I don't know that you will be able to find the Minnesota statute or regulation on point. If you can, I will be grateful for sure but my search led me to a more general question.

MN has a comparatively easy to use online statute library. https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/ I searched there for trailer and could not find any regulation about how far off the back of a trailer a load can hang (or how far a load can hang off the back of a trailer). I searched CA's statutes and found their rule:

Vehicle Code - VEH DIVISION 15. CHAPTER 4. Length [35400 - 35414] 35410.
The load upon any motor vehicle alone or an independent load only upon a trailer or semitrailer shall not extend to the rear beyond the last point of support for a greater distance than that equal to two-thirds of the length of the wheelbase of the vehicle carrying such load, except that the wheelbase of a semitrailer shall be considered as the distance between the rearmost axle of the towing vehicle and the rearmost axle of the semitrailer.

So I know that some states regulate this stuff.

The fact that I cannot find a statute in MN leads me to hesitantly conclude that the statute does not exist. However, if I get pulled over and cited I will not be surprised that the rule exists and that I just missed it.

So, with something like this, how does one go about exhausting the search and (perhaps more interestingly) can we use as a defense the extent to which we searched and the extent to which the statute was nearly impossible to find?

Oh - and is there a rule in MN about load-overhang?

  • Have you looked in the "Minnesota Drivers Manual" in the new drivers section of the website - this is almost certainly mentioned in there if it exists. If it doesn't exist then you will have the usual problem of proving a negative. Even without a specific laws there will be a catch-all that requires the vehicle to be "safe" – Dale M Jul 22 '15 at 23:36
  • @DaleM It didn't occur to me to check the driver's manual. I'll check it out! – jqning Jul 23 '15 at 3:17
  • You could also call the Minnesota DOT, or the State Patrol, and ask them. Even if you're not asking about a commercial vehicle, the oversize/overweight permit office might have a quick answer. – daffy Jul 23 '15 at 3:44
  • Did you find Minn State Statutes 169.080 et seq. regarding "SIZE, WEIGHT, AND LOAD RESTRICTIONS AND PERMITS" of vehicles and combinations? – Upnorth Aug 21 '17 at 4:19

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