[r18] House Approved Mini-trucks on Local Roads (1/26/2010)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Start Date: 1/26/2010 All Day
End Date: 1/26/2010

House Approved Mini-trucks on Local Roads

STATEHOUSE- The Indiana House of Representatives passed House Bill 1175 which would allow the use of mini-trucks on local roads and state roads if properly titled and registered by the BMV.  Mini-truck dealers must also register as a dealer in Indiana.  Mini-trucks are prohibited from interstates.

"Mini-trucks meet the requirement of what defines a car and truck," said House Bill author Rep. Dave Wolkins (R-Winona Lake). "They have seat belts, air conditioning, radio/cd players, turn signals, and high-beams. Why shouldn't they be allowed on the road?"

Currently, almost all mini-trucks are made by seven foreign car companies: Daihatsu, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Suzuki. Several domestic car manufacturers have express interest in entering the mini-truck if the demand is there.

Mini-truck Specifications:

  • 660cc, liquid cooled, 3 cylinder motor, 4 stroke, gas or diesel, 4x4 drive
  • 4 or 5 speed manual transmission with high/low transfer case
  • 4' x 6' box has fold down and removable sides and tailgate (box can also have lifts/raisers installed)
  • Radio, windshield wipers, seat belts, standard lights and full instrumentation
  • Approximately 50+ MPG
  • Catalytic converter
  • Seats 2
  • Optional Air conditioning, Dump box, and extended cab
  • Can reach speeds up to 70MPH

Currently law in Indiana defines mini-trucks as off-road vehicles. Off-road vehicles are mechanisms such as golf carts, ATVs, Bobcats, and Gators which don't require BMV registration and can't be used on public roads. House Bill 1043 would categorize mini-trucks as a different vehicle class than the previously stated.   

Originally, mini-trucks were called low speed agricultural vehicles. Now mini-trucks can reach speeds up to 70 m.p.h. and have evolved into on road automobiles for everyday use. They can also be accessorized with winches, plows, extended cabs and roll bars.   

 "This legislation is long overdue and needed because the use and capability of the mini-truck has changed significantly over the years," said Rep. Wolkins. "It no longer made sense to classify them as an off-road vehicle."  

House Bill 1043 will next be voted on by the Indiana Senate.