Michigan Tow Strap Laws

By Mike Goldstein

Tow straps are nylon strips that come in various lengths and widths. They are often used for towing purposes. Michigan law does not specifically require them to be used when towing, only that reliable connections are used. The statute enumerates the requirements for towing another vehicle or trailer, which include placement, length and weight. Violating these regulations results in a civil infraction.

Placement

Part (3) of Section 257.721 of the Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL, states that there must be a minimum of four straps: one on each side of the coupling and one at each extreme edge of the vehicle. Additional straps may be added to ensure the towed vehicle does not swing more than three inches to either side. Part (2) states that if the connection is made purely of chains, ropes or cables, there must be a red flag no smaller than one square foot displayed.

Length

Part (2) of Section 257.721 states that there must not be more than 15 feet between the two vehicles. Additionally, Part (5)(b) states that a pickup truck towing a semitrailer or other load must not exceed 65 feet in total length.

Weight

There are no explicit weight limits stated in the statute. The only requirement is that the tow straps be of sufficient strength to tow the additional vehicle or load. However, in the case of an animal husbandry vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds or less, the straps must comply with Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 393.70.

About the Author

Mike Goldstein has been writing since 2005 and has been published in "Science" and Boston College's "Intellectual Property and Technology Forum Law Review." He studied Shakespeare at Rutgers University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English literature. Music and photography are two of his specialties.

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