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Question: “Aren’t all Cargo Barriers the same?”

Answer: “Very definitely not! Ensure that your Cargo Barrier complies with the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS4034. This Standard is the most rigorous in the world. The current version of this Standard is AS4034.1:2008. Failure to use AS4034.1 rated barriers may put a company executive at risk of prosecution in the event of an accident where an employee is injured. And who wants to live with themselves if their family is injured unnecessarily because a non-complying barrier was purchased? ”

Question: “What does a Cargo Barrier that meets the ‘Standard’ actually have to do?”

Answer: “The Cargo Barrier must have the design strength to remain intact and deform no more than the prescribed amount when a single mass load of no less than 60kg impacts at a force equivalent to that experienced in a 48kmh frontal crash. That’s an impact of 1200kg! Milford Cargo Barriers are rigorously tested in our own NATA approved test facility and independently certified to deliver this Standard for more than 200 Passenger, 4WD and Light Commercial Vehicles.”

Question: “What are some of the other design requirements of AS4034.1?”

Answer: “Cargo Barriers that comply with AS4034.1 are designed to fit specific vehicles. Among the many parameters, they must follow the perimeter of the vehicle, provide uninterrupted access for the seat belt and child restraint straps (this must be built into the barrier and not just provided as an extra cost option) and must provide a means of escape in the event of entrapment. They must be properly secured to the framework of the vehicle using special attachments (rather than the seat belt anchorages)”.

Question: "What is the maximum amount of weight that can be placed behind a cargo barrier if it is more than the single mass rating of 60kg but spread over several smaller items?"

Answer: The Australian Standard rating is extremely severe and in effect the single load mass, is generally considered a worst case scenario. AS4034.1 states:

"The test procedure is based on a single mass of cargo placed against the rear face of the cargo barrier. However, research indicates that during collision cargo barriers of any nominal rating may be capable of restraining cargo comprising of a number of smaller items with a total mass exceeding the nominal rating."

"The single mass rating simulates the most severe condition and if the cargo were to consist of a number of items of smaller mass, a far greater mass of cargo might be restrained by the cargo barrier. However, because of the variety of cargo compositions possible, the Standard does not specify a rating for such conditions."

The important thing is to make sure that you place load against the CB as the effect of NOT putting the cargo against the rear face of the cargo barrier can increase the impact energy that must be dissipated by a factor of up to five times.

With the above in mind, if you still consider that the requirements of your organisation are beyond that of our common load rating specifications, please contact us to discuss in detail your needs.

Question: “How do I know that a Cargo Barrier does actually comply with AS4034?”

Answer: “You can tell whether a Cargo Barrier complies with the Standard by looking for the permanently attached Rating Label. The absence of a Rating Label means that the product does not comply at all. A Rating Label that does not state AS4034.1 means that the product may only partially comply and you should ask further questions.”

Question: “What about if I wish to modify or install a secondhand cargo barrier?”

Answer: “You should always keep in mind that a cargo barrier is a safety device. Secondhand cargo barriers have an unknown history and are therefore a risky proposition in any case.

The cargo barrier is designed and tested under strict compliance and high impact conditions, therefore in order to maintain the desired performance of the Cargo Barrier, strict adherence to the recommendations of the Australian Standard and our installation instructions is essential. Under no condition do we recommend modification of the product or the use of alternative anchorage points — to do so will void the warranty & rated capacity.

Where a Cargo Barrier is modified or a secondhand barrier which is damaged or has an unknown history is fitted, then the rated capacity plaque must be removed and replaced with a non-rated capacity tag by the installer. Failure to remove the rating plaque in these circumstances will result in the product liability transferring from the manufacturer to the retailer / installer of the product."

Question: My vehicle has Side Air Curtains fitted, what do I do for a Cargo Barrier?

Answer: “In a side impact situation, Air Curtains are designed to fill an area up to150mm from the internal trim of the vehicle between the roof line and the occupant’s shoulder height within 3 milliseconds and at speeds of up to 320km/hr. For those that wish to fit a Cargo Barrier to a Side Air Curtain equipped vehicle, they should first ascertain whether the Cargo Barrier will provide any obstruction to the successful deployment of the Air Curtain, in all mounted positions. Then ask the question, has the operation of the Air Curtain / Cargo Barrier installation been validated in a test situation and/or does the installation meet with the approval of the vehicle’s manufacturer? Milford engineers work closely with many car companies in an effort to provide a correctly engineered and compatible solution to this issue. As a result, (unlike some of our competitors) we do not include in our application list air curtain equipped vehicles where the CB will come into direct contact with a deployed air curtain . Our research indicates that this has major, potential liability implications for those that specify such an application without the backup of the necessary Engineering, Design, Development, Product Standards and Testing verification required and in all likelihood will result in liability claims in an accident where the air curtain is impeded from working correctly by the existence of a Cargo Barrier.”

Question: “So, as long as a Cargo Barrier complies with the Standard, is that all that matters?”

Answer: “Of course there is much more, all Milford Cargo Barriers complete a product audit to ensure the best possible fit and function in the vehicle for which they are designed. All Milford Cargo Barriers are then manufactured in our TS16949, ISO9001 & ISO14001 accredited manufacturing facility. In Australia and New Zealand, we are the predominant supplier of Cargo Barriers to car companies and with our Milford brand, the automotive aftermarket. The Milford Cargo Barrier is specified and used by the fleets of Australia’s premier companies.”

Question: “How should a Cargo Barrier be installed?”

Answer: “We recommend that a Cargo Barrier is only installed by a suitably qualified person, Milford provide detailed and complete fitting instructions and conduct training sessions to ensure the best possible installation. All installation components necessary to suit the vehicle model for which the Cargo Barrier is intended must be fully engineered and tested - Milford work closely with car manufacturers to provide the best possible mounting solution.”

Question: "How long does it take to install and move your Cargo Barriers?"

A. It can take between one to three hours to install one of our Cargo Barriers depending on the number of mounts and complexity. Once our aftermarket mounting system is installed it generally remains there for the life of that vehicle. The Cargo Barrier is then held into position through the upper and lower mounts. If the barrier requires movement to another location, it’s simply a matter of removing the four fixings attaching the Cargo Barrier to the vehicle & then relocating and re-attaching fixings. This process takes approximately five to ten minutes.

Question: "Can I use some of the existing captive nuts already in the vehicle to install your Cargo Barrier?"

Answer: In most cases an aftermarket mounting plate kit is required to safely mount our Cargo Barrier into position. There are some late model vehicles that have been manufactured to incorporate the Cargo Barrier mounts into the vehicle's body structure. Unless existing captive nuts or mounts have been specially designed and tested to withstand the necessary energy levels required to hold back the load and Cargo Barrier in the event of a collision, we recommend that you do not use any other captive nuts or mounts located in the vehicle.

Question: "If have a Cargo Barrier behind the second row of seats, how can I carry longer loads?"

Answer: Most of our Station Wagon and 4WD Cargo Barriers are designed for dual position installation. Generally they are designed to locate behind the second row of seats for short loads then may be moved behind the front row of seats for longer loads. This location flexibility helps to protect the occupants in a larger range of situations.

Question: "How will a Cargo Barrier effect the load area of my vehicle?"

Answer: Where ever possible, our Cargo Barriers are designed to fit as close and as safely possible behind the seats of their intended location. Although the Cargo Barrier frame takes up a small amount of space, the load area can be used more efficiently as luggage can be placed all the way up to the roofline.

Question: "Can I hang items on my Cargo Barrier?"

Answer: We do not recommend hanging any items on Cargo Barriers as they can create additional stresses to the Cargo Barrier structure and its mounting points. These additional stresses could affect the correct operation of the Cargo Barrier and its rated performance. We recommend that all items be placed at floor level and as near as practical up against the Cargo Barrier.

Question: "Is there a Cargo Barrier that will allow access from the front to the rear of my work van?"

Answer: If you continually need access from the front passenger section through to the rear load area (e.g. courier work), we have some specifically designed Cargo Barriers that accomodate this function. These are referred to as our “Walk-Through” series and are available to suit a number of popular late model vans. They feature an easy access sliding door that self-closes for your safety.

Question: "Can I continue to use a Child Seat or Baby Capsule once a Cargo Barrier is installed?"

Answer: Our current range of 4WD/SUV and passenger wagon Cargo Barriers have plastic hinged covers (called child restraint devices) included in their package. These child restraint devices are also available individually. Please check with your nearest distributor for price and availability.

Question: "When and why is a Weight Distribution Hitch needed?"

Answer: Quite often you will see vehicles towing heavy loads with the front of the vehicle pointing skyward. This is the result of additional weight pushing down on the rear of the vehicle – as is the case when towing caravans or trailers.

When this happens, it completely changes the characteristics of the vehicle’s stability and engineering. As a rule, towing heavy loads is in itself a cause for poor vehicle handling and often results in increased tyre wear and fuel use. More importantly, the lack of weight over the front of the vehicle will affect steering control and braking efficiency; making the vehicle less responsive and potentially dangerous to drive. While driving at night, the high front end will also cause misdirection of the head lights (ie: they point up) which further exacerbates the aforementioned condition.

These issues are all easily addressed however with the aid of properly engineered and installed weight distribution hitch. Just as the name implies, a weight distribution hitch system re-distributes the towing weight more evenly across the vehicle. It transfers some of the tow ball download to the vehicle and more evenly across the trailer’s axles.

Question: "Which Weight Distribution Hitch do I need?"

Answer: First you need to determine your total hitch weight. Your hitch weight is your tow ball download combined with your boot load (all items carried in the rear of your vehicle). Your tow ball download should take into account your loaded trailer, if it’s a caravan this may include things such as water, fuel and waste systems.

The weight distribution hitch must be capable of handling this weight. For example if your trailer’s download was 350lbs (159kg) and your boot was carrying another 200lbs (90kg), that’s a total of 550lbs (249kg) therefore you would require our 600lbs (272kg) weight distribution hitch.

You must also ensure that the gross download weight and gross trailer weight does not exceed the vehicle and tow bar’s capacity.

Question: "How strong are the shackle bolts supplied with each Milford Tow Bar?"

Answer: The shackle bolts supplied with each Milford Tow Bar have an ultimate safety factor more than 2.5 times of the maximum light vehicle tow rating requirement of Australian Standard AS4177 and are in fact 70% stronger than the Standard's requirement for a 3500kg rated trailer safety chain.

Question: "When should I use a vehicle specific Milford ECS Wiring Harness Kit?"

Answer: A vehicle specific wiring harness kit is mandatory on all CANbus equipped vehicles. Many modern vehicles also require amplification of the light signal to ensure correct operation so we also advise that wherever a kit is listed as being "Electronic" then it should be used without question. We also recommend that this type of kit is always used to ensure that installation is as straightforward as possible and most importantly, in order that all OE vehicle functions perform correctly as designed. Every vehicle specific wiring harness kit is designed so as to not compromise your vehicle’s electrical system - the wire diameters and signal outputs are carefully calculated to power your caravan or trailer lights without overloading or harming your vehicle’s electrical system.
Every Milford ECS wiring harness kit also comes packaged with our legendary lifetime warranty for complete peace of mind - see warranty page for full information and conditions.

Question: "When am I able to use a Milford ECS generic / universal Wiring Harness Kit?"

Answer: In certain instances it may be possible to utilise a generic wiring harness kit however unlike our vehicle specific range of kits they do not utilise the OE connection and as a result will require a greater level of technical expertise to ensure correct fitment. Unlike many universal type kits the C2 and PDC functions are still able to be utilised with this type of kit but the wiring will need to be customised to suit the specific application. We recommend that you contact your nearest Milford towbar specialist or Milford direct for specific application advice.

Question: "Will a Milford ECS Wiring Harness Kit work with aftermarket Park Distance Control / PDC's?"

Answer: Yes they will but they will require specialist configuration to ensure correct operation. Contact your nearest Milford towbar specialist or Milford direct for specific application advice.

Question: "Does the MF-005-ZZM Live Wire Extension Kit /Auxiliary Wiring Harness work with all Milford / ECS wiring kits?"

Answer: Yes all of our Wiring Harness kits feature plug and play connectivity with the MF-005-ZZM Live Wire Extension / Auxiliary Wiring Harness kit.

Question: "How many live wires does the MF-005-ZZM Live Wire Extension Kit /Auxiliary Wiring Harness provide?"

Answer: This kit includes 1 x permanently activated live wire & 2 x ignition activated live wires

Question: "Does the MF-005-ZZM Live Wire Extension Kit /Auxiliary Wiring Harness include any protection so that I won’t end up with a flat battery?"

Answer: Yes, this kit includes 2 inbuilt relays to provide total battery isolation so that when the ignition is turned off so is the power to the socket. (2 live wires only)

Question: "Do I need anything else to make the MF-005-ZZM Live Wire Extension Kit /Auxiliary Wiring Harness work?"

Answer: Yes you will need to purchase a 12 pin flat socket tail harness kit. They come in a variety of lengths dependant on the vehicle requirement. To be sure, simply measure the length of the regular 7 pin flat socket tail that comes prepackaged with every wiring harness kit.

Question: "I have an OE wiring harness kit, can I still use the MF-005-ZZM Live Wire Extension Kit /Auxiliary Wiring Harness?"

Answer: Yes you can but it will require some technical skill to install as it won't be the simple plug n play type installation that comes with every Milford ECS Wiring Harness kit.

Question: "What is CANbus?"

Answer: A Controller Area Network Bus (CANbus) is a common pathway which allows different vehicle components to communicate with each other. Employing unique signal identifiers, it allows all the vehicles operating systems to communicate (passive safety systems, traction control, engine performance , driver assist technologies etc) and when towing, the vehicles is automatically notified that a trailer has been connected and adjusts the vehicles electronic systems to suit (eg. TSP, Anti-sway, transmission).

CANbus is a perimeter wiring system designed to efficiently connect the increasing number of electrical components operating within a modern motor vehicle. More and more, CANbus is becoming the default vehicle electronic base platform. CANbus systems operate on low voltage power and in so doing, cut down substantially on the amount of wiring involved. This efficient use of materials also helps reduce the vehicle mass and improve fuel economy.

CANbus is the automotive future and when required, Milford / ECS CANbus compliant towbar wiring harnesses are supplied pre-coded and in the box.

Question: "What is C2 & Failure Mode?"

Answer: With occupant safety at the forefront of Milford's core philosophy (not to mention the increasing legal penalties with non-compliance) it's more important than ever to ensure all vehicles are fit for the road.

In recognising this, many modern vehicles are now coming standard with Failure Mode and/or C2 electronic warning systems. These notify the driver via either a dash light or audible alarm that there is a malfunction with their brake or indicator lights (commonly, this is caused by a simple failed globe). Failure Mode monitors the brake light function while C2 monitors the indicator's operation.

To complement this feature, the vast majority of Milford / ECS towbar wiring kits include a Failure Mode and C2 module which enables the trailer's lights to also be monitored. Milford towbar wiring kits also include an audible notification alarm used when the vehicle itself doesn't feature one.

To determine if the vehicle in question features these modes, consider the following steps;

1. Disconnect a brake light or indicator light

2. Start the engine

3. Depress the brake or switch on the indicator (depending on what you disconnected)

4. Activate several other lights such as headlights and reverse lights

5. If no alarm sounds, check the dashboard for any warning lights

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