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Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

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  • Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

    Am trying to settle a debate with some buddies. I've dropped my tailgate for the past couple tanks of gas and am getting an extra trip to work and back home (2 extra MPG). My buddies tell me it's illegal to drive with the gate down and not have a red flag on it. I tell them I don't need a "red flag" because my tailgate doesn't stick out 2 feet. Anyone here know the legalities? Texas may be different from other states. I searched google with no luck. Probably didn't use the correct keywords or browse the correct sites.
    '00 Silverado Ext cab LS Double Din conversion
    '01 Tahoe LS **SOLD**RE8 stock location
    '87 Fiero V6 5speed

  • #2
    Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

    "In our darkest hour...we look to the sky. With a silent prayer...BELIEVE God's on our side. In the land where FREEDOM reigns...and where eagles fly."

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    • #3
      Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

      as far as i know its legal..

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      • #4
        Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

        im sure its legal as long as your license plate is visible.

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        • #5
          Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

          I've never heard of anyone getting pulled over for having their tailgate down. My dad used to commute 60 miles a day with it down on his old truck, and as far as i know he never got any grief about it.

          My impression is that a flag is for something that sticks out far enough to be a potential hazard to other cars or people. Someone close enough to hit your tailgate would have to be tailgating real close anyway, so as long as your taillights/plate are visible I don't see why it should be illegal. So tell your buddies get some common sense!
          1992 Sierra SLE - black regular cab stepside - TBI 350, 5 speed/Hurst shifter, 2WD, G80, 275s, intake & exhaust

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          • #6
            Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

            You're buddies are morons if they really believe that.


            Much like alcohol, tobacco, and voting there should be an age requirement for computer usage.
            "Drag racing helps me get rid of all my extra cash."
            Team credit card holder and crew chief - "Hot Rod" Heather JD4193 & Holly "Wood" JD4145

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            • #7
              Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

              Yeah, they're dumb. Your tailgate won't stick out far enough to need a flag. Don't worry. Ignore them and go on about your day. :)
              '91 GMC Sportside
              '98 Chevy Suburban
              '88 Chevy Crew Cab Dually
              '13 Ford Focus Titanium
              -- Jason

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              • #8
                Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

                :read: technically, it is illegal. "unsecured load"......no matter if the bed is empty or if the tailgate has flag(which isn't needed anyhow). It's not enforced, but it is a violation.

                EDIT: I am from a family full of law enforcement
                Last edited by Colby 04; 08-04-2005, 06:57 PM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

                  I do it all the time on other trucks, I like my tonneau because it serves a nice aerodynamic purpose. If you wanted, just take the tailgate off. And you WILL get pulled over if the plate isn't visible, happened to a friend of mine.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

                    Originally posted by 96redsportside
                    I do it all the time on other trucks, I like my tonneau because it serves a nice aerodynamic purpose. If you wanted, just take the tailgate off. And you WILL get pulled over if the plate isn't visible, happened to a friend of mine.
                    I wouldnt run it too much with the tailgate off... Rear fenders will weaken and befor you know it they will be flapping in the wind...
                    It wont be something that happens in a week or so... but it will eventually..

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                    • #11
                      Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

                      where i come from its not illegal. i live in the back woods of NB Canada, out in logging and farm country, and everyone does it, never heard of anyone getting pulled over and fined for it. hey and it actually saves gas with it down, not so much wind resistance.
                      2003 Chev Silverado 4x4 4.10 gears and it has a 4.8L:thud:
                      1997 GMC Sierra 4x4 4.3L 4L60E KOSS CD player,16mpg,3.73 gears z71 skid plates <<<sold

                      4th year apprentice at Chev Dealer

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                      • #12
                        Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

                        Wasnt it proven that there was less drag with it up?

                        When I left mine down once the truck felt more wobbley and not as stable, and it squeaked alot more.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

                          another one to send to mythbusters.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

                            1. Aside from plate or light obstruction, I haven't heard anything about having your tailgate down being illegal.

                            2. Yes, Atomic, it has been pretty well proven that keeping the tailgate up is aerodynamically better, especially on the new trucks.
                            Thread #1 Thread #2

                            3. As Meziked-z71 mentioned, having your tailgate off constantly will have longterm effects on the bedsides. I'm pretty sure leaving your tailgate down will have similar effects, but would happen at a slightly slower rate.

                            4. Aren't you worried about rockchips on the rear face of your tailgate when it's down?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

                              Im from a rural area in Illinois and know people who have been pulled over because their tailgate was down and/or they had a reciever hitch sticking out past their bumper without pulling a trailer.. The cop said that anything sticking out past the bumper was illegal.. They only got a warning and I've never heard of anyone getting a ticket for it but sure enough the cop said it was illegal.

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