Massachusetts police pulled over a GMC Sonoma after spotting a tower of chairs and office equipment precariously fastened to the truck’s bed. Then, five days later, police pulled over the same truck. For the same reason. Except instead of chairs and desks, the precarious load was trees. Honestly, I’m not sure if I should be impressed or appalled.
The first traffic stop happened on June 20th, when a Massachusetts State Police officer cited the truck’s driver for having an “Unsecured Load”—in this case, a hilariously enormous pile of desks, chairs and file cabinets—hanging out of the GMC Sonoma’s bed.
Then, five days later, police pulled the driver over again. Officer Michael Wilk of the Chicopee Police Department in Massachusetts described to me over the phone what happened on that second stop.
“On our [busy highway that cuts through the city, officers] were monitoring traffic, and [the driver] drove by in the truck with all that brush hanging off,” he said.
The officer pulled the driver over, and—while doing the paperwork—realized this was the same truck that had made the rounds on social media for being overloaded with office equipment just five days prior.
The Chicopee Police Department made a post on its Facebook page using this man as an example of what not to do when hauling payload, but not before giving the man a ticket. “The charges are, obviously, unsecured load, and having an obstructed license plate and obstructed brake lights,” Wilk told me.
Wilk said over the phone that, according to the police’s sources, the man transports things for a living. “He’s basically a scrapper,” Wilk said, “he goes to the neighborhoods, he collects things.”
“He goes collecting metal, probably brings it to the scrapyard, and then if he can do anything else for people, he probably pulls up and asks.”
So the man clearly has incentive to keep that bed filled to the brim, with officer Wilk telling me: “He can throw everything in the truck, make it in one trip, and then he just moves on to the next place.”
Wilk discussed why the man had to be cited, and why this bed-overloading can’t be tolerated. “You can’t see the lights, you can’t see the license plate,” he said.
“If you’re behind this guy, and he’s got a branch dragging, and something breaks off, you’re gonna end off with a tree branch basically hitting your car, coming through your windshield...it’s dangerous,” Wilk warned.
Wilk described the correct way to haul payload in a truck. “If you’re going to haul things like that,” he advised, “you can put sides on your truck...they sell aftermarket things where you can put sides. Keep everything inside your truck.”
Wilk told me he understands that the man is trying to make money, but that the driver needs to be more responsible. “You’ve got to think of the people behind you,” he said. “If he’s on the highway...anything blows off, I mean, you’re gonna kill somebody. And it’s really not worth driving around like that.”
I’ll admit that I’m impressed that this guy could fit that much crap into (and around) his bed. And I also like that the guy is using this little pickup truck for its intended purpose. But come on: those file cabinets and chairs look like they’re itching to do some serious damage to a front fascia or two.