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Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

This is a discussion on Is driving with the tailgate down illegal? within the Exterior Tech forums, part of the General Discussion category; Am trying to settle a debate with some buddies. I've dropped my tailgate for the past couple tanks of gas ...

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    dunno fierotoo's Avatar
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    Question Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?


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    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.
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    Jer
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    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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    Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

    as far as i know its legal..

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    2000 GMC Z-71 gmc00z's Avatar
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    Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

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

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    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!

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    Original Gold Member 97Silverado's Avatar
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    Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

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


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    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. :)
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    Hey watch this Colby 04's Avatar
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    Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

    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 at 05:57 PM.

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    V Caught in the act V 96redsportside's Avatar
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    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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    Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

    Quote 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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    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.

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    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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    V Caught in the act V 96redsportside's Avatar
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    Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

    another one to send to mythbusters.

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    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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    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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    Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by GMCit2003
    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.
    I kinda like leaving my reciever hitch on although it doesn't look too pretty but if some bozo hits me from behind it may save my bumper. (not if you get hit hard enough of course) One time in traffic some dip**** was being stupid and tailgating the F outa my mom in her burban. He ended up tapping her and we just laughed...he didn't get out and we knew it didn't harm her truck so we just acted like nothing happened.

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    Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by GMCit2003
    they had a reciever hitch sticking out past their bumper without pulling a trailer
    My uncle has a hook welded to the side o his hitch so its good that they don't enforce that here.

    It has saved his bumper three times though.
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    dunno fierotoo's Avatar
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    Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

    Thanks for the info on the legalities. Well, I don't know what to say about getting better mileage. Something must have loosened up because I got 395 miles on a tank, whereas before i would only get 340-350. Guess I'll raise the gate again and go from there.
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    Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

    Hey fierotoo,
    I see you live in Ft Worth. If you drive with your tailgate down in White Settlement (just west of downtown on I-30 by the FW Naval Air Base), you'll get pulled over. Used to live there....
    Tom

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    Original Gold Member 97Silverado's Avatar
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    Re: Is driving with the tailgate down illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colby 04
    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
    You have a reference for that...because I can't find it anywhere in the transportation code.


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