By Katie Stancombe
Mini-trucks, rev your engines.
Starting Jan. 1, mini-truck drivers will be allowed to use Indiana roads and highways for travel.
A bill signed into law this spring would allow for mini-trucks to travel on state roads and highways, as long as the driver has a vehicle title and registration.
The bill’s author, Rep. David Wolkins, R-Winona Lake, said the specialized vehicles are “very versatile” and would benefit farmers and hunters around the state.“This legislation will save individuals, especially those living in rural areas, from having to use costly alternatives to get around their farms quickly and efficiently,” Wolkins said. “Mini-trucks are able to perform the same duties as other vehicles in an agricultural setting but have a more reasonable price tag.”
Mini-trucks are used for a variety of purposes but were originally known as low speed agricultural vehicles. Now mini-trucks can reach speeds up to 70 miles per hour and have evolved into on-road automobiles for everyday use. They can also be accessorized with winches, plows, extended cabs and roll bars.
According to the bill, mini trucks must be able to achieve a top speed of no more than 60 mph and must be manufactured with a locking enclosed cab and heated interior.
Indiana BMV spokesperson Josh Gillespie said that he expects to see more mini-trucks registered as a result of this law.
“The registration process won’t change much at all. The exception is that instead of being titled as an off road vehicle they will be titled as a truck and registered with a ‘mini truck’ plate, which will afford the owners the right to drive on all public roadways except interstate highways,” said Gillespie.
Twenty of the 50 states have legislation that allows mini-trucks to travel on main roads and highways.
Katie Stancombe is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students.