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

Why NOT Use Warning Lights? Chicago Area

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Chris Wagner, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. Chris Wagner

    Chris Wagner Junior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 5

    A slightly different angle here... I'm the Director of Grounds for a church & school in the Chicago burbs. For snow removal, we only do the sidewalks / walkways ourselves (tractors, snowblowers, shovel, etc.). We contract out the parking areas to a plowing company which was established before I took the position.

    Anyway, the company we contract out does NOT have any warning lights on their truck when they plow. The parking lot is always busy with people, after school activities, etc.

    So I started looking around the other day at pickups equipped with plows. I noticed many of them WITHOUT lighting devices (at least on the roof).

    I know some of these devices can be magnetic. The one we have mounted on our tractor is. I can also understand the lighting being annoying to some residential customers.

    However, I think for commercial properties, any type of warning lighting is a must for safety.

    What do you think?
  2. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    I think they are either cheap, ignorant(literal meaning here not a jab) or just dont care. Or a combo of all of the above.
  3. scuba875

    scuba875 Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    I agree they should use some type of warning lights. I noticed the same thing last night on my way home. I do a school where there are houses across the street. I keep my warning lights off at night until I back into the street as a courtesy to the neighbors.

    I do use my lights when there are people around or in a commercial lot with a lot cars regardless. The trucks I saw last night were doing gas stations, strip malls and homes. They had no warning lights, no marker or head lights on either. That seems very dangerous to me. I might turn my head lights off so they don't shine in the houses but I keep the markers on.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2005
  4. rgjlawn

    rgjlawn Member
    Messages: 65

    4 corner strobes :gunsfiring: :gunsfiring: on all our trucks an bobcats.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2005
  5. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Member
    Messages: 32

    I also have the strobes on my dodge :yow!:
  6. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    I'd be willing to bet if you asked them to outfit their truck with a light while on church property they would be willing to accommodate you. They wouldn't have to spend a lot. Point out the hazard of you being there doing sidewalks at the same time on occasion, plus the pedestrian traffic of members. Approach them and see what happens. Maybe a letter from the board would help.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2005
  7. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I'll never understand anybody who plows without some type of warning light, especially since in many states they are required by law.
    Even if they were not though, I think it's foolish not to use one. They are not expensive for one thing, depending of course on how light happy you want to get. I have a magnetic mount amber dual stobe that sits on the roof, never comes loose even over bumps or on the highway and plugs into my lighter. It doesn't draw alot of amps either, and it's VERY visible, even during the day. Cost me about $220.00 new. That's nothing next to a $4,000.00 plow.

    If for no other reason, if you have an accident where some other moron hits you while you're plowing, you can at least show you made every effort to be visible and warn other drivers. Which will hopefully make the cops give the idiot who hit you a ticket and guarantee you won't get a surcharge from your insurance company.

    Of course, since the world is full of folks who are penny wise and pound foolish and/or plain just don't give a damn, we'll always see someone out there plowing with no lights. Their choice, their problem.
  8. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    i def. think they are necessary, but some of the people on this site go WAYYYY OVERBOARD.. there is no need to have 25 different lights flashing at once...
  9. I use a magnet mount amble on my roof. It just seems like the right thing to do to be safe.

    I heard a local rumor that a guy plowing was warned by the City of Elgin PD that only municipal vehicles were allowed to use lights????

    Makes no sense???

    Can anyone confirm this or have information on State or City Ordinances?
  10. SWC

    SWC Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 134

    Why NOT Use Warning Lights

    Good question.

    Theirs no reason not too use them, anything that makes a plow rig more visible is a good thing, especially with all the backing up we do.

    I have a dual strobe mounted on top of my cab, with a toggle switch in the dash so I can turn it on or off as needed.

    If a guys doing residential and doesn't want to strobe the neighborhood, all he has to do is flip the switch.

    Really, theirs no good excuse for not having one, and the law should require it, as I'm sure it does in some areas. :salute:
  11. dmjr77

    dmjr77 Senior Member
    Messages: 225

    Honestly, I feel that if the vehicle has a snow plow on it, it should have some sort of warning light that is visible. I cannot count the amount of times that I met other plow contractors out on the road backing out of driveway into the main road with out any warning lights. That just shows pure ignorance. A freind of mine who is a Firefighter changes the lenses in his mini edge from red to yellow when it snows and then changes them back to red when it is over. I check with my insurance company and they dont require the use of a warning light, but they told me that it is a good idea that I use one.
    Good luck plowing everyone!!
  12. Chris Wagner

    Chris Wagner Junior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 5

    Good points. I think some additional warning lights SHOULD be required. There is no need to go crazy with them (although they can look really cool), but I think they do add a ton to your visibility to others.

    Plowing in the morning... thanks for the feedback!
  13. Peopleeater

    Peopleeater Senior Member
    Messages: 249


    Warning lights are for the plow operator's safety as much as to warn other drivers. If it draws your attention, then it is doing its job. The more the merrier!

    I personally think LEDs are outstanding. Low power draw, very bright, very durable, and long lasting. I have a SHO-ME mini LED bar that I bought new for $220.

    As for the guy getting warned by Elgin PD. He probably was driving on the road, not actually engaged in plowing an account. The law in N. Il in general that I know of (drive construction semi in warm months) is that if you impede the flow of traffic, then you are required to use warning light.

  14. JeffY

    JeffY Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Can someone be able to help direct me to where I can find such rules and regulations regarding warning lights for the state of Nebraska? I've googled and searched for an hour and not coming up with the right information. Thanks.
  15. RidgeCon

    RidgeCon Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    We have warning lights on top of all our equipment from loaders to tractors to trucks to sanders. We don't shut them off in driveways or anywhere else where we have the plow down and pushing snow. If the homeowner finds it annoying then they just have to deal with it for the short time we are there. I want my equipment to be safe and for others driving to be safe because after 20 or 30 hours it would be awful easy to forget to turn on the light as you are backing up to a road. We also have back up alarms on the above equipment as an added safety feature. Some people don't like them but we want to stress safety and we have a zero tolerance policy with employees not using any of their safety equipment (right down to safety vests when outside the vehicle).