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Back up alarms and Strobes

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by beanz27, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Sorry to be making so many topics, but for the sake of future reference, I'd like to be able to just hit search.

    Anyways, the questions.

    1. Do you find it neccesary to have a back-up alarm for your truck(s)?

    2. Strobes; Obviously you want them, but how many?

    I personally have a few different ones on my trucks since I use them in the summer for ag work. I have the typical beacon on the back rack, and have been debating putting hide-a-ways in the four corners, worth it or not?
  2. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    I see most guys using a beacon or minibar on the roof with hideaways.

    Personally, and having a high milage truck I might not have for more than a few years, I opted for the Minibar and 2 deck lights that I just stuck in the back window. Serves its purpose, and the light output does let people know im coming in all directions. Its all about what you personally want.

    If I had just a single beacon on the roof/backrack I would get the hide aways
  3. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    1: Not a bad idea, but I'll be damned if I'm going to listen to that thing all night long.

    2: Depends on what you want to spend. A simple magnetic dual rotator is usually adequate. I will say that in my last truck I had strobes in the front turn signals and they'd flash off the plow and that was a little annoying, especially with a white plow.
  4. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    I have hide-a-ways in the front marker lights on my main truck, a beacon on the roof, and hide a ways in the backup lights and the brake lights. I shut the hide a ways off if there is no one in the area. My second truck I just have a beacon on since I don't really wanna go through the work of hide a ways for the little bit I'll use it.

    The back up alarm, if I put one in, I'd put it on a switch and relay, so if I didn't wanna listen to it I could shut it off. The guys I have driven for this year have back up alarms on their trucks, I've found if you have the radio on you barely hear it if it's pointed backward.
  5. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,400

    our work tks,,,,all have to have b-up beepers. mine and a few managers tks,,,switched. at 3am in a gated complex,,whos gunna be there????
    lights.....up to you. work tks have at least a magnet strobe on roof.
    my ,02 on hide aways..oc&d said it the best, flashing lights up front and they flash off plow
    and who can see them from isles away??? i have lights on poles that i put up when im plowing so pple can see me from miles away.
  6. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    The best thing to do is find out what your state and local laws are. Meet or exceed the minimum requirements. In Michigan, a back up alarm is not law (on pick ups), however you must have a flashing/revolving light visible from 500? feet and 360 degree's while plowing
  7. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,440

    I have a back up alarm. I put it on this year after hearing a pregnant woman was killed by a plow truck backing up as she was stepping out of her car. The plow driver did not have a backup alarm. I also have strobes.
  8. SharpBlades

    SharpBlades Senior Member
    Messages: 366

    my trucks have backup alarms on a switch. Between 10 pm and 6AM the alarms are off so the neighbors dont get upset, but from after 6 am they are on... pedestrians get used to the lights, and most school kids don't know to look for backup lights but they know what a backup beeper means.

    I figure if the beeper saves one injury, its worth listening to.

    As far as lights, all my trucks have at least a rooftop beacon led or strobe, and the truck I mainly drive has way to many lights... most of which aren't used exept when plowing on a main road or busy parking lot or when there is little to no visibility.
  9. CashinH&P

    CashinH&P Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    I have a mini bar mounted on my back rack. I think its just enough for people to see me and know that Im working. I also have a back up alarm, I dont really care if it bothers a customer. It is for there, and every one around the area I am workings safty.

    I have thought about putting it on a switch for the times when Im working late at night when no one is around but I just havent gotten around to it yet.

    I think lights are 100% necessary on all plow trucks
  10. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    Back-up alarms must be much more popular outside of MN, because I can't recall a single plow truck around here that I've seen have one.

    Bad idea? I don't think so. If I actually installed one, I'd have to put it on a switch, because I wouldn't want to listen to the damn thing in the middle of the night in a deserted parking lot.
  11. cubplower

    cubplower Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    i do not have a backup alarm. my old truck had just a beacon on the top, i hardly used it because it sucked. my new truck i just have leds in my grill. i dont think theyre necessary. My uncle plows all commercial and doesnt have any type of strobes/ leds. old company that i plowed for is a very big company and has nothing as well.
  12. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    I plow in Mankato, this last storm I was working for another guy with his truck. After spending 12 hours in the truck since 2 people didn't show up for work, I'm definately going to put a back up alarm on my trucks, BUT on a switch. Plowing Kwik Trip sucks enough, but without that back up alarm, something would have happened I think.

    Though plowing in a residential area at 2 AM, I'd prefer to have a switch for the alarm, so I don't piss everyone off. But I think as far as the alarm goes, I'll definately be putting one on, too many idiots in a commercial location during the day if you have to plow in daylight hours.
  13. wilsonsground

    wilsonsground Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    I have a Whalen mini be on my headache rack and 4 strobes in front and 4 in rear. Personally I only plow with the light bar. I noticed with Strobes in the rear morons don't see you slowing down and directions. Figure flashing lights is noticable but I've almost been rear ended a lot. And the front ones give me a headache!! I only use the fronts while pulled over on the rd during summer months while landscaping.
  14. 04hd

    04hd Senior Member
    from WI
    Messages: 170

    No back up alarm. I do have a magnetic led strobe that plugs into the cigarette outlet. Always figured it may not do much but when its dark and snowing and someone comes upon you from the side it gives better warning.
  15. BigBoyPlowin

    BigBoyPlowin Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    I built 10 Detachable/Portable Backup alarms for my buddy's company last year.

    Pretty much just backup alarms that can be connected to any RV Plug/7way and be functional. Very nice and portable. We use just enough cord where we can plug it in. wrap it around the frame then secure it to the frame using magnets.
    Looks like this:

    The only backup alarms we have are the ones that come standard...
    What else is there to do when you're bored over the winter! We also have LED lightbars and strobes in all of our dump trucks..
  16. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    there are no laws as to what trucks have to have to plow.

    you see all sorts of light configurations from nothing to light bars on top to hideaways to people just using there hazards.

    personally I have a magnetic beacon on the top that gets turned on before I leave my driveway and I don't shut it off until I'm home. when actually plowing I turn on my hazards as well.

    I don't use backup alarms. I do mostly residential driveways. can't imagine they would wanna listen to that at 2am.
  17. Dan85

    Dan85 Senior Member
    Messages: 670

    I strongly encourage using a backup alarm; all it takes in momentary lapse in concentration of the driver or a pedestrian for there to be a catastrophic accident. Heck, how many people back into cars and light poles during an event? If people plowing can't avoid stationary objects, I think the very least they can do would be to run an alarm. Like most everyone else said, switch it so you can use it as needed.

    I get so much crap from my coworkers for running my amber light, but I'll take every little advantage I can get to keep myself and others safe.
  18. CCPlow

    CCPlow Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I agree strobes are important, we pulled into a place being plowed and nrver knew he was there till we saw the rear strobes in his taillights. I think you djould have at least a double yellow lens on your roof whether its strobe or rotator
  19. vlc

    vlc Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    I'm running beacons on my roofs (Required in Ma) and a backup alarm (required on dump bodies). I also have hideaways for extra visibility and I think I may put a backup alarm on my 3/4 ton just to be on the safe side. Next year, I'm going to put nice LED light bars on both because the beacons are hideous IMO.
  20. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    based on the insurance co, when there is a problem anything is better than nothing