1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Lighting requirements

Discussion in 'Strobe Lighting' started by timbow, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. timbow

    timbow Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Just getting started and wondering what is required/recommended for truck lighting (Michigan in particular). I figure this falls under some jurisdiction within PlowSite - maybe this one?
    Not going into business, just helping out a few elderly folks around the area as well as doing my place. I first and foremost want to be safe and then legal, then frugal. I'm sure there are many aspects to this that I could never come up with my own, so please - enlighten me. Thanks for you time and consideration.:help:
  2. ColliganLands

    ColliganLands PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,854

    timbow - im not sure about michigan but i would recommend atleast some sort of amber light on the roof (beacon, minibar, bar, whatever) and then go from there. as far as i know amber is the only light legal for private use in all 50 states so id try to stay with that as much as possible. Also i would definately not recommend any red/blue lights.
    Hope that helps you out a little
  3. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    just buy an amber dual halogen rotator with a magnetic mout. that way you can just throw it on for the winter and plug it into the cigarette outlet since your not going to be using it all year around or going to be running in lots during the winter. you can get a nice one for right around 100 bucks.
  4. kitn1mcc

    kitn1mcc Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    go with at least 360 degree of protection
  5. groundbreakers

    groundbreakers Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    im assuming you referencing to warning lights .... if soo .... you can only have amber and clear .... what kind of lights you want up to you .. and headlight flashers ( wig wags) and tailight flashers are a BIG NONO .. but everything else is cool ... whatever you wallet allows you LOL ..
  6. timbow

    timbow Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Sounds like duct taping the wife on the roof with a flashlight is out...

    Thanks fellas!
  7. tom_mccauley

    tom_mccauley Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    hell!! I wish i would have thought of that before I bought my lightbars!!. (3 trucks+1 wife+4 kids+5 flashlights=a funnnnn season of plowing!!!!!.:jester::jester::jester::)
  8. gkm

    gkm Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    the family thats plows together stays together.....especially with duct tape:drinkup:
  9. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,238

    Wrong, amber is the only legal color for plowing.

    Clear\white is for emergency vehicles only. And even then, technically it is for police unless you are stationary, then fire and ambulance are allowed to have white. Although it is never enforced.
  10. BlueLine Ent

    BlueLine Ent Senior Member
    Messages: 570

    Mark, I think you have the NFPA code about white mixed up. Fire may have white while clearing the way, but the white must be turned off once stationary, blocking the way. No white is allowed on fire while stationary.
  11. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,238

    Nope, that used to be the MI state law. I don't think they changed it to match NFPA, but like I said, technically police were the only ones allowed to use white in the first place. There used to be some state troops that enforced it, but the locals could care less. Now, nobody cares.

    Either way, white is only to be used by emergency vehicles, not plowers.
  12. groundbreakers

    groundbreakers Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    well i know red and clear is for fire use or just red .. but i was explained by the fire chief in Woodhaven , Michigan ( wayne county ) that amber and clear combined is allowed by law for tow trucks and general safety apparantaces .... now they may have changed laws ... but i run a whelen lightbar with amber / clear .. and never was stopped by local or state officials .. so i think you may be right about whats INFORCED and what NOT ..
  13. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,238

    Fire chief doesn't know the law.

    (f) A vehicle to perform public utility service, a vehicle owned or leased by and licensed as a business for use in the collection and hauling of refuse, an automobile service car or wrecker, a vehicle engaged in authorized highway repair or maintenance, a vehicle of a peace officer, a vehicle operated by a rural letter carrier or a person under contract to deliver newspapers or other publications by motor route, 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. However, a wrecker may be equipped with flashing, rotating, or oscillating red lights which shall be activated only when the wrecker is engaged in removing or assisting a vehicle at the scene of a traffic accident or disablement. The flashing, rotating, or oscillating amber lights shall not be activated except in those circumstances that the warning produced by the lights is required for public safety.

    And further:

    (h) An authorized emergency vehicle may display flashing, rotating, or oscillating white lights in conjunction with an authorized emergency light as prescribed in this section.

    And if you want the definition of an 'authorized emergency vehicle':

    257.2 “Authorized emergency vehicle” defined.

    Sec. 2.

    “Authorized emergency vehicle” means any 1 of the following:

    (a) Vehicles of the fire department, police vehicles, ambulances, or privately owned motor vehicles of volunteer or paid fire fighters if authorized by the chief of an organized fire department, or privately owned motor vehicles of volunteer or paid members of a life support agency licensed by the department of consumer and industry services if authorized by the life support agency.

    (b) For purposes of section 698(5)(c) during an emergency, a vehicle owned and operated by a federally recognized nonprofit charitable organization that is used exclusively for assistance during that emergency.

    (c) For purposes of section 653a, a road service vehicle giving a visual signal by means of a flashing, rotating, or oscillating red or amber light. As used in this subdivision, “road service vehicle” means a vehicle that is clearly marked and readily recognizable as a vehicle used to assist disabled vehicles.

    I don't see snow plow covered as an authorized emergency vehicle.

    And if you want to read the entire thing or give the link to the fire chief:

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(qi...=on&highlight=emergency AND vehicle AND amber

    FWIW, I've been a firefighter for almost 20 years, so that is why I am aware of what the law states.

    PS Looks like the last change to the law was in July of '98, so this is nothing new or recent change.

    PPS Next time it might be a good idea to ask someone other than the fire chief about snowplowing laws and regs unless he is a plower himself.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  14. groundbreakers

    groundbreakers Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    well good ... ive never been bothered in the last 3 yrs of what i have used to be seen with ..... soo now that this is cleared up next subject please ..... LOL
  15. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,238

    You are correct, but since the OP stated as one of his requirements to be legal, I thought it only best to point out what is and what isn't.

    So to answer his question:


    Inexpensive, plenty of light and legal.
  16. BlueLine Ent

    BlueLine Ent Senior Member
    Messages: 570

    Ok gotcha. I'm not sure if NFPA over rules state law, so I guess it's anyones guess.
  17. groundbreakers

    groundbreakers Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    thank you ... i will call lansing get some real info ... not that i care michigan has more problems then whos using illegal lights on there plow trucks .. kinda like get JOBS back in the state and poeple will have more to do then ... LOL ....
  18. timbow

    timbow Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Soooo.......amber lights. Got it, and everthing I couldn't think to ask ;0)
    :salute: to all you firefighters out there!!!ussmileyflag
  19. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,238

    I believe state law would overrule NFPA standards, because for building codes, local municipalities have to adopt them. The problem comes in if you don't follow them and the poop hits the fan, a lawyer will question why you didn't adopt and\or follow them. I know our apparatus follows NFPA guidelines almost to the T.