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Plow lights and headlights

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by john r, Oct 6, 2001.

  1. john r

    john r Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 239

    Why is it after every plow install the mfg. disables the headlights when operating the plow? The plow lights aren't really worth two cents. IMO, they are no better than the under the bumper type driving lights you see on cars! If I really want to see whats ahead of me I need to install some highlights or follow the wiring diagram so I can pull the wire to have both plow and headlights to work simultaneously.
  2. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Actually the plow lights are exactely the same as headlights. Some are even more powerful. IF you run your regular headlights you will get an awful glare from the plow. I suggest that the lights are probably not aimed correctly and this is why you think they are poor. Take some time and aim them and you will find they are up to the task.
  3. plowjockey

    plowjockey PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 622

    An easy way to aim those lights would be to pull up to a wall about 50 feet away and try to get the lights in the same area. You have to remember that the plow lights are mounted higher up than the regular headlights and therefore they operate at a different angle.
    You don't want them to shine too high so as not to blind oncoming traffic.

  4. ddm

    ddm Member
    Messages: 57

    Shining against a wall is a good idea to get them aimed properly.
    I'd add, do it once with the plow down, then raise the plow up and see what happens. Most trucks squat a little under the load and that can make a big difference with the lights and how far you can see. I normally pick a "happy middle" and go with it.
  5. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    We like to aim them just a bit higher then the regular lights. This was with the plow up they are not blinding abut when the plow is down they give a wide and long spread allowing pleanty of visibilty at night.
  6. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Unless you have a really high truck, even with the blade down your regular headlights are going to be annoying due to the light shining off the back of your plow as CT18 mentions.

    Aimed properly, the plow lights should be as effective as your regular headlights. If they aren't equipped with them already, you can also try a halogen bulb or sealbeam (depending on the type of lights you have)

    One other thing to remember: Laws are different everywhere, but having both the plow lights and regular lights on could get you into trouble with the "law" while travelling down the road.

    If you do decide you want both sets of lights on at once, leave your stock wiring alone and run the plow lights on their own (fused!!!) circuit. Just don't forget to shut 'em off when travelling. Also, remember that the turn/marker portion of the plow lights is there so other drivers can see your signals when the plow is on the truck - most plows block the truck signal lights.
  7. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    The biggest thing about not running both set of lights together is the draw on the electrical system. Headlights are usually about 50 watts each, or they draw about 10 amps. If you're running warning lights, extra backup light, why run the regular headlights, like the other guys said they're pretty useless with the plow on. Most plow lights are halogen and are the same as most regular headlights, make sure they're aimed property with the plow up!

  8. Lou

    Lou Member
    Messages: 74

    You may want to check the makers recommended bulb number
    for the plow and lights you are using. Most plow lights are different from standard bulbs as they have a shallow downward beam and are flat across the bottom, not oval.