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license plate visibility

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by digger242j, Nov 17, 2002.

  1. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    I did a quick search and there are only a couple of references to this situation, mostly in terms of, "I know it's a problem but nobody's ever bothered me about it yet".

    On the pickup trucks the tailgate type spreaders block the view of the license plate. I once got pulled over by a cop (in an affluent type suburb), because my license plate was *dirty*. I'm sure he'd have been just as happy to pull me over because it had a salt spreader in front of it. (Honestly, I think he pulled me over because it was 9 p.m. and about 45 degrees and I had the window open. I'm thinking he was looking for a DUI bust--some guy, in a "work truck", who'd spent the time from 4 til 8:30 in the bar, but that isn't me. Maybe copandplower might care to comment, but I'm getting off my own topic...)

    Anyway, what, if anything have you done to make the license plate legally visible, or is it the consensus to just take your chances? Have you ever had a problem with it?
  2. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    I think you have a couple of choices...

    Move to a place where they let you drive your snowmobile on the street.

    Move the license plate temporarily... What a pain. Some sort of cotter pinned assembly

    Move the license plate permanantly... What a pain. I have mounted plates on a bumper with self tapping screws, but then you don't have lights for it. They do sell at napa replacement lights. You would have to drill your bumper and tap into your current parking light circuit. What a pain.

    I chance it. The would probably give you a fix it warning and you would have 10-30 days to fix it.

  3. jkkalbers

    jkkalbers Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    I would chance it. Most cops understand it is a temporary situation. Like here in Minnesota you're required to have plates on the front of vehicles. They can't be seen with plows on. We've never had a problem with police.

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    It's also a non-issue around these parts, depending on who pulls you over and for what. Our sanding truck goes the entire winter with the rear plate being blocked but the truck also only moves during snowstorms so its usually not an issue.
  5. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Front plates here in NY required...
    Back when I had my Cherokee the plate bracket broke so I kept it on the dash for a couple days. I got pulled over 4 times by 4 diffrent agencys (Amherst, Kenmore, Tonawanda, Cheektowaga) becasue it was not "properly mounted". only Kenmore (figures) gave me a ticket to have it replaced in 3 days.

    I have never once been botherd or know of anyone who has becasue of a plow blocking the plate. Officers realize there is no other logical place to mount it & rarly hassle the plow guy as thay know we are experienced drivers in snow. Would be pretty funny getting a ticket for a blocked plate. Pull into a lot unhook the plow and show the cop "it's fixed". Arround here thay give ya 3 days to fix a MINOR equipment volation. Pretty hard for anyone to enforce the "law" then...
  6. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Funny you should mention the plate dilema Digger. I was just pondering the same thing the other day. We put a rubber sheet across the back of all our salt trucks, to protect the truck from the salt. Our spreaders have trailer tail lights mounted on each side of the salter engine cover (since the rubber blocks the tail lights), wired with a trailer plug, that we connect to the trailer plug on the truck. One salter doesn't have the extra lights because the truck's lights are visable with the salter in it, but I will be adding lights anyway. Adding a license plate bracket and light would be easy.

    Another reason (in my mind) to relocate the plate is that I just replaced one of ours, which was "Apportioned". We ordered it in June, and it came last week. The plate on the rear of the truck had holes in it from salt and dirt getting trapped behind it. It rotted from the back side out. Had the plate been moved to the salter each year, it would most likely still be intact. I mounted the new plate with spacers to keep it away from the rear hitch plate on the dump truck. I am adding a piece of angle iron to the top edge to stop debris from getting behind the plate.

    The plate that was on the front of the same truck looks brand new. Oh, and in NJ you need a front plate too.....

  7. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I had mounted my V box spreader similar to what Chuck describes, with a full width piece of conveyor belt draped over the back of my truck. I fixed stop/tail/turn lights to the sander, plugged into the trailer connector. My plate wasn't visible from front or rear when the plow was on too.

    I asked a couple cops about it, and yeh, by rights it's supposed to be visible, but they didn't have a problem with it. I ran it 5 years that way and was never stopped. I considered having a sign shop make me a plastic duplicate to mount to the sander, but never got around to it. I know that wouldn't be quite legal either, but I don't think they'd notice it from the car.

    I'd check with some of your local cops and get their feelings. Around here we don't get hassled much for anything during storms, I think the cops appreciate us being out there. I've run the Parkway with my truck during storms (normally no commercial vehicles) and not been stopped.
  8. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Ive been running around for about 7 yrs with a V-box covering the plate on the back,and a plow blocking the front, i have no plans to move it.Ive never been hassled yet.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2002
  9. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496


    I thought about plate visibility with my new Backplow I dont think it will be a problem?
  10. HD61CUIN

    HD61CUIN Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    Well here in IL you need a front plate too. Can't see that with the blade attached either. The rear one can be seen but who cares, usually there is a ton of snow covering it. I have never been stopped which is good. The plates are registered to the truck, but I never transferred the title or the plates when I bought the truck. I keep the title with me and I have insurance. Here in IL the thing has to pass emissions, which is something that I will be flagged for shortly after I do all the transferring. I am not sure if it will pass. The previous owner removed the smog pump, and added a catalytic converter. It doesnt smoke, just runs a little rough with a vacuum leak that I have yet to find. I hope to finish working on a few things in the spring and make it legal.

    ADLAWNCUTTERS Senior Member
    Messages: 212

    as some of you know i am a police officer here in western new york.don't worry about it.if a cop pulls you over for that , most likely it's for a dwi or he is really has nothing else better to do.now if your license or your registration or insurance is not up to date don"t ask for a reason to be pulled over.if you are that worry about it , then use some zip strips to mount it temporally,it shows you made an effort.
  12. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Adlawncutters, great advice from one of the good guys arrond here.

    If anyone dosnt have a valid license, registration or insurance they souldnt be out plowing or driving anywhere for that matter.
    Unfortunatly there's always some idiot out there.

    I'd love to see a plow guy pulled over in the middle of a snow storm for a DWI... I'm sure you guys have at least heard stories about it. Thoes people need to really spend a few days locked up. Driving is hard enough in snow, plowing (or just driving) when drunk I cant even imagine. The lack of brains some people have...
    Listen to the weather reports, pull a couple radar images up & get some sleep before the storm hits. As we know living here we need all the sleep we can possibly get.

    Getting pulled over for the officers lack of better to do. Thats a common thing in some parts by the rookies looking for thier first "big bust" or quotas, when their not to busy filling out the report for some UB kid who has never driven in snow before.
  13. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    i used to have an 84 k-20 with a fisher on it, and the plow frame blocked the front license plate. well i got a ticket for no front plate, went to court with pictures, paperwork saying the plow was dealer installed. anyway i lost the case and still had to pay the ticket.
  14. jbutch83

    jbutch83 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    I too, am a full time Police Officer, and I don't know of anyone where I am from being stopped because the license plate was not visible due to a plow of salter. Most of the guys that I work with are pretty reasonable, and will take that into account if we see something like that on the road. As far as quotas, I know that we don't have any, and I do not know of any departments in my area that do. I think that most people's misconception is that when we write a ticket, we get that money. I can tell you that we don't see any money from a ticket, it all goes to the state. Our department does not benefit from writing more tickets, and neither do the officers. At how expensive tickets have gotten in my area, I can't justify writing everyone I stop a $113 ticket. Warnings and being nice to people go a long way in this career, and if you have a bad experience with an officer, and you felt the officer was out of line, I urge you to file a complaint.

  15. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Thanks, Guys!

    Since we've heard from a number of P/Os, I wanted to say "Thanks!" for your service to community. With all the risk you expose yourself to, and the lack of support you receive, both from the public, and the bureaucracy, it's a wonder anyone chooses that career.

    I've got my own complaints (it seems every car on the road at 3 & 4 am is a dewey suspect), but I know overall the majority are good cops, and my hat's off to you.
  16. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    The thing that prompted me to ask the question was the possibility that my wife would be driving that particular truck for a few days. (See my posts in the "Opening Day" thread in the Off Topic and General Discussion forum.) The truck would have been sitting idle anyway. I took the plow off and was about to leave the salter on until I noticed that it does obscure the license plate. She would have been driving when there wasn't any snow around. That might have made it a little harder to justify (and if she'd gotten pulled over it would have been, uhh...let's just say it wouldn't have been good). I took the salter off and then we ended up with a rental car anyway.

    I won't argue with the fact that most law enforcement personnel are pretty reasonable. I believe that most of what they do is in the genuine interest of public saftey, and I will say that I personally have never had an issue with my treatment by the police. And we all know that they put more on the line every time they get dressed for work than most of us ever do. I have heard, however, from friends who are or have been police officers, that sometimes the Chief wants to see tickets written, and just like the rest of us the guys in the patrol cars have to follow orders.

    I appreciate the replies, particularly those from ADLAWNCUTTERS and jbutch83. They represent the pros on the law enforcement side of this particular question. That's the great thing about PlowSite--if a question pops into your head you can generally get a wider and deeper cross-section of opinions, and get it faster, just by posting it here than you could get through some other means. :)
  17. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Hey Digger, the streets of LaGrangeville are one 6 pointer safer!
  18. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496


    Hey Pelican your post of two ago also sounds like you were writing about teachers
  19. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    The only comment I can make to that is I can't make the comparison.
  20. Rooster

    Rooster Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 650


    I just bought my first spreader (seems more ice here than snow the last few years) and had the same concerns that you do.

    I asked a few local police officers that are friends of mine about the legal issue of the plate visability. All but one told me that it was not a big issue with them, because they know what a spreader is used for and they have known me for years ( I guess personal relationships do have some merit), the other Officer I asked kind of got embarrased in a why when I asked him, because I plow the lot where his wife owns a business, so naturally he told me he would not ticket me or for that matter someone else if a spreader partially blocked the plate.

    I was cautioned that some new officers just out on patrol on their own might make an issue of the visibility of the plate, and was told to explain to them why etc, and ask them for a suggestion where to mount the tag on a temp. basis.