Is it possible for these spiked hubcaps to be legal?

See query, pix. (Dupes in album.)

NYC. And they’re not hard rubber with paint, they’re hard metal of some kind.

Laws are going to vary by state, but in PA I’m pretty sure the vehicle wouldn’t pass state inspection. Anything that could contribute to injury is not allowed in PA. I know people who had to remove hood ornaments for that reason.

Some of those are very thin metal, and in many places they are legal. They aren’t hard spikes, even though they look like it. Think of them more as being like tiny metal foil party hats. That’s about how solid they are. You can bend and flex them with your fingers.

Some states have rules against any type of wheel decoration (spikes, spinners, whatever) that extends too far out, typically something like 4 inches or more. You could probably have real spikes in these states as long as they are less than 4 inches long.

I see them all the time on commercially driven semis. If they were illegal, I can’t imagine those truckers would still have them. The only difference I can see is those protrude out further from the edge of the truck than they do on a semi because a semi tends to have larger wheel wells and the fender/bar on the front may extend past it.
Also, you’re less likely to be walking that close to a semi, so you aren’t going to bang your legs against it.

On top of all that, car, truck or semi, if you drive close enough to hit those, you’re going to do a more damage than just how they tear up your car. At least one of you is probably going to lose a mirror.

They would certainly be illegal if it made the width of the vehicle greater than the law permits. Here in Ohio, the width of a vehicle cannot exceed 102 inches.

“Messala hubcaps” similar-looking to those in Ben Hur are evidently legal in Texas.

Those aren’t spiked hubcaps. They’re just lugnut covers. Cheap and just pop on and off.

I’ll second this. Working at a warehouse, I see trucks (i.e. the tractor part of “tractor and trailer”) with these all the time when I’d work in the warehouse yard. Look kind of cool, when they’re clean and polished. They’re not at all menacing. If you’re close enough to bump into these, the sharp points are the least of your worries. (The truck driving over your foot cause the driver can’t see your dumb *ss is much more likely)

I figured it was a state by state thing, but no, those are definitely not metal party hats, they’re hard and sharp and are to me, at least, quite menacing (I brushed by one walking my dog).

It is part of a professional winch/truck thingie working on the building property, so I also figured it was legal, but I restrained myself from OP’ing “how and why the fuck are these … legal.”

Perhaps for no other reason than keeping people from walking so closely to the vehicle that they brush up against it.

Once people start regularly walking close by parked 16-wheelers, we’ll know the end has come for our society as we know it.

In seriousness, I’ve wondered the same thing about these and concluded as others have that if you’re close enough on the highway for the “spikes” to cause damage, you’re way too close already. Maybe they’re more of a warning sign to other drivers, who tend to be cavalier around big trucks?

Did you miss the part where the OP claimed he did just that? He brushed by one walking his dog.

I did not. I was joking. It’s hard without emojis, these days.

I thought starting the next sentence “In seriousness…” would have helped, but I’m not pissing on you, Bear, it happens to the best of us (you) and the worst of us (me).

I suspect it’s just for looks. Most driver-owned trucks I’ve seen included large amounts of (unnecessary) chrome and other sorts of flair. When you spend most of your time in one place (in this case, a vehicle), people tend to want to decorate and liven it up a bit.

It’s tough guy image by bored truckers. Nothing else. I don’t fault them in many ways. The job must be boring as shit. For some, you live in your job. So make your home away from home look ‘cool’. :shrug:

Even if the are legal, I do wonder what the legal liability would be for the excess damage inflicted for sideswiping a pedestrian (however it happened). Scraping a person vs shredding most of the flesh on one leg is going to have an interesting effect in a lawsuit. “Well he shouldn’t a’ bin there” is not the best legal defense.

I have seen this on semis too but never got close enough to see if they are dangerous, but I never like passing a truck with those. Looks like something that would pop out of James Bond’s Aston Martin when he pushed the “Spikes” button.


I thought Americans were supposed to be macho. These things don’t have a patch on Boudicca’s chariot. :smiley:


BTW, are you an Englishman/woman? Never heard but of course understand “have a patch on” (US).

I’m British. My ancestors include Scottish pirates & wreckers, Cornish pirates & wreckers, Scouse chandlers, Italians, Vikings, Scottish royalty, English farmers, and we don’t speak about the Welsh. :slight_smile: