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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7168
Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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In Texas is it illegal to not have a tailgate on a pickup?

Customer Question

In Texas is it illegal to not have a tailgate on a pickup? The reason I ask is , I have a hydralic hay fork on the back of my pu. I got stopped and got a ticket for no tailgate
U have to remove tailgate to use these hay forks
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 5 months ago.

Good afternoon and thanks for using Just Answer. Interesting question. I am unable to locate a Texas statute that requires a tailgate on a pickup. If you were given a formal citation, there should be a reference to the statute or ordinance number that says absence of a tailgate is a violation and subject to fine. If there is no such reference, then you should enter a denial of the charge and take it before the judge. If there is no statute that says it's illegal, then the officer should not of written you a ticket for it.

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Customer: replied 5 months ago.
On the violations part of ticket it says failed to secure equipment when tailgate is required didn't have the reference number ordinace are any of that
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 5 months ago.

That might refer to failure to secure loose material. http://law.justia.com/codes/texas/2005/tn/***-**-****25.00.html . I would argue that these sections of the code do not fit the description of what you were carrying. (1) "Load" means a load of loose material.
(2) "Loose material" means material that can be blown
or spilled from a vehicle because of movement or exposure to air,
wind currents, or other weather. The term includes dirt, sand,
gravel, and wood chips but excludes an agricultural product in its
natural state.

The Texas Driver’s Handbook summary of the law is a little broader, but it is not the law, just a summary:

In order to prevent cargo or loose materials from falling or spilling from a vehicle car, truck, trailer, etc. onto the roadway and possibly causing accidents or damage to the roads, state law requires that drivers comply with certain requirements.

State law mandates that no person shall load or transport any loose material on or over the public highways, such as dirt, sand, gravel, wood chips, or other material (except agricultural products in their natural state), that is capable of blowing or spilling from a vehicle unless:

(1) the bed carrying the load must be completely enclosed on both sides and on the front and on the rear by a tailgate, board or panel, and all must be so constructed as to prevent the escape of any
part of the load by blowing or spilling; and

(2) the top of the load must be covered with a canvas, tarpaulin, or other covering firmly secured to the front and back to prevent the escape of the load because of blowing or spilling. This requirement does not apply to any load-carrying compartment that completely encloses the load or to the transporting of any load of loose materials that are not blowing or spilling over the top of the load-carrying compartment.This description does not sound like what you are accused of carrying in the bed of your truck, so the exact wording of the statute might not apply to you. At least it's an argument that you can make to the judge to decide to go that far.

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