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Do i need a strobe light while plowing

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by raptorman03, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. raptorman03

    raptorman03 Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    Do i need a strobe light while plowing
  2. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,302

    I don't think you have to have a strobe light, but some local laws require some type of amber light. It can be flashing or revolving. Here, they are only required if you enter a roadway. example backing out into a road to push a driveway ect. Check with your local police, they should know.
  3. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    Up here we use flashing or rotating beacons. I think it is the law here but even if it is not it is still a good idea. Better to be seen than run over. As far as the strobes I am not sure how well I like them. I see some plows and pilot cars with really bright flashing lights and they are so blinding that I feel they may get run over by blinded drivers. That is just my .02c.
  4. raptorman03

    raptorman03 Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    yea thats what i ment a flashing light
  5. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    I would not consider plowing my own driveway without a rotor or strobe light of some kind for warning when backing out into the road. Even with my mini bar I almost got whacked a couple times last winter right behind my own house.

    The law in your state may also have some fairly specific "minimum requirements" (mine does) for warning devices on a vehicle plowing snow in a public road.

    Warning lights are like American Express Travelers Checks - don't leave home without them...
  6. edosher

    edosher Member
    Messages: 32


    And like travelers checks, the more the better! I run 6 strobes and 6 flashing lights on my light bar-usually just for driving on the road on the way home from work in the afternoon before I do my night route. I think that I could harness the sun's power somehow and people would still drive like a moron! If people get that scared in 1-2" of snow at 5pm at 5-15 mph, then why are you on the road in the first place?
  7. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    Less is more on the damn strobes hate to say it, do people really only drive like morons when you are around with your plow attached. One is enough, its our responsibility to look out for them not the other way around. Only use it when you are plowing, driving down the road is for emergency vehicles.
  8. snowfighterG

    snowfighterG Member
    Messages: 34

    strobe or not to strobe

    :salute: Here we used amber mini bars and a single strobe in the rear tail light assembly any more that I think would be more distracting to the plow driver than the traffic, besides if your truck is lit up like the forth of July an idiot is still...well an idiot..

    Snowfighter "G"

    Spending Time Dreaming of Snow!
  9. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,105

    OK guys the strobes are cool but the lite bounce of the snow give you nite blindness in my opion. I use rotating lights but they look like strobes whelen guardian are my new ones got a ton of old rotating kind but got to admit newer is better if you can afford them but you got to have some kind of warning lite to let the other driver know you are working ......
  10. raptorman03

    raptorman03 Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    ok then what should i get then?
  11. chevyshovelin

    chevyshovelin Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    :nono: heres why ya need a strobe,,if someone wacks your ass end while backing out of a drive,,the officer is going to ask if your safety/warning lights were on,,if yes ,,the driver would more likely be charged with inattentive driving or both so it helps to have a safety light,,kinda like if you switch lane without a turn signal and hit a car,,thats an unsafe lane change,big fine$
  12. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I had a Deputy stop me one night and he warned me that I will have the beacon on anytime I am plowing public places. No ticket just a friendly warning. He also stated that at least one flashing light has to be seen 360 degrees around the truck or it's not legal. Just remember morons are everywhere when it snows! :dizzy:
    Just look at the money tow trucks make when it snows hard. payup
  13. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    Of corse you need a strobe some just go nuts with them and think that they need to drive down the public roadways when the roads are clear and its sunny after a storm, with all their strobes going :rolleyes: just because they have their plow on.

    If someone "whacks your ass end" while YOU are in motion backing out of a driveway it is ALWAYS *YOUR* fault. It is your responsibility to check for traffic even remotely close when backing out onto a busy road. If you back out unsafely, and the oncoming driver has no choice but to hit you it can be nothing but your fault. "The car was going too fast for conditions" is not a valid excuse either, its the same as pulling out on to main street, if you get hit while leaving private property it is your fault. It does not matter if you are lit up like a christmas tree, traffic on the road always has the right of way, no matter what. Just because we have a plow hanging off our trucks does not entitle us to back into people.
  14. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I have to agree with you Chris.

    I may not be an experienced plow operator, but I've been driving for over 20 years and the right-of-way is definitely the key here. You can have all the lights in the world and if you enter a main road from a side road or driveway without a clear path and somebody hits you, you're the one who will get the ticket, not to mention the surcharge. My wife's cousin and one of my oldest friends are on the State Police and they agree.

    The only place it gets complicated is if you are already on the main road, say pushing a berm out of the way to get into a driveway, and then someone comes along and hits you. That's when the amber light(s) will be an issue. If you don't have one, or if it was not operating at the time of the accident, you may get the bad news. :cry:
  15. edosher

    edosher Member
    Messages: 32

    CJA, a misunderstanding

    Maybe I was coming off the wrong way in my last post, and maybe you can understand living in Randolph. I work in the day as a cabinetmaker and commute the 14 miles home in the afternoon. When it snows, I put the plow on the truck the night before, drive to work at 5 am to avoid the morning rush on RT 3/93/128/95.
    When on the highway, I travel in the right lane at 40 mph with my rear flashers (not strobes ) on to warn others as I am a slow moving vehicle. ( as all vehicles on a major highway traveling under 45 mph). I am always yielding to others entering the roadway and give more than enough distance between myself and other vehicles. And as always, the blade is chained in the travel mode and angled to the right.
    As you can attest to living and driving in Mass, the afternoon commute in that area is hell. It takes an hour in the summer, now include 2" of snow on the roadways, impatient and unexperienced drivers. I will not even attempt to travel the highways on the way home. How many accidents do you see on a snowy day? Others on the roads do not realize either basic high school physics ( Kinetic energy ) or that the new suv 4x4 does not mean 4 wheel stop.
    I do not think that I am an emergency vehicle, even though I was a EMT/P and a Combat Medic in the Army. In 15 years of driving, I have never been in an accident that has been my fault or have been in any type of accident while plowing. I do not rationalize the thoughts of "the guy with the bigger tires, more lights, etc has the right of way". I run my strobe lights when I am plowing, and usually only when it necessary like in a residential area, major roadway (like North St in Randolph), or if I am helping a disabled vehicle. I would prefer to have another motorist think " look at that idiot with all of the lights" than for him to explain "I didn't see you".
  16. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415


    As a tradesman myself, I'm on one highway or another all the time going back and forth to work and I definitely understand where you're coming from. I'll go farther than that and say you're a brave man :salute: to drive 40mph on 128 at any time of the day! But, seriously, at 5am, which is when I'm usually on my way to the job site, it's not too bad yet. The weather is always the wild card.

    In fact, if I were you I would put my strobes on plus the flashers while it was still dark, or if the weather was bad in any way. You have to because of the way some people are forced to use the slow lane to pass because there is always some idiot in the left lane doing 65 and talking on a cell phone with nobody in front of him for a mile :realmad: . When I'm forced to do 40 on a road where everyone else is doing 75, I want to be seen by as many people as possible. Things can happen so fast out there, and my wife and kids need me to come home at the end of the day. :nod:

    I do try and avoid going on the highway with the plow on whenever possible which weighed heavy on my decision to buy a new set up which would go on and off the truck quickly and with no hassles. But, I'll even go so far as to (please don't flame me guys) leave the truck home and take my wife's minivan to work, just to avoid that situation. But, I usually commute between 40 and 60 miles depending on where the job is and that would bite with the plow on.

    Anyway, everyone's input was great. Best wishes to you all for a safe and hopefully profitable season! :drinkup:
  17. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Reply to the origional question;

    comman sence says yes
  18. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    I still think more than one or two beacons is overkill. When you have several strobes and flashing lights all people can see is LIGHTS. I want people to see me but I also want them to see the road and other obstacles. Who hasn't come up onto a traffic accident at night where there are a bunch of emergency vehicles with all there lights and strobes flashing right in your face. It is like trying to drive into the sun. I often wonder if those emergency people have any idea how hard it is to see them walking around when all you can see is spots from the flashing lights.
  19. szippijr

    szippijr Member
    from S.E Pa
    Messages: 50

    Check First

    All states require a permit for strobes or rotators regardless of color. No more than two. Check your state law.
  20. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    Of course, no problem at all :) :drinkup:

    I see what you mean, i guess its a judgement issue more then anything else on when/ when not to run the strobes. I dont mean to refer specifically to you, iam just talking about the guys that constanly have them on, for sometimes no reason, it can be distracting.

    Yes, the commute is a nightmere, especially in snow on 128. It has taken me over an hour to get from school (in braintree) to my house via 128 during snow storms. Thats why I, like you, use backroads in snow.