There's a New York State law regarding pickup trucks that I see people breaking all the time.  If you drive your truck with the tailgate down, you are breaking the law!  According to New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law 375, anything that protrudes beyond the bumper of the vehicle is illegal unless you attach a flag to to it.  That includes the tailgate of course.  So feel free to put that tailgate down, just make sure there's a flag hanging from it so you don't get stopped and ticketed by the police.