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For a second vehicle and to have a truck I bought a 1994 F250  5.0 standard transmission for reliability.  It was owned by a lumber yard.. and from what I can tell has always had a flat bed on it.  The flat bed is longer than a standard bed.  I live in Illinois, and hours of searching and speaking in person to local law enforcement (two different deputies) has not given me an answer I felt came from knowledge.  The officers said they would not stop me for it.. but should it have a bumper?  I noticed grain trucks.. just a little bigger version do not have one.  

If one is needed, what are affordable options?  Would a reese hitch alone be good enough even though it only covers the middle?

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4 Answers

you should have a bumper so you don't decapitate people


I'm pretty sure it's a requirement to have a bumper on every car and truck. It might be one of those "I don't care unless you do something stupid" things cops normally don't enforce, unless they also catch you not using a turn signal or have a broken taillight in the middle of the night.


Check out the junkyards around you and FB Marketplace for junk trucks. People part out rotted trucks sometimes, see if you can get a bumper. That might be cheapest. 

I'm not sure on parts compatibility, but look and see if bumpers from a '94 F-150 will fit. If first comes to worst, get a 2x8 or similar sized piece of wood and bolt that to the bumper mounts. I've seen people in town with old trucks do that. 



If the police seem to be fine with it, i'd just let it go until they do, most times they will just let you know what to do. 

TIf you really want one I would talk to a metal shop to see if they can build you want and put it on.

Topic starter

Thanks for the advice.  The flat beds stick farther back than the frame, so a regular bumper would be too far under to prevent the decapitation.  As mentioned.. I do think I'll get something on it because if there is a law hidden somewhere... or even if there isn't.. it wouldn't stop a cop who knows it, or thinks they do from pulling me over for it.  I had a clear plate cover on the front of a vehicle for 10 years.. then got a warning, they are illegal in Illinois.  So.. I'll never clean the bugs off again... it was much easier with a smooth cover.  I don't care to repeat the event.  I'm leaning toward welding some square tubing on.. similar to how a lot of semi trucks are.  Might be useful as a step as well.  If the tubing is too expensive I might go the lumber route.  I do have a welder.. and welding such thick material is a lot easier than the thin stuff I usually get myself into.   I appreciate the feedback, it gives me peace that I have not overlooked something obvious before I act.