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Airbags & plowing ??

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by BOSS 444, Dec 28, 2001.

  1. BOSS 444

    BOSS 444 Member
    from In.
    Messages: 32


    I am putting a new Boss power-V on my Super Duty & was wandering about the air bags. How much of a hit can the truck take before they go off? My 88' F-350 obviously doesn't have this problem. This is my biggest concern about plowing w/ my new truck. What are your opinions? Has anyone disabled them? Is it as easy as pulling the right fuse?

    Thanks in advance,
    Boss 444:cool:
  2. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    As far as I know, while everybody has heard of somebody who has had an airbag pop from plowing, NOBODY has actually had one go off on their truck. Chalk it up to an urban legend and go plow snow.
  3. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    I am pretty sure the airbag sensor is in the bumper. the plow assembly mounts ehind the bumper and essentially bypasses the airbag. Therefore, whenever you have the plow on it is impossible to activate the airbag switch. Keep that in mind when you are taveling down the road and someone slams into you head on. There will be no airbag to save you unless it is a real whopper of an accident.
  4. plowjockey

    plowjockey PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 622

    That is most deffinately incorrect about the airbag "switch" being in the bumper. Airbags are fired by a series of decellerometers (speed sensors) located both in the front of the vehicle and in the center area of the body / frame. The systems senses how rapidly you are slowing down as in an impact and has pre-set limits to deploy.
    Like the other post said though I've never talked to anyone who has actually had one go off.
    Also you can't hit the bumper (like with a hammer) and set airbags off as is frequently believed.

  5. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    I stand corrected. I apologize for the incorrect post.
  6. sledhead

    sledhead Member
    Messages: 77

    Airbags and plows

    I cant tell you about Boss, but when shopping for my plow, (Western), I checked into that very question.
    This is what I found on their website.
    I hope Im not breaking any rules with this post.




    Vehicle crash testing is just one of the many important steps Western Products takes to assure you of a quality plow that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards as well as reliability expectations. The extra steps taken in product design and testing pay off with better products for you.

    Newer pickup trucks and SUV's are getting lighter every year, with new axles, frames and lighter suspensions. These lighter packages raise the question of whether a snowplow would be an appropriate add-on to some models. Western Products puts them to the test.

    Vehicle with plow is driven into wall at under
    10 m.p.h. to confirm that air bag does not deploy.

    "Each year we test several representative vehicle models," says Gary Watson, director-engineering services. "We use the same testing protocol that the truck manufacturers use and the same testing facilities used by the federal government. The tests check several safety related factors, including handling, braking, lighting and crash-worthiness. As you can imagine, it's a very expensive form of testing, with each battery of tests costing up to $75,000. After the truck hits a solid concrete wall at 30 miles per hour, there's only scrap metal left."

    "We don't know of any other plow maker who goes to these lengths to test their plows on actual truck models. We tell our distributors which plow and truck models are compatible. Some other plow manufacturers leave it up to the installer to determine what plow would be suitable. This could result in some real mismatches with adverse consequences for the snowplow, the vehicle or the plower."

    Snowplow mount impact is evaluated
    in this 30 m.p.h. barrier test.

    In addition to these on-going efforts to assure you of a good match of plow and vehicle, Western's Two Winter Warranty attests to the continuing confidence the company places in the reliability of its plows and spreaders.
  7. Moony

    Moony Banned
    Messages: 17

    The sensor is behind the bumper.......disconnect it or see a dentist.
  8. sledhead

    sledhead Member
    Messages: 77


    The only thing to disconect behind the bumper is the driving lamps.
    Plowjocky is correct when he states that the "sensors" are in fact decelerometers mounted within the frame. These are constantly sending info to the deployment processor and are in no way disconectable. You can however "turn off" the passenger side bag if you so desire.
    My .02 worth is, If you wack an imovable object at a rate of speed, that will deploy the airbags, you are plowing with to much testosterone. Slow down and save your equipment, and your teeth. LMAO.

  9. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Technically yes...the front frame rail sensors are "behind" the bumper, the in-cab sensor is "behind" the bumper also lol.

    I would be more concerned with corrosion rendering the system inoperative than a bag going off when it shouldnt...after seven years if the airbag was going to deploy in my Dodge Id think it would have by now, tho I dont even give it a thought.
  10. Moony

    Moony Banned
    Messages: 17

    DODGE now i know why you have so many problems . Put that dictionary down.
  11. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Who said anythiong about problems cletis...er piles...er deisl...er whoever you aspire to be tomorrow...
  12. BOSS 444

    BOSS 444 Member
    from In.
    Messages: 32

    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    I know what everyone is saying about slowing down & all. But, really, who hasn't been "trying" to take it easy & cought a curb that you thought you were going to miss!? I am a slow plower by nature, (don't like to repair things,& I do get payed by the hour!)! But, w/ that said, I cought a manhole cover last year that STOPPED me dead in my tracks! I hit the glass. Well, will that deploy the air bags? That's kind of what I am after?

    Thanks again,
    Boss 444:cool:
  13. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    No it wont.

    Correction. No, it shouldnt.

    It was explained to me back when, if it hits hard enough to deploy the bag, its going to mangle the plow bad enough you arent going to be using it anymore.
  14. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    I think Alan is RIGHT ON, I've had a number of plow trucks with air bags, and yes I have hit a curb or two hard enough to bend some plow parts, even give a sharp rap to the old shoulder from the seat belt ( it locked!), but never had an air bag go off, and I don't actually know of anybody who did, but I like you have heard about people who have set them off plowing, urban legend?

  15. sonjaab

    sonjaab PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    Guys. I had a 97 Chevy with air bags. Hit a few things
    and bent a couple of parts too. They never went off
    ( thank god). Have them on my 01 and don't even
    give them a second thought when plowing anymore !
    Let it snow!...................Geo
  16. P&J Lawncare

    P&J Lawncare Member
    Messages: 57

    I totaled my fisher plow last year when I hit a steel pole that was cut-off about 8 inches from the ground and my air bags never went off in my 2000 super-duty. I would hate to see what it takes to actually set off my airbags.
  17. BOSS 444

    BOSS 444 Member
    from In.
    Messages: 32

    Once again,

    Thanks for your post!

    I will plow this year w/ a newly found piece of mind, NOT wondering when my airbags are about to give me a black eye!

    Thanks again,
    Boss 444:cool:

    When is NY going to quit hogging all this snow anyway??
  18. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    I was always under the impression that the airbag sensors work by detecting the movement of crumple zones that they are attached to. When one side of the sensor moves, and the other doesn't, then thats when they deploy. If you ever watch the Mercedes or Volvo TV ads, you will see the bag deploy when the bumper almost meets the front axle!! This is a pretty serious crash. These airbags deploy in micro-seconds. Way before your bodys' inertia causes you to eat the steering wheel.

    Everybody's heard of the guy that had one go off while plowing, but I've never personally talked to that person!

    In a crash with your plow on at near highway speeds, I would imagine that it would still go off and save your life. That plow is eventually going to contact your bumper or crumple zone. In a crash, these real TOUGH plows bend like tinfoil!! I've seen a few wrecks in the local salvage yard.
  19. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    They sense deceleration rate. Doesnt matter if it crumples or not.
  20. Waterchikn

    Waterchikn Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    I have heard that the newer model trucks (all) use a combination of the sensors to deploy the airbag.
    I have never seen or heard of an airbag going off while someone was plowing, but like it was said before, I am sure if you do hit something hard enough, it would go off. I would imagine that older model "systems" of airbags would go would have a lesser, or "not as elaborate" deployment. I have seen a newer dodge car that had its drive train tore off from hitting something but the front bumber was still in tact, The air bag went off. Both driver and passenger. From a speed sensor maybe?
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2002