Tow Truck Lighting 101

Posted on: 27 February 2018

When you're looking to start a new career as a tow truck driver, getting the truck is just the first step. Once you have the truck, you need to have it properly equipped. One of the most important factors to consider is the lighting. Since lighting regulations can be so strict and specific, there are certain things that you need to consider before you make any changes to your truck.

Your State May Require Specific Lighting

Most states have certain standards in place that define what kinds of lights are required on specific vehicles. For example, ambulances, tow trucks, and other emergency vehicles all must use certain types of rotating or strobe lights. You can use individual lights, but you may be better off investing in a tow truck light bar instead, so that everything is in one place.

You Have To Have Visible Rear Lights At All Times

Another thing you're going to need to be attentive to is the rear lighting on the truck. You'll want to purchase some independent rear lights that you can connect, in the event that you are towing a large vehicle that obstructs your truck's rear lights. Hook the independent lights up, and attach them to the vehicle you're towing, so that they are visible. Remember that if your lights aren't visible, you may be held liable for an accident if someone doesn't see you.

You Have To Be Selective About Your Light Colors

In every state, there are certain colors defined for emergency lights. For example, police cruisers will be required to use either blue or red, in most places. In some cases, the front-facing lights might have to be a different color than the rear-facing lights. In fact, most tow trucks will be required to use two different colors of lights. One color will be used when you're loading a car at an accident, while the other color will be required to be used when you're rolling under tow.

You May Be Able To Add Additional Lights

Although there are certain guidelines that are set for the lights that you must have, that doesn't mean those are the only lights you can use. In many places, you can opt to add additional lights, as well. The only guideline is that they cannot interfere with the visibility of the required lighting. In addition, they cannot conflict with any of the restrictions in place for other emergency vehicle lights. For example, if police cruisers use blue lights, you won't be able to legally use blue lights on your truck.