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Excessive strobe lighting on vehicles

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JimMarshall, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 786

    So I'm on several discussion groups on Facebook, and a topic that frequently comes up with lots of photos and videos is emergency lighting. Some of theses guys setups are ridiculous! Am I the only one out there that doesn't have their truck lit up like a Christmas tree? Seriously some of these jokers have to have more money into their lighting setups than the truck costs.

    And so many of them say they run them on the road traveling from site to site. Is this common practice? I understand that some states require it.

    Also, there is discussion about auxiliary reverse lights. Does everyone have them wired to their regular reverse lights, or on a switch?

    Just asking here as there is a much higher proportion of, in my opinion, professionals on this site.
  2. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,440

    There are a lot of yahoos and hot doggers out there. A lot of strobes do not bother me. What bothers me is when they(private plow guys) run them when on the road. I know it is against the law here and I guess the cops don't care.
  3. mnguy

    mnguy Member
    Messages: 80

    We have the same idiots here in MN. Other drivers will get desensitized if all they see is orange flashing lights every time it snows. ( especially driving down the roads )
  4. johnnywaz

    johnnywaz Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    1 magnet strobe here and reverse lights on a switch. Been doing it that way for umm, around 22yrs now. But I am by no means a professional.
  5. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    I have light bars and strobes on my trucks.

    I run them only on private property, as it is against the law to do otherwise, and only run them when necessary (when there is traffic...sometimes when I plow no one is around).
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,253

    This has been discussed ad nauseum here on PS. I don't remember the thread, but I (believe it or not) ticked a few people off telling them they were stupid running them on the roads.

    Also, studies have shown more lights equal moth to the flame. Target fixation. Whatever you want to call it. I do my best to have all trucks have warning lights visible from 360° so on salt trucks I generally have more than 1 warning light. That's it.
  7. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,411

    I run my service lighting when needed, I personally have my back floods on a switch not by choice I use federal with take downs installed backwards so the take down serves in place of back floods. If you see me traveling with light bar on I forgot to turn it off. No you do not have to have a Christmas tree. Spending money to be a hot dog makes no sense to me.
  8. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    States only require a Amber waring light to be illuminated
    When actively engaged in snow removal.

    This does not mean you can have it on traveling to the next site
    While on the public streets.
    You can be ticketed for this.

    But you can run whatever makes you happy on private property.

    Facebook, well if you read it there it has to be true.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  9. kolwnmstr

    kolwnmstr Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    Also what these idiots don't realize is when they have that many lights, the people in the parking lot with them can now only see lights and not the truck. They can't see if his reverse lights are on and backing up, if his wheels are turned, ect. Same issue I have with regular cars with headlights so bright that you cannot see the turn signals and you loose the ability to anticipate them making a left turn across your lanes.

    All I have is a light bar on my backrack, two surface mount strobes on my bumper for when I'm backing into a street or along a building, and my aux lights are wired to a switch because I rarely use them.

    One thing I am going to add are running lights along my rocker panels because when you are sideways in a street at night there isn't a lot for other motorists to notice.
  10. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,780

    I have a lot of lighting on my truck but everything has its use. I actually prefer to plow without using it.
    There's a mini bar on the dump bed with separate switched Amber and blue, 2 Amber front grill, 2 Amber back that wig wig and are tied into the truck hazards that now wig wag also, 4 back up lights tied into reverse only so I don't leave them on accidentally, and a salter light that only comes on when the salter is running.
    The grill and back ambers only get used doing roadside work in the summer, or when I was plowing/salting town roads. Other wise it's just the mini bar, most of the time I run without using anything, I do have quite a few drives that exit into 50 mph zones so the mini bar gets used when traffic is heavy.
  11. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 786

    Sorry, never have seen the discussions.

    I used to run them from the minute I left the shop when I was young(er) and dumb(er). Then one day I almost got T- boned because of them.

    If you see me with strobes on on a public roadway, there's one of 4 situations going on:
    1. Extremely poor visibility, i.e. Whiteout. There are weather conditions where I feel it's safer for me and others to have them in. Very few and far between.
    2. I've stopped in an area you wouldn't expect me to be stopped. Think flagger in the road, have come upon an accident, etc.
    3. I'm within 50 feet of entering or leaving a clients property.
    4. I was distracted and forgot to turn them off and haven't yet realized it, though it usually doesn't take very long to realize it.

    My pickups and older dumps have a single light on the roof/headache rack/back rack. My newer dumps have 8 LED strobes per truck, 2 per side.
  12. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,564

    I have a magnetic Amber LED mini bar on top of the truck. I run it when plowing on site only unless I forget to turn it off. Been thinking of some reverse auxiliary lighting but don't have any yet. My back up camera on the truck sees pretty good with the stock reverse lights. I always run the amber bar day or night when actively plowing snow. That way if something happens they can't say you weren't attempting to provide warning. We have a large homeless population here and they can be anywhere. Every year they find at least one of them that got plowed into a snow bank by a city plow rig once it starts to melt.
  13. NThill93

    NThill93 Member
    Messages: 96

    I've got a rotating amber beacon on my roof i usually leave it on the whole time and backup lights tied into my reverse lights.
  14. Hysert

    Hysert PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,676

    I like lights, but agree some guys have more money then brains.. I run my floods on a switch (so I can flash tailgaters) lmao... 1 rotating amber on dump box, 1 blue surface mount on each side of the salters rear corners for motorists to see when backing out onto a road way.. our pickup has hideaways and a magnet on roof all blue... we never run any on the road unless we are stopped doing roadside work
  15. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    Last night I thought I was at a 4th of july celebration! 3am,I saw some of the most outlandish light displays,wish I had time to take some pics lol.Dozens of strobes,led spot/flood lights aiming front and rear,crazy migraine inducing flash patterns.The local chapter of UFO club for nerds was called out for possible alien invasion! These knuckleheads made the tow truck guys look tame !I didn't even have my 15 yr old rotating beacon on,forgot where I put it.I guess I'm old school,showing my age,I bought new plows,sander and snowblowers this year,guess I need to get my priorities straight.:eek:
  16. hbrady

    hbrady Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    Driving dark country roads during snow storm I leave my mini LED light bar on so the people who drive down the middle of the road get the message there is a big wide hunk of metal headed their way (in other words, stay on your side of road). Besides that, it's only on when plow is operation.
  17. Snow tracker

    Snow tracker Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    My 08 f250 has a led light bar on the back rack. The switch was wired to the dash in a spot where it got hit often when shifting. The switch was similar to a light switch but about 1.5 inches long. I was stopped on New Year's Eve day this year by the state police and given a warning for driving on the road with it on. The switch was on the back burner of my to do list but quickly got moved up the list. We installed a rocker switch that is much less likely to hit while shifting. Even found a switch with a light when on. Now I know for sure. My F450 has the lighted up fitter switches and I find that I hit those every time I grab my drink from the drink holder. At least they are light when on. We try to only use the lights on lots or backing onto roads and if we are stopped loading or unloading a skid on the road.
  18. kolwnmstr

    kolwnmstr Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    Why not add the upfitters to the 08 as well?
  19. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,392

    Ok, why?......
  20. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,090

    Excessive blinky lights aren't seen mulch on commercial plow rigs around me. some guys will run a mini Wheelan light bar but most have a single strobe.
    I run a single ECCO mini strobe on the headache rack and have "2" 4" round LED lights on the same switch that are mounted to the spreader pointing towards the ground for backup lights and to see what I'm spreading. I may have $100.00 into them.