Towing and hauling on the right side of the law


When building, regardless of whether you are doing it yourself or not, chances are you will be involved in hauling materials. We're not even six months in and I've already had two altercations involving improper hauling. The first time I was leaving the dirt yard and didn't realize they had dumped sand all over my tailgate. The officer (of the law) pulled me over, gave me a hard time, and let me go with a warning, this time, since I didn't know I was in violation. (Side note, that I have already mentioned. The yard has a big sign that says under no condition can you get out of the car, which I took seriously. Now I know that sometime between the yard and the road I need to stop and clean off my tailgate so I don't get in trouble again. I even carry a broom in my truck box so it's simple and easy no matter what). The second time I was hauling the cute adirondak chairs that my mom bought us and we just set them in the back like idiots. Well of course, one flew out and went flying across the road. Thankfully, no one was hurt and I was able to recover it (after a pretty harrowing re-enactment of Frogger). But had we not been so lucky I would have been liable for not securing my load.

So, now that I know better I am taking the time to be informed! Here's the information I was able to gather together pretty easily:

In addition, here's a great article on "How car towing regulations work".

And finally, when do you need a flag on your load, and how far can it extend? Well this information was actually harder to find but I finally found some answers on the Washington State Patrol website (originally I was looking for answers on the Department of Transportation site). I did a quick cursory look for other states and found that they too house their info on the applicable State Patrol site. For us here in the Evergreen State our vehicle cannot exceed 14 ft in height, 8 ft. 6 in. in width and 40 ft. in length PLUS 3 ft. of front overhang and 4 ft. of rear overhang ... as long as there's a cute little "flag". Happy Hauling my friends!