Answering Common FAQ's About Mudflaps In New Zealand

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August 24, 2023 at 11:58:16 AM PDT August 24, 2023 at 11:58:16 AM PDTth, August 24, 2023 at 11:58:16 AM PDT

All you need to know about Mudflaps

Got a question about mudflaps? Check out the helpful mudflap FAQs (and answers!) - hosted by Huntley from the TransQuip team. Or read our blog below.

Do I have to have mudflaps on my vehicle?

Yes. By law, you must have mudflaps on your road vehicle.

There are only a handful of exceptions, where you don't.

  1. If it's what is defined by law as being in an "unfinished" condition
  2. If it's used under the authority of trade plates
  3. If it's not capable of exceeding 30km/h
  4. If it has a valid exemption issued by the NZ Hot Rod Assn.

You'll find more detail on the Waka Kotahi NZTA website,-wheels-and-hubs/mudguards

What's so great about mudflaps?

Mudflaps protect your vehicle, load, and other road users, from the little stones, debris, mud, rain, and slush that gets thrown up by the tyres. Usually, we don't even think about them, but mudflaps reduce the number of chips and dints your vehicle will receive - keeping it in better condition and even helping prevent rust.

For many companies, customised mudflaps are also an important part of the look of their vehicles and provide very cost-effective branding and advertising. (More on that later.)

What are mudflaps (mud flaps) made from?

Mudflaps are made from flexible rubber, PVC, or rigid plastic.

Each has different advantages and applications. For example, many contractors and tip-truck operators favour the flexible rubber option. That's because these mudflaps "give" so they're not easily damaged if they come into contact with the ground, piles of rubble or shingle, or large rocks.

What sizes are there?

There are different sizes for different vehicles, and different heights and depths.

The most common size for trucks is 600mm wide. Lengths vary depending on the height of the truck deck. The most common lengths are 300, 450, 600, 750 and 900mm long.

Custom mudflap lengths and widths are also available, just ask one of the TransQuip team - they'll be happy to help.

What colour mudflaps are there?

Normally, mudflaps are produced in either black or white.

Can mudflaps be printed on?

Custom mudflaps are a great way for companies to complete the look of their fleet. And get their names out there.

Almost all mudflaps, of any material, can be printed on. The two most common printing methods are screen printing and foil printing.

What is foil printing?

Foil printing uses a combination of heat and pressure to print. A foil-like metallic paper creates the logo or graphic image.

What is the difference between screen and foil printing?

Foil printing uses heat which burns in the print. In comparison, screen prints are on the mudflaps' surface - so are more easily worn off.

The foil will look better for longer. And, as you know, mudflaps are submitted to a fair bit of wear and tear especially if trucks are regularly travelling on gravel roads or tracks.

Screen printing can achieve more involved logos and images, including shading. Foil prints are only in solid colours. They're also a smidge more expensive because of the set-up involved. For the same reason, minimum order quantities apply.

How long do mudflaps last?

As we've said, mudflaps in New Zealand often have to take a bit of a beating. How long they last depends on the general amount of wear and tear the individual vehicle is subjected to and the materials the mudflaps themselves are made of.

There's a big difference between truck mudflaps on a freight haulage company's trucks travelling on highways, and mudflaps on stock trucks or milk tankers which may also need to use gravel roads and farm tracks - where stones will be flicked up. Then, you've got the mudflaps on a work ute that's expected to (and does) go absolutely anywhere and everywhere.

Some companies update their whole fleets' mudflaps regularly for reasons of appearance. In general though, freight truck mudflaps, in daily use, typically last 1-3 years. For the construction industry, it's closer to 6 months to a year.

What are anti-spray mudflaps?

Anti-spray mudflaps, as the name suggests, help prevent the water coming off the tyres from spraying out onto the windscreens of following or overtaking vehicles. (We've all been there!!)

Anti-spray mudflaps come in two basic kinds. One has little groves, or ribs, which help direct the water down onto the road. Like these ones here.

The other option has an almost carpet-like surface which the water dribbles down from - rather than just bouncing off. The only snag is that they can have issues with tar seal getting stuck to them. This option is only available from overseas.

Talk to the team at TransQuip today if you have any other mudflap questions, or want to discuss your vehicles' mudflaps needs. Our experts will be happy to help.