Traffic lights are one of the most safety important part of truck equipment and over the last ten years there were quite huge improvements in the area of truck lights. Around ten years ago there were front truck lights with xenon bulbs which were the huge jump in providing more visibility and more safety. When xenon lights arrived on market it was a huge jump in technology and trucking business imported them from car industry.
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Same thing is happening now days with front LED lights. Just like xenon lights they are also arriving to truck industry from car industry. Improved durability and visibility are the mail advantages. But more about that in the following lines….
Despite the technology was able to develop and equip trucks with better truck lights human factor remains very important and it is up to every driver to take care for truck lights because in those dark areas with no highway lights it is a matter of safety. So I created a list of 10 important things to have in mind when maintaining your truck lights:
Regular daily inspection can take not more than 1 minute to visually inspect and check is everything OK with the lights on both trailer and truck. This visual check can save you a lot of headache and it can save you from getting a ticket while driving truck in the middle of nowhere.
Tickets can lead to bad safety rating so this small thing can cause a big mess in every trucking company. Pay attention to details and make this a standard practice in your company. Even though it is mandatory to fulfill a DVIR form on a daily base, some driver just fill it without even looking what is the actual condition of track lights.
What I mean by maintaining your truck lights is what you need to take care of the possible damages that can be caused by small stones or hits while you are driving the truck every day.
Not just that another big threat comes from the exposure to the daily sun light. If your truck is exposed to heavy sun light over the period of let’s say 5 years that can cause your front truck lights glass to become blurry and heavily reduce the function of the front lights.
It can cause that the visibility is reduced by more than 50%. Please have this in mind when parking your truck – simple parking in slightly different position can save your truck lights over a period of years.
Of course each one of us has experience with front lights not working due to bulb failure. That is a normal situation but trucks and trucking industry sees this more often because the trucks are driving a lot during dark and front head lights are turned on. Since the bulbs have a limited life they need to be changed periodically.
When you change one bulb it is recommended to change both of them. For example if you are changing one front bulb change please both of them in order to avoid differences in light color, distance and light power.
If you change just one of them you will see that your truck left light is different from the right one in color and light intensity.
Facing a bulb failure in the middle of nowhere is not an easy task to handle. Hundred miles away from the first truck stop or closes city makes the situation even worse and not easy to handle.
There is a lot of cases where you can face event both front lights going dead and the only chance to get yourself out of that situation is to have pair of extra bulbs in your truck. Buy them and keep them, it is a small investment that can save you a lot of money and increase safety when you needed it most.
Despite this looks irrelevant and completely not important you will find that this kind of failure is the perfect way to get a traffic ticket. Yes, unfortunately the cops really like to get you a ticket for this.
Getting a ticket will look bad on your safety record and you definitely don’t want to have a bad safety rating due to traffic light failure. In some cases this is hard to notice because truck central computer will not warn you in case this happens so you need to do this by checking it visually. Take a walk around the truck and check your lights daily.
If you are running an old battery in your truck the oscillation or heavy starting can damage you truck front head lights. Lack of stability in power process is definitely a good sign if you want to have a long life lasting bulbs.
The best quality batteries are the ones delivered as the first build in new trucks and you expect to have no issues over the next 5 years or so. At the 5th year usually you can notice some signs of the battery capacity going down especially if it is a cold weather like we have during winter here in Chicago.
The idea is to change the battery in advance and to try avoid problems you can have if you ran out of power. Not just power but also you can face calling technician to start the truck if the lack of power cause some electrical issues with the truck.
In nowadays market there is a ton of different products and prices that average consumer or trucking company has a difficult time to choose from the huge variety of available products. Asian suppliers in most cases promise a lot of things at amazing prices which sometimes is true but often you will not be happy with that choice. Cheaper is not always better.
Instead of that I would like to suggest to stick with the well known and established suppliers and players you can find on USA market. It won’t be the cheapest choice but it will provide your company with the thousands of miles driven trough the darkest spots of the country. I’d like to ask you in the comments what is your experience, which brands are providing most for them one invested?
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