”
    • Violation severity weight = 3
    • Violation in the DSMS? Yes

Recommended Retro-Reflective Products

We recommend the following retro-reflective products: Truck-Lite Tape, Grote Conspicuity Tape, Fleet Engineers Angled Reflector Strip and Fleet Engineers Straight Reflective Strip.

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