Ask A Trooper

Sgt. Jesse Grabow

Question:  I bought a used boat dock; do I need a permit to get it to my lake house?

  Answer: You can move a boat dock on Minnesota roads without a permit if the dock is no wider than 8’6”, no higher than 13’6” and no longer than 110’.  The move must be done during day time hours.  The rear corners must be flagged with 18” squared red or orange flags. The dock sides will have to be flagged as well every 20’. If your dock is larger, then you need to contact MN permit at 651-296-3000.

Question: I know it has been extremely dry but with the anticipation of “April showers” can you talk about hydroplaning?

  Answer: At speeds of 35 mph or less, most tires will “wipe” water off the road surface to keep tires in contact with the road. At higher speeds, water can collect under tires and lift them off the surface of the road — this is called “hydroplaning.”

  When your tires hydroplane, they lose all contact with the road. If this occurs, you will be unable to brake, accelerate, or change direction. If your tires begin to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas pedal.

  Hydroplaning is less likely to occur at normal highway speeds if your vehicle is equipped with good tires that have deep treads, which will allow water to escape. But hydroplaning can occur at any speed if the depth of the water on the road is greater than the depth of the tire treads. In heavy rain, standard cars may begin to hydroplane at 35 mph.

  To prevent hydroplaning, keep your tires in good condition and reduce speed when driving on wet roads.

  A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.  (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at,