Thread: Light Tower

  1. #1
    SWIPP
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Light Tower

    I am looking for information on the differences, pros/cons, of the Wil-Burt type light towers vs. Super Vac Command Light light towers. If anyone can tell me about either one, help me out. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Looper
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Our old heavy rescue (1986) had one of the first "big" WilBurt light towers on it. It had four 1500W lights. We loved it -- turned night into day! We just replaced the truck last year, and of course the new one has a WilBurt tower on it. Six 1500W lights with pan/tilt controls. Have not had any real problems with it. Several departments around us have the Super Vac lights and they seem to work fine also. The only down side is that it looks like the Super Vacs don't elevate quite as high as the WilBurts. This might cause shadows if you are working close to the rig.

    Our most recent engine (1997) also had a WilBurt tower on it. Instead of the traditional 500W telescoping light on each side of the truck, we mounted a Nightscan (2 x 500W) tower on top of the cab. Works great -- you can put the light where you need it. Only down side is that it takes about 30 seconds for the lights to warm up to full brightness. Our future engines will probably have something similar.

    [This message has been edited by Looper (edited 02-11-2001).]

  3. #3
    Capt. Lou
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by SWIPP:
    I am looking for information on the differences, pros/cons, of the Wil-Burt type light towers vs. Super Vac Command Light light towers. If anyone can tell me about either one, help me out. Thanks.
    We have Wil-Burt, 6000 watt, 25 foot mast set up on a 1995 E-One Rescue. It recesses down into the apparatus. Have had no problems with it since we took delivery in April 1995. 2 or 3 times a year we lubricate the mast with Wil-Burt supplied mast oil. It keeps the seals from drying out. The only suggestion I have is if you get the kind like ours that telescopes straight up, out of the roof of the apparatus. I would suggest that you get a lid to cover the roof opening when not in use to keep out sticks, leaves and anything else. We have an air piston that opens the lid (manualy) prior to telescoping the mast. It turns night into day. Good luck.

  4. #4
    pokeyfd12
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post


    SWIPP, our 1991 Saulsbury Rescue had one of the early models of Wil-Burt light towers. We have twin 30 foot air operated telescoping masts that have 3000W of light on each. These light towers do not have pan, tilt or swivel. Those features came out shortly after delivery of the truck.

    I guess I'll be the bad guy and throw a couple of negative comments into the mix. The first 6 months to 1 year of service, the light towers worked great. After that, we started having small problems here and there. One light tower would not stay up, one would not come down. We had air leaks through the system and then found out that the O-rings were cracked and needed replacement 5 years into service. We were told that is a lubrication problem. The system has a mast lubricator for each mast and those started cracking and having leaks as well. One mast section had to be replaced due to being warped (why we don't know). We spoke to Wil-Burt on numerous occasions regarding our problems and all they would tell us is that the masts must be lubricated manually, every time they are put up and must be cleaned daily to make sure no dirt gets into the sections. In their defense, our masts are located on the outside at the rear of the truck but in a protective nest.

    We have since contacted Super-Vac to refurb our lighting system and will be replacing the Wil-Burts this year. Maybe we got a bad system. Maybe not.

    Good luck

    Rescue Lt. Kevin C. (aka Pokey)


  5. #5
    LHS*
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    All of our engines have Wilburt masts. So far we've purchased 18 units all but one worked perfectly. After a minor adjustment it has been trouble free.

  6. #6
    rm8901
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    We have super-vac on two of our pumpers, one with the smaller of the two. Both have been very good to the Dept. check the price on the smaller one. Dept next to us has Wilbert not much different from our smaller one.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    BVFD1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    434

    Default

    6000W, it's either 12' or 15'
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by BVFD1983; 12-29-2005 at 12:37 AM.
    FTM - PTB

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    74

    Default

    We took delivery of a new engine in October. We have a Will-burt mounted on the tilt portion of a split-tilt cab. As for the lighting part of it....we really like it! Like others are saying, "turns night into day". Ours has the 4 lightheads which I believe are 1500 watts each. Our mast extends 15' and has the dual tilt features, etc. We've only had one issue so far. The sensor that tells the truck that the mast is stowed....wasn't doing that so the truck was still being "told" that the mast was up. Our sales rep came out on Monday night, and by Thurs. it was fixed. He had to replace the switch on the mast that tells the truck that the mast is down. Works again perfectly now. Our neighboring dept. has all Will-burts as well.....I haven't heard them having any serious issues with them.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    BVFD1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    434

    Default

    in addition
    Last edited by BVFD1983; 01-15-2006 at 07:44 PM.
    FTM - PTB

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    8

    Default Option

    Quote Originally Posted by SWIPP
    I am looking for information on the differences, pros/cons, of the Wil-Burt type light towers vs. Super Vac Command Light light towers. If anyone can tell me about either one, help me out. Thanks.
    As an option you also might consider a portable, self contained, lighting unit. We had a will-burt light tower on our rescue and it works great, but what we found was that we were called constantly to light up a police scene and or fire investigation long after the fire was extinguished. It would tie up the apparatus for hours and the "volunteer" crew too. Now with a portable lighting unit, we have the Allmand EPL 8N, we can tow it behind a chiefs vehicle or behind the rescue and when a long sustained event occurs we can go and leave the light tower and retreave it later. It has really paid off for us. Additionally our unit can run for almost 3 days on one tank of fuel!

    We did look at some others, but Allmand customzed this unit for the fire service with a large fuel tank, heavy duty generator and light mast that is taller than any other unit on the market.

    Good luck with your research.

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    96

    Default Light Tower Comparisions

    Both are good products however right up front I'm a SVI Trucks dealer (which is part of Supervac) which makes the articulating style compared to the telescopic style. Both have a variety of head (lighting) options and varying sizes depending on your needs and $$$.

    The advantages I feel are the ability to place the lighting "over" the side of the apparatus when working off the shoulder of a highway or embankment and when working under an overpass where height might be an issue. Also in cold climates it works as a great rehab feature to warm up personnel..!

    Also the Supervac style does not require air to raise and lower and has less moving parts and by having the articulating ability you can place the light more to where you want it. Also you can get on some models a "Back Light" feature which allows one set of light heads to pivot or rotate 180 degrees to allow you to light up more area.

    Contact both firms and get literature and spec's and compare. Also depending on what type of apparatus (where your going to locate the tower) look at a recessed style instead of on the roof of the cab or body to protect from tree limbs if that's an issue in your area.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    22

    Default Light Tower

    I am not with SVI, but I do agree with:
    -electric is nice because it keeps you away from utilizing the truck air system
    -articulating vs mask....articulating provides better close range, next to the apparatus light. The vertical mask goes up higher, thus giving more far away lighting.
    -I believe Wilburt does offer an electric as well as pneumatic light tower.
    -Wilburt does not build the best vertical mask, but the other do not put lights on them...yet.
    -recess your light tower in a pan on the front on the body. You really don't want a 10k to 20k piece of equipment double as a brush guard! At a minimum make sure there is a STURDY brush guard in place when putting on the cab roof.

    And that's all I have to say about that.

    Outside of Wilburt and Command light, has anyone found a good light tower manufacturer?

    rock

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    6

    Lightbulb New Supplier

    I heard recently that Tempest Technologies (ventilation people) from California has formed a new division called Tempest Towers offering an extensive line of lighting and communication towers. It was announced in November 2005 and the first units are being shipped now. As a former user of light towers I cannot stress how much they improve scene safety.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    100

    Default command light

    we just ordered our new rescue with a command light and most dept's in the area have done the same, have heard that wilburt has some problems don't always going back into storage positions, that is just heresay, i will just let you know when we get ours.
    michael umphrey
    captain higgins twp fire/rescue/ems
    roscommon,mi

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register