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strobes on constantly???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SD-Dave, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. SD-Dave

    SD-Dave Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 237


    what is the deal? I see commerical guys driving around constantly from one plow site to the next running their strobes/beacons etc.

    What gives?

    I love my strobes I want to be seen for saftey sake when I am plowing...but...there is no need to have them on when you are just driving down the street to your next location.

    If we run them all the time then they become like car alarms...everyone ignores them....then what good are they?

    Just something I have seen more recently and now more prominenty with many operators now having more lights then many Fire Trucks.

    Others thoughts?

    Pet Peeve of mine
  2. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,794

    I never run mine on the road unless visibility is very poor. A guy down the street from me has a pickup or two and several dump trucks and whenever they are out plowing it seems that thier lightbars are on. I passed a few guys today who had thier grill strobes/leds on but I think they just forgot to turn them off since they were not reflecting off anything to show that they were on from the cab.
  3. dirtmandan2

    dirtmandan2 Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    mine are on from start to finish... otherwise i forget about it and leave them off... whether its 3 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon people could care less if your there and dont notice you anyways...
  4. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    against the law to have them on in maine unless your in the process of actually plowing that causes you to enter or exit a public way. You are not supposed to have them on while on a public way driving unless your plowing it.
  5. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Ya, this has been discussed a bunch of times. What Bri says is true in most places.

    Yet, funny you mention it, because I was noticing in our area lately a real rash of people with them on while driving down the road. Agree it will be like car alarms etc.... ignored.
  6. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    After hours of it, I just zone it out and forget that they're even on. Every single time I get home I get out and walk up to my front door, only to realize I forgot to turn off the lights.
  7. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    The only time that I intentionally keep them on when not plowing is when driving down narrow dirt back roads. Some of them are barely 1 1/2 cars wide, and I want to make sure that anyone coming at me sees me ahead of time.
  8. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,767

    I plow small streets and courts for a municipality and I never shut mine off form the time I clock in there to the time I leave there. It is better to leave them on all the time than forget to turn them on when you need them.

    When I am plowing lots, most of the time I leave them off and just have my twirly light one, then when I do the entrance to the lot, I light the truck up.... like a firetruck.
  9. IC-Smoke

    IC-Smoke Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    at night I will remember to kill the lights but durring the day I just forget about it and they usually stay on unless I see the reflection in building windows or something.
  10. Michigan law

    I researched this last year when I saw many trucks with-out lights.

    Michigan permits plowers to have and use amber strobes ----for plowing.
    The State requires County and State trucks to have and use strobes.

    I believe there was language that prohibited the use of strobes for just driving.
    And I believe the restriction was to avoid confusion by some people that may
    think you are an emergency vehicle.
    Volunteer fireman and doctors need to alert drivers that they need to
    travel un-obstructed to an emergency -- but they are restricted to such instances, too.

    We all have used the strobes in poor visibility. I would be dumb to get hit in a blizzard
    when the strobes could have prevented it.

    I think guys need a lighted switch inside to show they have the strobes on.
    Leaving them on is not doing us a favor. If the State desides the permit is being
    abused or there are complaints-- we may lose the option !!

    Can you imagine what would happen if volunteer fireman drove around with their
    strobes on all the time ??

  11. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,767

    Very Good Point!
  12. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    i make sure my guys only run them when they need to be seen we have hideaways in 2 of our trucks and light bars on the other 3 and they know when and when not to use them
  13. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    It is just another thing that gives a little expression of being "cool". I agree it is a joke that some run around all the time with them on. Most of the veteran plow guys around here run a simple single strobe and the newer image conscious type have the fancy newer lightbars etc. I am not knocking them but it is pretty easy to go overboard on lights not to mention I like to make money plowing not spending it on a traveling Christmas tree.
  14. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,202

    I run mine when I'm plowing or if I'm on the isde of the road not moving. Most of the time, having your 4 ways on don't do nothing...people will stop behind you and honk because your not moving.
  15. Blazin

    Blazin Senior Member
    Messages: 185

    N.H. just passed a law you have to have a permit to have them on your vehicle. I forget to turn them off 90% of the time. I run a single strobe on my pickup and two one on top of each mirror of my 1 ton. The dump body would hide a single one from the rear.
  16. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Not sure I understand people forgetting to turn them on... turning them off, I agree, I'm sure we've all done that a time or two when we're tired (light up switches help prevent that)... but turning them on? Thats part of the job, when you start to work you alert people that you are working by turning on the lights. Not really a good reason to leave them on all night/day. You don't forget to turn on the wipers when it starts raining, do you?

    As for poor visibility (extreme), or other reasons, there will always be extraordinary circumstances where extra visibility is a good idea. For example, the other night I used mine to slow traffic at a three-car accident on a major country road (dark) until emergency crews could arrive, because people were still just flying thru. With the strobes and lightbar on, it actually worked, people slowed to a crawl thru the scene then proceeded. I left once the police arrived. Last thing I wanted to see was injured people, still strapped in their cars, hit yet again because other drivers didn't realize it was an accident until they were in it... then wipe out because it was so slick.

    ...but for just driving around, especially in the daytime, it seems so much more like a macho 'look at me' type of thing. And no one cares, so why bother?
  17. Oasis

    Oasis Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    My amber strobe go on from the time I start working till the time I finish. If its snowing or I have a salt load my blue light is running as well. There are NO laws against this here and to be perfectly honest, I will do anything to make my big black truck visible. People dont pay attention anyways as someone else here pointed out. You can be stopped on the side of your road with your flashers on with people honking behind you to go.

    When I stop on the side of the road with my hide aways, my blue light and my LIR3s flashing no one dares to honk at me to resume.

    As for them becoming ordinary because of overuse.... I dont agree. I know may not have been plowing for too long but I have lived here as a driver and passanger for many many years. When you see an amber flashing light you know that its some sort of service vehicle and to be a bit more aware. Here in Toronto when you see a flashing blue light you KNOW that it is a snow or salt vehicle and to be more aware. I dont think it matters how many you see on a stormy night your not going to forget what they mean. We see flashing red lights all the time that doesnt mean we will get used to them and when a firetruck or police car is racing up behind us we will just go on are merry way?????

    Last point..... as for people that as you say "go overboard" with there lights.... why the heck not? If you pay a lot of money for your truck and you are proud of it why not make it look cool???? If you have the money to spend on 'gadgets' for your truck and you want to POWER TO YOU.

    Sorry for the rant, I just get tired of people spouting their opinion as the only alternative.

  18. Blues Man

    Blues Man Junior Member
    from SE Mich
    Messages: 20

    I do know in Michigan that it is illegal to run with your stobes on. I was given a ticket for impeding traffic. In the spring and summer Im the guy everybody hates (orange barrels) if your strobes are on more then a mile after the construction zone they can write you up for this as i was told traffic was still backed up because they saw the lights. Winter i think they are more forgiving because there is usaully less traffic plus the cops dont wanna get out of there car in the cold.
  19. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Why do you think that is? Because people use them for everything. Some people even drive with them on. So everyone igores them. Same happens with the strobes. Don't believe it? Try plowing a parking lot thats open and busy... and see if anyone cares about your strobes, or even backup alarm.

    Think about it. When I was in highschool (graduated in '96, ugh..) I was one of the only guys to have a pair of subwoofers in the car. Back then, if people heard the bass wayyyy off in the distance, they would turn around to figure out what it was, because only a few people had it and it was 'different'. When is the last time you even looked up if you heard a car coming with a big stereo? Why? Because its become common, almost normal to have, so you ignore it. Same will happen (and is already happening) with the strobes.

    Its not just opinion, in most places its illegal. I'm not sure if it is here or not... but common sense says that if I'm NOT a hazard (ie: driving with traffic, not against it, for example) I shouldn't have my hazard lights on. Strobes are for hazards. Just having equipment on the truck does not constitute a hazard... except in extreme whiteout conditions when people rely on the lights to tell them where the extremities of the vehicle are, or aren't in the case of a plow truck.

    If strobes are on all the time, well, frankly we may as well all throw them away because people will just look past them.
  20. Oasis

    Oasis Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Your OPINION is your OPINION and just that. I dont agree with you. We are not talking about car alarms or sub woofers that people choose to ignore. When you see a big flashing light in front of you you look. I dont care how many times youve seen it YOU STILL LOOK. Maybe its a cop? maybe its an emergency vehicle? Maybe he poses a danger to me? You still look to see what it is.

    As for a hazard. When Im driving around with 3 tons of weight in my box plus a half ton dangling off the front, whether Im plowing or not I am a HAZARD to you. If you cut in front of me and I hit you you will DIE. No questions asked. That quite a potential hazard. Until the Highway Traffic Act (since I see you are from Ontario) states that it is ILLEGAL to use strobes or flashers then come Heck or Highwater when im on the job im gonna run them!!!!!!