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plow trucks with air bags

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by speedracer241, Nov 23, 2001.

  1. speedracer241

    speedracer241 Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    have any of you guys/gals plowing with newer trucks with air bags ever have any problems with them. i work in a body shop and have seen many hard collisions without the air bags deploying and a light tap will set them off.
    just wondering if anyone has had any problems hitting anything and deploying the bags.

    just curious
    Mark K
  2. plowking35

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

    I believe the air bag sensors are located in crush zones behind the bumper or valences. They require actual rearward movement of these items for deployment. The plow sub frames are directly bolted to the frame of the truck, thus energy transfered to the frame area should not deploy the airbags.
    The plow makers send their subframes to be tested along with the truck makers for govt standards. The sub frames have to break away in accidents and not interfer with the original manufacturers engineering for crash protection either to the truck or to another vehicle hit by the truck with the subframe attached.
  3. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 315


    We had a truck get into an accident last year with the plow on.

    Did nothing to the plow. I don't know what was supposed to give, but it's as solid as when we put it on.

    Bent the frame on the truck. Cost $675.00 to straighten. (Other ins. co. paid.)

    Demolished the car that pulled out in front of it.
  4. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    A lot of plowers hit objects harder then some collisions. I have seen some violent reactions from the plow. Never have I seen or heard of an airbag deploying while the plow was on.

    Incidently this is one reason why the "minut mount" concept evolved. Plowmakers could not have run the old style mounts and been in compliance with the truck manufacturers. Somewhere warranties would have been voided or insurance companies would have put their foot down.
  5. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    Yup... minute mounts remove all the hardware from the front of the truck, so that the airbags will function properly in off season (they will work properly in winter too, however Dino's post is exactly right on).
  6. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 315

    In a front collision with a Boss plow on:

    a.) The air bag will not deploy.

    b.) The truck frame will bend before any part of the plow or subframe breaks, bends or shears bolts.

    8600+ gvw trucks are not subject to crash standards as passanger automobiles.
  7. plowking35

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

    Ids that with the plow on, or just the subframe.
    If it is with the plow on, then all bets are off as to how the truck will perform in the crash. Which is why most ins co's wont be to happy to cover a claim that involves a plow unless you have a commercial policy that staes such.
  8. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    There is nothing to do if the plow is on the truck. Think about it. No truck would be able to support the plow and still crumble in an accident. It is only with the plows off that the crashes are tected.

    You are correct about the gvw and safety issues. Still truck builders are looking to make their trucks safer because they want to sell them. Regulations on bigger trucks will evolve at some point.

    Insurance companies are the big lobbiest to the governtment for safety changes.
  9. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Airbags in general trigger in response to deceleration not necessarily what you hit. One or more sensor in the front structure must react along with the sensor mounted in the cab, mounted where it is not apt to be damaged only triggered. Think of an airbag sensor as a ball attached to a spring. In a severe enough impact (deceleration) the ball will stretch the spring and contact a switch opposite it. This must occur along with the trigger in the cab.

    Most of the time if the frame or body structure collapses, that is what absorbed the energy of the impact and the airbag will not deploy unless its a severe crash. You will not deploy an airbag by routine impact such as experienced plowing.

    Deceleration strong enough to trigger the airbag doesnt matter if the plow is there or not. Hit a solid unyielding structure going fast enough and the bags will pop.