How An Independent Truck Owner Should Replace The Mud Flaps On A Semi-Truck Cab To Meet State Laws

Mud flaps are required in most states for large commercial vehicles traveling the highways. The mud flaps help limit the amount of mist that gets kicked up into the air by the tires on a semi-truck driving over wet roads. The mist is a road hazard that can blind drivers passing or following behind the trucks and can lead to accidents. If you get caught with missing or broken flaps, you will face getting a ticket and a fine in most states. Independent truck owners who are responsible for the maintenance of their vehicle can easily replace the mud flaps by themselves to save money on maintenance costs. Here is how you can replace the mud flaps on the back of your semi-truck cab while making sure you are adhering to the state laws.

Remove Old Flaps

You’ll need a ratchet set with sockets and a large wrench to remove the flaps. The flaps are bolted to the mud flap bracket at the end of the back wheel. 

Purchase New Flaps

Every state has its own regulations on what can and cannot be on the flaps. Some states like Michigan do not allow things like reflectors and lights to hang on the flap. The concern is that the reflectors and lights can break off while you are driving down the highway and those parts can damage other vehicles and/or cause other drivers to lose control of their vehicle. In other states, there are no such requirements. To make sure you stay in compliance with all applicable laws in the areas you are going to drive your semi-truck, you need to learn what the laws are regarding the style of flaps you need to have to stay in compliance in those areas.

Install New Flaps

The laws regarding how to install the flaps also vary from state to state. Some states don’t even require flaps while they are mandated in neighboring states. You should choose the state with the strictest laws that you will be driving in and through to determine how you will install the flaps. For example, Texas requires the flaps to be no more than eight inches above the roadway while Alaska allows for 14 inches. So, if you expect to drive from Texas to Alaska, you should make sure the bottom of the flaps is no more than eight inches above the roadway to be in compliance in both states. The flaps are typically not allowed to extend past the tires and out into the lane when driving.

Once you have determined the states laws for the areas you’ll be driving. You can bolt the new flaps to the bracket. Use a measuring tape to make sure you have the flaps at the right length and width to meet the laws in each state. For more information, contact local professionals like King George Truck & Tire Center.