Let there be light! Literally. In the world of trucking, traffic lights are among the most important parts of your equipment. And if the roadside inspection decides to take a closer look… you know that the lights will be in the spotlight.
That is what Commercial Vehicle Safety wanted to see in proper working order. Did you know that lighting problems represent approximately 25% of the most common traffic violations on the road? So in order to avoid getting in trouble and be a part of this statistic, it is time to cast light on some tips that can help you avoid getting pulled over by roadside inspection.
We gathered this list that will help your lights in working order and there will be no more unpleasant surprises for you on the road.
Inspect your lights… every day
We know that this is ‘’eat your veggies’’ equivalent in the trucking world, but let’s start with some basics here.
Keep your lighting in check every day – it will take a minute of your time and it would mean a lot later. Visually inspect both the trailer and your truck. Imagine getting a ticket in the middle of nowhere? That is worse than every horror movie scenario. You can end up with more than one ticket – it can lead to getting some bad reviews of the company you are currently working for.
Weather conditions and your lights
Winter conditions are notorious in the trucking world. Water, salt, ice… are all corrosive substances that can wreak havoc in your truck wiring. When you are driving in the winter conditions, you are stuck in the endless loop of freeze and thaw which in the end can affect your lights as well. Ice buildup is particularly bad news.
When driving in winter, take closer attention to your lights to locate drip loops. Also when choosing LED light – choose these with sealed structure and polycarbonate lens. A sealed structure will prevent potential water damage while polycarbonate lenses will protect your light from flying debris on the road.
Take extra care of your truck headlights
Your headlights are exposed to various types of dangers every day so they need a bit of extra care. Small stones can damage your headlights but the bigger issue arises from the direct exposure to sunlight every day. If your truck is exposed to very bright sunlight it could easily affect them. Front lights tend to become more blurry and at the end that leads to decreased visibility on the road.
Keep this in mind and do the following – always try parking your truck in the shade. It takes time for the sunlight to make the damage but it is up to you to start making smarter decisions.
Make sure that the voltage of your lights is just right
You can’t just choose the lights randomly- you need to see if the lights are compatible with the operating voltage of your truck. You want your match made in heaven and you can’t expect a 6-Volt candle to work properly with a 12-Volt system.
They could burn out in the blink of an eye. On the other side of the spectrum, imagine a 24-Volt system with a 12-Volt truck. You can get the idea, know your truck and find the right light for you.
If one bulb breaks… replace them both
Bulbs can break easily and they need to be changed from time to time and it is a completely normal process. Yet if you are changing one bulb – replace them in pairs. It is all about keeping the balance. You definitely want to avoid differences in color and light intensity.
Also… always keep an extra pair in your truck. You never know when the bulbs can break. It can happen in the middle of nowhere with no truck stops in sight and in the middle of the night. Buy them and keep them close. It is a very small investment but it can help you when you need it the most.
Extra tip: avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning your lights. That means no cleaning with alcohol, acetone, and other abrasive cleaners. Believe it or not, mild soap and water can help you with keeping everything clean and tidy!
Maintain your battery
If your truck is running on the old battery, that means bad news for your headlights as well. If there is not enough stability in the power process – your lights can burn out pretty easily.
Therefore you need to think about it in advance – change the battery and you will avoid the risk of losing your lights and messing the electrical wiring. As a truck driver, you need to keep one step ahead in order to get everywhere in time, without traffic tickets if possible.