December 5, 2023


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Column: Law boundaries transporting merchandise atop a automobile

Q: Yesterday, I observed a tiny motor vehicle hauling a mattress on the roof, and now I noticed a Christmas tree on the roof cab of a pickup. Can you use the roof of your automobile to haul cargo?

A: Thank you for your query. I advocate that you look at how far you have to journey, what is the vehicle’s size and the dimensions and fat of the item becoming transported.

Hauling a mattress on the roof of your automobile is a terrible thought due to the fact:

  • It can block your line of vision,
  • If the wind receives underneath the entrance of the mattress, it could provide short-term raise to your car or truck resulting in probably getting rid of command of the car,
  • If the tie-down straps split, it could trigger an accident.

Minnesota Statute 169.80 Subdivision 3, states that no passenger-sort car or truck shall be operated on any freeway with any load carried thereon extending beyond the line of the fenders on the left facet of these types of motor vehicle nor extending additional than 6 inches past the line of the fenders on the suitable side thereof.

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My recommendation is to talk to a friend or neighbor who has a truck or trailer to haul the mattress for you or have it transported to your front doorway.

Minnesota Condition Statute 169.52 states that when the load on any motor vehicle extends to the rear 4 toes or more over and above the bed or human body of these auto, there shall be shown at the severe rear conclude of the load, at the periods when lighted lamps on vehicles are expected in this chapter, a purple light-weight or lantern plainly obvious from a distance of at least 500 ft to the sides and rear. The gentle or lantern needed underneath this section shall be in addition to the rear light-weight demanded on each and every automobile. When no lights are essential, a purple, yellow or orange flag or cloth, not much less than 16 inches sq. shall be exhibited at the extreme rear stop of the load.

Please assure that what ever cargo you are hauling is securely tied or strapped down before you hit the highway. Double-check out that the cargo will not shift (more than the facet or rear of the motor vehicle) when you hit a pothole, go up a steep hill, or when you stage on the brakes. The cargo will have to continue to be in the lawful limits through the period of the vacation.


1. Minnesota Statute 169.52 Projecting Load Light or Flag. Located on the web at

2. Minnesota Statute 169.80 Measurement, Pounds, Load. Find on line at

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