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How important are spreader lights?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Jeep_thing, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. Jeep_thing

    Jeep_thing Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    Hi all- setting up a new F250 plow truck. I have a Western tailgate spreader, I have never run one before. I have installed reverse LED flood lights below the bumper wired into the trailer connector.

    My question- How important is it to you guys to be able to switch the reverse flood lights on when salting? Is it a necessity to monitor the salt spreading? I am doing my apartment property which does have street lights. And to be honest the sun will most likely have started to break by salting time. I would just as soon not screw around wiring in a rely unless the forum strongly advises it. Thanks in advance
  2. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,674

    You already know what time the snow is gonna fall? o_O

    Lights let you know how much is coming out and will make it easier to notice any issues.
    dieselss likes this.
  3. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,389

    Lights wired into the reverse circuit only operate when it reverse. Last time I salted with a truck, I was going forward more then backwards. IMO it's always better to put the lights on a switch, little bit of work for a huge outcome
  4. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,053

    X2.... My spreader lights are on the same circuit as my yellow binky light.
  5. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,722

    Just get a on/off/on switch. Not much more to wire. I'd put a relay in regardless.

    I don't even have a spreader and use my lights back there more than I ever thought. It's nice when doing anything in the dark, loading bags of salt or whatever.
    ScubaSteve728 and dieselss like this.
  6. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,577

    For the low cost of installing the lights I can not think of a reason not to put them on. All the spreaders I have installed always get lights.
  7. Jeep_thing

    Jeep_thing Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    No, but I know the time I need it cleared by and I know the time of sunrise! ;)

    Yes, floods were wired to reverse lights for 2 reasons- our parking spots are a single strip in front of the apartments so there a considerable amount of work backdragging and cleanup. They also serve as a reverse warning light for the D bags that cut behind you when backing up.

    Anyone have a good relay part number?
  8. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,674

    So if it stops snowing at 8pm you let it sit until sunrise?
    MSS Mow and Mark Oomkes like this.
  9. Jeep_thing

    Jeep_thing Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    This thread is about salting. If I am plowing with a bad storm I am not salting just to push it aside on the next pass. Salting if needed comes right before residents leave for work. No need to keep the drives bare pavement all night. If we have a winter like 2 years ago actually leaving a hard pack is safer than salting as long as it doesn't turn icy.
  10. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,765

    Sounds like you are only doing residential... if that is the case, you don't need flood lights... you don't likely even need a tailgate spreader.

    The flood light is meant to show your pattern so you know how far you are covering for your next pass in a large lot... it allows you to see if you are getting it all the way to doors or if you need to climb up there a little closer to the building... etc.

    I cannot count the number of times in a snow storm I have salted lanes at a Wal Mart just to let it sit there for 5 minutes and plow it right back up. Your salt is another piece of equipment made to help you do your job in a storm.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  11. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,765

    But back to the lights...

    I always put a light shining backwards towards the drivers side. Wired it to come on with the spinner. So when the spinner was throwing salt, you could see your pattern and see what you coverage was and you were able to see how much material was being thrown.

    Just an added comment on lights for salt spreading...
    What color salt/ CaCl2 /etc... are you using? I found years ago that if you are using white material, an amber colored bulb shined outward rely shows your pattern nicely. Makes the white salt appear a slight orange color and makes it very visible. It is not very effective on a material like Snow Slicer, the white light was better on that purple stuff.
  12. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,069

    Although it's been said, it sounds like it needs to be said again.

    Buy some rigid industries d2 HD driving lights, wire them to a switch (w/ a fuse) and use them as scene lights, reverse lights or salting lights.
  13. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,247

    This makes the best sense. Just wire directly to your salt spreader from the spinner motor. No need for any other switches or wires to the cab. You turn the spreader on and the light comes on.
  14. Jeep_thing

    Jeep_thing Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    I actually had thought of this, sounds good! And I may try the amber color.

    Roads get rock salt.
  15. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,236

    I have more lights in the back of my plow\salt trucks than the front.
    kimber750 likes this.
  16. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,389

    . I just use the force, and my bumper.......ain't that what it's there for?
  17. AccuCon

    AccuCon Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 619

    I have switched rear lights that I run always when spreading (so you can see the material and where its going) and I also have extra lights come on when the truck goes in reverse...Like others have said I have more lights on the back then in the front...

    Yes, you want lights on while spreading so you can see....Otherwise your just guessing your spread pattern is A O K
  18. Jeep_thing

    Jeep_thing Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    Thank you