Question: What is the law on gravel, dirt, sand and rocks being carried by dump trucks and them covering their loads?
For years, I’ve seen these trucks driving down the road with their loads uncovered. It is very disrespectful, negligent and dangerous.
I don’t know if they are too lazy or just do not care.
I don’t think people realize that when you’re driving behind one, your vehicle is being sandblasted and your paint chipped.
I know, because I ride a Harley as well. You don’t even have to see the truck up ahead to know it’s there because you can feel it sandblasting your face!
I would like to see this law is enforced, if there is one. What does the law state? — Michael, Puyallup
Answer: Washington’s law (RCW 46.61.655) requires a cover on any vehicle carrying dirt, sand or gravel that is “susceptible to being dropped, spilled, leaked, or otherwise escaping.”
But there’s an exception: If haulers maintain at least 6 inches of freeboard — that is, space between the top of their load and the sides of the truck — no cover is required.
If you or your vehicle gets hit by a rock or sandblasted, the Washington State Patrol won’t do anything about it unless a trooper witnesses the truck dropping the debris. It’s a civil matter and must be resolved between you and the trucking company.
If the debris was dropped by a commercial vehicle, here’s what the State Patrol advises on its website:
“Write down where you were, what time the incident happened, the direction the truck was traveling, a detailed description of the truck and driver (including company name, make of the truck, color, unit number, license plate number, etc.), and exactly what happened.
“You must be certain the rock or debris that broke your windshield was dropped by that particular truck. Contact the trucking company as soon as possible to file your complaint and claim.”