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Warning Lights. A necessity?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Snowpatroler, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. Snowpatroler

    Snowpatroler Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    As a warning light installer I thought I would mention a few reasons why I believe warning lights are a necessity on plow trucks especially for commercial plowers. First of all Most of the time you are plowing at night and more often than not in poor visibility there for you are less visible to mother motorists. Now say for example you are plowing a residential driveway and you are backing out onto a road with a moderate traffic flow now you are probably going to wait for an opening however when that opening comes you want any traffic that is coming in the distance to know you are a work vehicle and not just someone who is going to back out and join the traffic flow. Now many people use there hazard flashers which isn't a bad thing however it is going to increase the chance of your flasher wearing out sooner and possibly in the field and then you not having any turn signals or hazards at all. Now if you have a light bar or a strobe beacon on your cab thats great however people are not going to see that if there is an obstruction such as a tree line or a retaining wall in the way and you aren’t going to be backing out far enough for your cab to be visible warning light isn't going to be of much help. However if you have a hide-away strobe system in your taillights or a remote strobe system with light heads on the rear of your vehicle that are visible to the side, with a system like this the have a clear visual as soon as the back of your truck reaches the end of the driveway. Now as far as parking lot plowing a standard mini bar or beacon will do however there are many cheap beacons that use incandescent bulbs such as one you may see at Wal-Mart or an auto parts store that do not put out enough light to catch the attention of other motorists so I recommend at least buying a name brand light such as the Federal Signal "Highlighter" light bar which uses Halogen bulbs which are much brighter than standard incandescent bulbs and provide an ample warning to surrounding motorists and pedestrians. Strobes are another alternative they have a fast repetitive flashing signal similar to the flash in your camera they are bright and work well in poor visibility conditions. And Finally there are LED warning lights, these lights are clear bright and EXPENSIVE however they come in very low profile designs which are great if you have height restrictions anywhere plus they are durable and long lasting. If you have any questions Please feel free to ask. Have A Happy and Safe Plowing Season
     
  2. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    You failed to mention its also a law you have them in a lot of states.
     
  3. bltp203

    bltp203 Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    Is Michigan one of em?????
     
  4. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    Hey Seth, if you put some on for me, can you invoice my customers for them? :drinkup:
     
  5. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,454

    What and pass on the price of doing business on your customer??? lol:waving:

    Snowpatroler: lol But, I think you are preaching to the choir, as allot of the guys on here are light fanatics. lol


    Hey!! welcome to plowsite.. :waving:
     
  6. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    LOL :D I charge thenm to bring my truck there for the lights. :D
     
  7. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    bltp,
    yes MIchigan requires safety lights, if you are plowing commercially. Some towns might not say much, but it is a requirement. Best to check with local law enforcement.
     
  8. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    Very good write up!! Glad I have a Code 3 excalibur and hideaway's :D
     
  9. profire73

    profire73 Member
    Messages: 46

    I am trying to find out where it says we have to use the amber lights when we are plowing in Michigan. JCESAR, Can you help me out finding this. Here is the only thing that the law states In PA300 of the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code.

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(ftwiqt45dxn0zn45nvwagibq))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-257-698&queryid=187050&highlight=light

    I am not arguing the case that we have to but I was just do some searching for it and came up empty, don't take it the wrong way.

    I am a Firefighter and know what my requirements are but as a snowplower I didn't or should I say don't.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  10. profire73

    profire73 Member
    Messages: 46

    I am trying to find out where it says we have to use the amber lights when we are plowing in Michigan. JCESAR, Can you help me out finding this. Here is the only thing that the law states In PA300 of the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code.

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(ftwiqt45dxn0zn45nvwagibq))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-257-698&queryid=187050&highlight=light

    I am not arguing the case that we have to but I was just do some searching for it and came up empty, don't take it the wrong way.

    I am a Firefighter and know what my requirements are but as a snowplower I didn't or should I say don't.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  11. john boardman

    john boardman Member
    Messages: 44

    It's under section F.

    a vehicle utilized for snow removal, a private security guard vehicle as authorized in subsection (7), a motor vehicle while engaged in escorting or transporting an oversize load that has been issued a permit by the state transportation department or a local authority with respect to highways under its jurisdiction, a vehicle owned by the national guard or a United States military vehicle while traveling under the appropriate recognized military authority, a motor vehicle while towing an implement of husbandry, or an implement of husbandry may be equipped with flashing, rotating, or oscillating amber lights
     
  12. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,454


    LLM Ann Arbor You failed to mention its also a law you have them in a lot of states.


    If the statue states: MAY BE EQUIPTED. you do not need any flashing lights.
    but rather you are allowed to use them.

    If the law is worded " SHALL" instead of "MAY" then you must use a flashing light.
    each state is a little diffrent. but thoes are the two words that define if it is a requirement or an option.

    MN, traffic law.
    169.65 specifications for lighting and other devices.
    No person shall sell for use or use on any vehicle any RECONVERTED lamp or any device redesigned for a use other than for which it was originally approved unless authorized by the commissioner of public safety.


    You can not put them in your head lights, blinkers or Tail lights.

    169.64 prohibited lights: exceptions

    Subd. 1. Bright lights.
    Any lighted lamp or illuminating device upon a motor vehicle, other than a head lamp, a spot lamp,or any auxiliary driving lamp, which projects a beam of light of the intensity greater than 300-candle power, shall be so directed that no part of the beam will strike the level of the road way on witch the vehicle stands at a distance of more than 75 feet from the vehicle.
    So you do not blind others with your lights

    Subd. 3.colored lights
    unless authorizes by the comminiser of public safety.
    NO vehicle shall be equipped, nor shall any person drive or move any vehicle or equipment upon any road or highway with any lamp or device displaying a red or ANY COLORED light other than those required or permitted in this chapter.

    subd. 4. blue lights.
    Blue lights are PROHIBITED on all vehicles EXCEPT road maintenance equipment operated by or under contract to the state.

    Subd. 6. flashing AMBER light on service vehicle, snow removal equipment.

    Any service vehicle or self-propeled unit of farm equipment except a farm tractor MAY be equipped with a flashing AMBER lamp of a type approved by the commissioner of public safety.
    (1.) A service vehicle shall NOT display the lighted lamp when traveling upon the roadway or at any other time except at the scene of a disabled vehicle or while ENGAGED in snow removal or road maintenance.


    MN law, you may, There is no fine if you don't use one.. but you MAY use one if you wish.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2006
  13. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    There was a chart posted on here a few years ago that listed the lighting requirements by State. I just can't figure out the terms to use for a search.

    SnoFarmer, you bring up a good point that I've tried to emphasize many times. Just because the state says you can do something doesn't mean it's required. Maine has basically the same terminology. I see guys running up and down the secondary road up here all the time doing 60-70 mph with the amber lights flashing, passing every car on the road to get to the next account. I guess in their case the lights means "Look out, I'm coming through".

    I use one if I'll be backing into the roadway, otherwise it seems pointless. I can't see spending hundreds of dollars for something I use a couple times a day on the days that I plow. At night, my headlights and taillights do a better job than any emergency lighting will do in making my vehicle be seen. In the daytime, they're ineffective for visibility.
     
  14. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Most people dontspend "hundreds" I have a whelen and spent 106 dollars but I also plow some pretty busy sites. One apartment complex by a college campus for one and people are in and out of there even at 4 am.

    The guys that spend hundreds are the young guys that want some circus wagon that looks like a christmas tree Mick.

    The thing that cracks me up is none of them ever used the factory installed flashers.

    lol

    Anyways....May use/Must use....yeah thats obvious.
     
  15. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,454

    When the law is involved do not play word games...
    It is SHALL or MAY they do not use the word must.
     
  16. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876


    I never played a word game ya troll. I said it is a law in many states. I was wrong more than likely but thats not been proven yet. I only said it because several herehave said it in the past and I just trusted their research.

    What I meant is when the reg was posted for Michigan it was clear that....The "May" be used was key, Captain Obvious.

    Dont you have some sales tax forms to complete or some driveway stakes to go sell to old ladies?
     
  17. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,454

    troll, you are going to trash yet another thread with the stakes and shoveling thing arn't you
    take it to the other thread and I will address you.. or pm me and I will set you straight.
     
  18. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    Well, here it is. I just spoke to the State Police, and this Is what I was told.
    There is no law in Michigan that requires you to have a strobe, or anything. However, if you are using public roadways, either while plowing, or attempting to plow, then it is necessary to have proper warning lights in place. So as to alert other drivers. So basically, if you back onto a road, or plow to the edge, they want them on your truck. But not a ticketable offense. As he put it. so I guess I stand corrected, at this point. He is supposed to call me back, if he finds out otherwise. Will keep you posted.

    By the way LLM,
    I always use the "factory installed flashers". Guess I am getting old LOL
     
  19. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    oh, just one more thing for the guys that drive down the road with the lights flashing,
    That however IS a TICKETABLE OFFENSE!
     
  20. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    To tell you the truth the only reason I said that or realized it is because last year I didnt.

    But when doing a saftey inspection and testing everything out it hit me. But I also just have the flasher on top, and dont spend a ton on wig wags or strobies or whatever all that baloney is.

    lol

    I was like hey....I should huh?

    Doh!

    Maybe I dont know how to run a legit business or a safe vehicle.