All Spun Up: High on the Road

June 2020 Column Colin Peterson

This article originally appeared in the March 2020 issue.

Let’s be honest here. Many of us LOVE lifting our trucks because we all know how gainful lift kits are. Some of us like to go for a conservative 2 inches, some like to go somewhere in the middle (around 4 to 6 inches), and others like to jump up to a full foot! Lifts not only make your truck look great and stand out from the crowd, but they also provide for better and more hardcore off-roading ability, and they open you up to more aftermarket wheel and tire options. Regardless of what ride height you prefer, it feels cool to have a physical raise over other vehicles on the road and to be better able to tackle whatever comes your way when you venture off the beaten path. Plus, other performance upgrades we put on our trucks seem to make so much more sense when we use lift kits.

Obey The Law

However, while you can go all-out in full force with mods when you’re out on the dirt as long as you stay safe, there are limits when you’re on a paved road with regularly enforced, common sense traffic laws. In many cases, we use our trucks as daily drivers, and you’ll also probably be traveling on one of those roads to get to a place to go off-roading. Some states and provinces are stricter on this matter than others. You may travel across state lines for work, vacations, or many other purposes; of course, you may even be relocating to another state. When that happens, you should have a vehicle that meets the street-legal requirements for the other states. For example, states like New York are more lenient when it comes to lift laws, but 4 inches is the legal limit in Connecticut, and Massachusetts has a tight 2-inch general lift limit (vehicles at least 10,000 pounds GVWR in Massachusetts may be allowed slightly more lift, but that’s a grey area as the law is based on a mathematical equation of vehicle size). So, depending on where you live and what you do, you may want to invest in a lift kit that’s more legally ubiquitous across a larger swath of the U.S. and/or Canada.

Legal Flexibility

Technically, a vehicle must comply with the regulations in the jurisdiction it’s registered in as well as the jurisdiction it’s visiting, even though some jurisdictions enforce it differently than others. To tackle that issue, of course, you could go with a 2-inch kit and you’ll be legal in every state. With kits from 4 to 6 inches, you’ll still stay legal in most places.

However, if you’ve been reading our previous issues, believe it or not, there actually is a company that makes a lift kit that can ride at any height on any axle so you can stay legal everywhere and not make a permanent compromise on ride height. It’s called Any Level Lift. Their unique hydraulically-operated suspension system allows truck owners to easily adjust their lift accordingly for different driving and hauling conditions. How do they do this? They use a scissoring track bar and triangulated link arms to keep the axle centered under the truck while it’s being raised via either a dash controller or the company’s Ride Controller app for your phone.

To Conclude

While I acknowledge these are just my two cents when it comes to lifts, I do strongly advise you to make sure you’re obeying the law where you live. Lifts are so much fun, but you’re always better safe than sorry with them. Call your local DMV to ensure you’ll still meet the limits.

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