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plowing light????

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by pcs, Nov 14, 2000.

  1. pcs

    pcs Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    I have a mini strobe light that plugs into the wall and i want to mount it on my truck. Does anyone know if you can convert so that it plugs into my power adapter? It say's it's a 110VAC 60HZ and 35W. Also when you guy's plow at night do you leave your trucks headlights on or do you just use your plows lights? Does it save any power if you don't use your headlights?

    [Edited by pcs on 11-15-2000 at 12:00 AM]
  2. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266


    The strobe, your best option is proably to buy a new strobe, you can get a very good one for around 100 bucks. If there is a converter out there, i bet it will cost almost as much as a new strobe.

    Head Lights

    1. You can only use the plow lights or the truck lights. Only it must be done, so that the plow lights have their own power source from the battery, you can not make a simple tab into your head light wires, or you will draw too much current. Unless you design some complicated wiring, that uses lots of relays and has another 12 power supply to power the lights. You can use both sets of lights, it's possible to do, but I don't know why you would want to.

    2. Depending on the plow set up, manufacture, age, ect, you may not have a choice of which lights you get to use. Most manufactures uses a wiring system, that when you plug in your plow lights, your truck lights are shut off. The last manufacture to convert to this system was Meyer/Diamond.
    However I can't think of a reason why you wouldn't want to use your standard plow lights, most truck head lights will not be high enough to light your working area. Some one ton pick ups mostly Fords and Dodges, could get away with out plow lights for in a pinch, because of their high suspension, however the blade would only be a few inches off the ground.

    3. Truck headlights are usually brighter than plow lights, I have yet to find a plow manufacture that provides as much light as a standard truck head light. All plow light systems are about the same brightness, I think. So if anything your plow lights uses amps than your truck lights.

    4. Yes it saves power if you don't use your headlights, but I can't figure out how you can go with out them at night.

    IMO the biggest snowplow improvement, that could be made is brighter head lights. I don't care what brand of plow you have, the plow lights aren't close to the power of the truck headlights. When your plowing, i think everyone will agree you need all the light you can get.


    [Edited by GeoffDiamond on 11-15-2000 at 12:20 AM]
  3. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    I don't know about plow lights not being as bright as regular headlights, I'm thinking that our plows use the same bulb as the truck headlights do. I can't see any appreciable difference between them.
  4. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031


    Have you looked in to higher wattage bulbs to put in to your plowing lights? I know they're out there. Check into PIAA's or Hella's.
  5. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    I, for one, prefer the quantity and pattern of light from the lamps with my Fisher over the stock ones on my Dodge. Only drawback, with the blade down the beam is a little high.
  6. landscaper3

    landscaper3 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    Our plow light are on a switch panel, so when plow is hooked push button and truck lights go to headgear lights. Less drain on battery but we have 2 battery for a Diesel motor. On the strobe info look at http://www.awdirect.com they have Nova triple flash 360 stobe light for $70.00 all the way up to barlights. We just sold the headache rack with 2 tripleflash strobes and a rotator mini lightbar for a Whelen Towmans edge and wow is it bright. Check out http://www.galls.com there lights are competively priced to.
  7. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Just a thought that 110v strobe isnt waterproof is it? one storm and poof.
  8. CCLC

    CCLC Member
    Messages: 91

    All of the trucks that we order now have 2 battery systems in them. When your are plowing with a strobe on, running lights, wipers, and the heater it really draws on the battery. I used to have a 3/4 ton Ford that only had one battery, it had trouble keeping up. On the big well lit parking lots I would turn the running lights off and save juice. A strobe is a must though we would never turn it off.
  9. plowking35

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

    I have found that in heavy wet snow, the lights from the plow being at eye level, glare right back at you. SO in that case I prefer the stock head lights, as they cut under the snow like fog lamps would. Other than that I like the plow lights just fine, and I dont see the need to run four headlights.
  10. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    If you don't have a light harness just hook the plow light into the battery,use a toggle switch then just place your regular lights in the running light position.Easy simple and sure to work.
  11. plowking35

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

    I would worry about current draw just through a toggle switch. If it was me I would run the lights through a relay, and then use a toggle to open and close the relay.
  12. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    Do what you like,but so far I have never had a problem and I have this set up on three trucks.Use a heavy duty toggle,but if you want to spend a littel extra and if it will make you sleep better buy a relay.It would be diffrent if we were running some high test off road lights,then you might need a relay.
  13. plowking35

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

    A heavy duty toggle would probably work, since that is what headlight switches in essence are.
  14. DaveO

    DaveO PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Ma.
    Messages: 299

    OK, you guys might laugh at my setup.

    I still have the old style rotating light. It had suction cups, which kept falling off. So I mounted it too a large magnet(K40 cb ant). End of that prob.

    For the plow lights, I wanted something simple, easy to repair. I made a harness, connecting the turn sigs/running lights to the OEM harness. The headlights are wired to the battery thru a fuse. I used a 3 way toggle switch rated @ 20 amps. This controls hi/lo/off.

    This is wired into a trailer harness connector, which I can unplug when removing the upper frame. I needed to add one connection since the trailer plug didn't have enough pins. Used a regular bullet connector for the right turn signal.

    The right rating toggle switch will work fine. For my plowlights, which are the SAME bulbs my truck takes, they are 55 watts each. These are the dual beam lights. To figure out the necessary rating use this formula:

    POWER(watts) / V(voltage)= I(current) so
    55(watts) / 12(volts) = ~5 amps (per light)

    So you would need at least a 10 amp toggle to be safe for both headlights. The lights actually draw a little less current when the truck is running because the voltage is ~14 volts. Also select a fuse larger than 10 amps to allow for "surge".

    To figure out power/voltage/current you use that formula. It can be rearranged to find any variable.

    Power(watts)= V(voltage) X I(current)

    Sorry for boring anyone....
    We won't even get into JOULES.

    Where's the SNOW????


    [Edited by DaveO on 11-15-2000 at 06:32 PM]
  15. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    All my plow lights are rough service lights.they are expensive and light weight.I tried using standard truck lights,but it blew out in 2 storms.I dont think higher output lights are available that would hold up to the vibration the lights need to take,especially on the minute mount type plows that most of us now use,since they arent mounted solid they tend to move around a little while plowing,making vibration worse.
  16. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    Dave that is virtually the same set up I have,the trailer plug are nice so that year to year the whole wiring system does not have to be disassembled.
  17. finnegan

    finnegan Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    If you look hard enough you can find a 6 pin square trailer plug that will work for all your lighting needs I belive ace hardware stores carry them