Chapter 4501-43 Maximum Height of Bumpers

4501-43-01 Purpose.

This chapter is adopted pursuant to section 4513.021 of the Revised Code which provides that the director of public safety shall adopt rules governing the maximum height of bumpers on passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and some trucks and to prohibit certain other modifications of the body, chassis, or suspension system of a motor vehicle.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 03/09/2012 and 03/09/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: R.C. 4513.021
Rule Amplifies: R.C. 4513.021
Prior Effective Dates: 1/16/89, 12/5/02

4501-43-02 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter:

(A) "Passenger car" means any motor vehicle with motive power, designed for carrying ten persons or less, except a multipurpose passenger vehicle or motorcycle.

(B) "Multipurpose passenger vehicle" means a motor vehicle with motive power, except a motorcycle, designed to carry ten persons or less, that is constructed either on a truck chassis or with special features for occasional off-road operation.

(C) "Truck" means every motor vehicle, except trailers and semitrailers, designed and used to carry property and having a gross vehicle weight rating of ten thousand pounds or less.

(D) "Manufacturer" has the same meaning as in section 4501.01 of the Revised Code.

(E) "Gross vehicle weight rating" means the manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating established for the vehicle.

(F) "Body floor height" means the vertical distance between top of the frame rail and the bottom of the passenger compartment (cab) floor. In the event that the vehicle is a truck body, floor height will be measured by the vertical distance between the passenger compartment (cab) floor and the floor of the truck bed.

(G) "Bumper height" means the vertical distance between the ground and the highest point of the bottom of the bumper, measured when the vehicle is laden on a level surface with the vehicle tires inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure.

(H) "Frame" means the main longitudinal structural members of the chassis of the vehicle or, for vehicles with unitized body construction, the lowest main longitudinal structural members of the body of the vehicle.

(I) "Wheel track distance" means the distance on the ground between the center of the tire tread on one side of the vehicle, and the center of the tire tread on the opposite side.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 03/09/2012 and 03/09/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: R.C. 4513.021
Rule Amplifies: R.C. 4513.021
Prior Effective Dates: 1/16/89, 9/5/03

4501-43-03 General provisions.

(A) No person shall operate upon a street or highway any passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, or truck registered in this state that does not conform to the requirements of section 4513.021 of the Revised Code or this chapter.

(B) No person shall modify any motor vehicle registered in this state in such a manner as to cause the vehicle body or chassis to come in contact with the ground, expose the fuel tank to damage from collision, or cause the wheels to come in contact with the body under normal operation, and no person shall disconnect any part of the original suspension system of the vehicle to defeat the safe operation of that system including the installation of inverted, altered or modified suspension system component parts which results in elevation of the height of the vehicle bumper or frame unit which is not in compliance with this chapter.

(C) No person shall operate upon a street or highway any passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, or truck registered in this state without a bumper on the front and rear of the vehicle if such vehicle was equipped with bumpers as standard equipment by the manufacturer.

(D) No person shall operate upon a street or highway any passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, or truck registered in this state if the difference in height between the body floor and the top of the frame exceeds four inches.

(E) Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit either of the following:

(1) The installation upon a passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, or truck registered in this state of heavy duty equipment, including shock absorbers and overload springs, as long as such equipment does not cause the vehicle to be in violation of this chapter;

(2) The operation on a street or highway of a passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, or truck registered in this state with normal wear to the suspension system if the normal wear does not adversely affect the control of the vehicle.

(F) This chapter does not apply to any specially designed or modified passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, or truck when operated off a street or highway in races and similar events.

(G) A specially designed or modified passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, or truck which does not conform to section 4513.021 of the Revised Code or this chapter shall not be operated on a street or highway.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 03/09/2012 and 03/09/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: R.C. 4513.021
Rule Amplifies: R.C. 4513.021
Prior Effective Dates: 1/16/89

4501-43-04 Specifications.

(A) The horizontal bumper shall be at least 4.5 inches in vertical height, centered on the vehicle's centerline, and extend no less than the width of the respective wheel track distances. Bumpers shall be horizontal load-bearing bumpers and attached to the vehicle frame to effectively transfer impact when engaged.

(B) Maximum bumper heights shall be determined by the type of vehicle at time of manufacture. If other than a passenger vehicle, the maximum bumper height shall be determined by the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) at the time of manufacture. The height shall be measured in terms of the vertical distance between the ground and the bottom of the bumper. Maximum bumper heights are as follows:

Bumper Height FRONT REAR

Passenger vehicles 22 inches 22 inches

All other vehicles

4,500 lbs. and under GVWR 24 inches 26 inches

4,501 lbs. to 7,500 lbs. GVWR 27 inches 29 inches

7,501 lbs. to 10,000 lbs. GVWR 28 inches 31 inches

(C) If the body and/or truck bed height is altered, the difference in height between the body floor and/or the truck bed floor to the top of the frame rail shall not exceed four inches.

(D) For any vehicle with bumpers or attaching components which have been modified or altered from the original manufacturer's design in order to conform with the maximum bumper requirements of this rule, the bumper height shall be measured from a level surface to the bottom of the vehicle frame rail at the most forward and rearward points of the frame rail.

Frame Rail Height if bumper modified or altered Front Rear

Passenger vehicles 22 inches 22 inches

All other vehicles

4,500 lbs. and under GVWR 24 inches 26 inches

4,501 lbs. to 7,500 GVWR 27 inches 29 inches

7,501 lbs. to 10,000 lbs. GVWR 28 inches 31 inches

(E) The height restriction in this rule applies to the distance from the ground to the bottom of the frame rail under any one or more of the following conditions:

(1) A motor vehicle is not equipped with a front and rear bumper.

(2) The bumper height relative to the frame rails has been altered.

(3) A supplemental bumper has been installed or an addition to the original or replacement has been made.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 03/09/2012 and 03/09/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: R.C. 4513.021
Rule Amplifies: R.C. 4513.021
Prior Effective Dates: 1/16/89, 8/16/07