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Do strobes mess you up?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by GeoffD, Oct 5, 2001.

  1. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I had one of my guys complain to me today about the warning light set up on his truck.

    He Said that the stobe was casting light down into the cab and it was driving him nuts last winter. Do any of you guys also have problems with stobes? Right now everything I have uses strobes for a warning light, only because strobes use much less voltage.

    Geoff

    The Light is mounted on a 97 F 350 regular cab pick up, and is a whelen advant edge, 2 strobes in a mini light bar about the size of a mini edge.
     
  2. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    That is why on my truck the top strobe can be turned off, and I can still run the rear strobes. I notice that in a lighted area, its not to bad, but in dark areas, the top strobe really messes with you. More so when plowing long hours.
    In fact on my 89, the driver prefers the rotator over the strobe.
    Dino
     
  3. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    We used to use all rotators however with the strobes requiring much less voltage. We started going to those.

    I have only had one guy complain so far. I will come up with something to solve the problem, just would perfer to leave the light on.

    Geoff
     
  4. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    I can't say that it bothers me, but I do know that the strobe reflecting off falling snow is noticeable. Rotators aren't as bad as the light builds to a peak and subsides gradually as the beam turns, but they use so much more current.
     
  5. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,223

    I got a Whelen 9308 light bar with 8 strobes.Can't say that it really bothers me and I have all 8 on at once .I dow kknow that it can be hipnotic when it reflects off the snow almost like a timming light.I know alot of guys that don't like the way the stobes are but like geoff says they draw next to nothing in amperage and give alot of warning power.
     
  6. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    The biggest complaint I have with any light is mounting location. I have seen them on the front leading edge of the cab shields, and when operating reflect off the door mirrors right into your eyes.
    For me hideaways mounted lower in the stock light assemblies give enough warning, but keep the light out of the drivers vision.
    Dino
     
  7. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    I don't have any experience with strobes, but I have a highlighter light bar on my truck and it draws less than 10-amps. Not too bad... maybe consider one of them. Just for curiositys sake, how much juice does an average strobe draw?

    Tim
     
  8. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Slim,

    I would have to dig out the specs to find out, how much it draws.

    However I believe that your bar may draw a little more then 10 amps.

    Figure in 2 electric motors, and 2 lights. I would not be suprised if it was 15-20 amps. However I don't have the specs on it.

    With the bar allready mounted to the roof, it isn't comming off. The truck is used mostly for driveways, so I will tell the guy use it comming in and out of a drive.

    Or a hideway system may be in order.

    Geoff
     
  9. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    I run the hide-a-ways but I also use a top strobe (two on the dumps) I just feel it is better to have the high 360 lighting. I like the hide-a-ways in the corners cause they will be seen coming out of driveways. My lights are all on seperate illuminated switches. Usually turn the top strobe off in driveways especially late at night when it would flash right into windows of house. When working in parking lots, especially during business hours, everything is on.
     
  10. plowjockey

    plowjockey PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 622

    It is also posible to block part of the beam with a small piece of electrical tape. Not mind you blocking a direction that warns the public but just, say, on the bottom where it shines into the cab. This would only be practical is the strobe is mounted on the side of the truck and would not apply to one mounted on the top.

    Bruce
     
  11. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Geoff,

    I'm pretty sure my bar only draws about 8-amps... as I have a 10-amp fuse on it and it hasn't blown it yet. Just something to consider.

    Tim
     
  12. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Slim,

    Like I said, I am not sure, I could be wrong. I just think that the load of the electric motors adds a lot.

    A quick was to guess the amount of amps is this.

    8G wire 45 Amps
    10G 35 Amps (I Think)
    12G 25 Amps
    14G 15 Amps
    16 10 Amps

    This is the maximum number of amps a wire can handle.

    Geoff
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2001
  13. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    Tim & Geoff,
    I run the same highlighter bars, 2 lights/rotators. Specs say 8.6 amps. I havent had any problems as far as power goes(run 3) on different trucks/ Bobcat.

    Mike
     
  14. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    The new motors on rotator draw a lot less amps. We recently replaced a bar on a firetruck specifically for this reason. Another way to get more flashes out of a rotator is to add a mirrior or two.. You can get some really great effects from doing this.
     
  15. AtlasFBG2

    AtlasFBG2 Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 62

    I got the Highlighter bar also and i dont think it draws much.The hookup has a 10 amp fuse.The light ran nonstop for about 4 1/2 hours and never blew the fuse.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2001
  16. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Sorry Guys,

    Guess I was wrong.

    Geoff
     
  17. plowjockey

    plowjockey PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 622

    I also run the "Highlighter" lights on two of my trucks and they produce for me. I have been very pleased with them.

    Bruce
     
  18. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    I.ve run a Whelen Model 80 strobe bar, since about 1980, I,m finally going to retire it because I can't find any replacement lens anymore. I had to have the power pak repaired twice and replaced each of the strobe tubes once, and it's been on 8 trucks in that time. Not many rotators last more then a few years without a lot of repairs. And Geoff unless you're running a 6 volt set up all lights generally use the same voltage,12 volts, strobe and rotator, just the amp draw is much less on the strobe, that's why I bought it in the frist place, I always liked electric-hydro plows because they were faster, and didn't want anymore draw on the electric system, especially in the days of 40 amp altenators and single batteries.
    The only time the strobes seemed to bug me was the year I decided to run 1 clear lens, I did notice it more in snow.

    Bill
     
  19. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I ment to say AMPs in the first post, don't ask me how I typed Volts. This cold must really be getting to me.

    Geoff
     
  20. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    I run strobes on my trucks and they do not bother me at all.My worker told me nothing bothered him more than rotators. I used a friends truck with hide a way's in the front and that gave me a head ache from them bouncing off the plow.