View Poll Results: What Rear Warning Package is the best?

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  • Red,Amber W/Arrostik

    13 61.90%
  • Red,Red W/Arrostik

    3 14.29%
  • Red and Amber No Arrostik

    2 9.52%
  • Red,Blue W/Arrostik

    2 9.52%
  • Other

    1 4.76%
  1. #1
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    Smile What Rear Warning Package is the best?

    Hey everyone, my new engine has 2 rotators, 1 amber, 1 red and a 10 bulb arrostik, and 2 Red Alternators on the bottom right under the Reverse Lights, if you vote other, please post as ot why.
    Last edited by AsstEngineer292; 03-11-2005 at 08:26 AM.

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    It isn't neccesarily a vote of simply what is better. The system needs to meet NFPA1221's lighting specifications. In the rear, you are allowed to use any combination of red, amber, and blue. Contrary to some rumors, amber is NOT required. It is almost always used because you get more candlepower from an amber light than an equal model red light. You can use all red, it will just require more lights to meet the candlepower requirement. There are also a few pages of regulations on crossing manufacturers and other little details. Also, I'm pretty sure the traffic advisor does NOT count for the NFPA1221 required lighting. It is only an add-on at your pleasure.

    With that out of the way, I personally prefer red LED on the lower rear face and big *** amber strobes on the upper rear face. The debate between strobes or rotators on the top can have a lot more than just personal preference though. Keep in mind the height of the truck since the rotators will stick up higher. This can be a problem if you have love overhead doors, bridges, trees, etc. It is often overlooked. Also keep in mind they are high current moving parts. If you are striving for efficiency, they aren't your first choice.

    Traffic arrows can be useful but they can also be overwhelming and usless. I bet about 5% of the motoring public can actually figure out that the lights moving to the left means "merge left". To the other 95%, it is just a blinking light. Don't get too hung up on them. Also, at 0-dark-30, the traffic arrow on full power can easily be TOO much light and be counter productive.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  4. #4
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    This is not a rear warning package...but how about this for a front package?
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    Captain, I can't see the pic that well, but is that Wagon from Warrenton Virgnia? That sucker has two Roto-rays on it. It came up behind me a while back when I was coming home from Luray.

    That is very similar to our 1986 Pierce Lance....except we have two Mars Lights...
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    Default Roto-Wagon

    Originally posted by TillerMan25
    Captain, I can't see the pic that well, but is that Wagon from Warrenton Virgnia? That sucker has two Roto-rays on it. It came up behind me a while back when I was coming home from Luray.

    That is very similar to our 1986 Pierce Lance....except we have two Mars Lights...
    Yup.. it's Warrenton.. here ya go, this should help.
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    How about EXIT ONLY!!

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    Originally posted by LFD2203
    How about EXIT ONLY!!
    damn, I wasn't even going to go there......

    but since you mentioned it:

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    Traffic arrows can be useful but they can also be overwhelming and usless. I bet about 5% of the motoring public can actually figure out that the lights moving to the left means "merge left". To the other 95%, it is just a blinking light. Don't get too hung up on them. Also, at 0-dark-30, the traffic arrow on full power can easily be TOO much light and be counter productive.
    I keep hearing that and disagree. We have had them years, and have great results with them. Traffic DOES respond to the direction of the arrow, or at least thats what we have found. IMHO, NFPA should amend the standards to include them. And as for the "too much light at night", at least the Federal brand that we use has a low power setting for night time use.

    As for strobes, there is information out there that they are actualy the most "distracting" type of light you can have on apparatus. Some industry "experts" are calling for them not to be used at all. www.firstrespondersafety.com had a good article on it a couple months ago.

    Now, as far as your rig, may I suggest changing one of the lower reds to amber, in the opposit side from the upper amber rotator. Our new engine was a demo unit, and had the same set up as yours when we got it. We changed one lower red to amber. Not sure if its more effective, but it does look better
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    Do a search for Dr. Stephen Solomon. He has done extensive research on emergency vehicle color/lighting. More is not alway better.
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    Originally posted by StayBack500FT
    http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~amish/
    LOL! That's it.

    After the infamous "Amish Drive-By" thread, I'm afraid to even say that word around here.

    And FYI, we use red lights only with an amber traffic advisor on our rear (the Fire Truck that is, not my Amish buggy).
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    For those of you who have finally gotten the taste of puke out of your mouths from the slime green days...

    I have seen the future and it's coming at us...well, since it's on the back I guess it's in front of us and we're heading right for it

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    BTW, it doesn't matter how many bright lights you have. A few good lights is all you need -- if someone can't see an 8' wide, 20' long, 20 ton vehicle, blinding them some more ain't going to make up for their lack of attention.
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    I would go with blue, amber and red. At night in a sea of tailights you'll see the blue the best. My opinion is to balance the distriution of colors not to stagger them. By this I mean if your rotators are two colors, they will be 2 different brightness levels. It better defines the vehicle when each pair of lights is the same colof going from top to bottom. For example. You make both of your rear rotators blue, the arrowstick stays amber and the lower rear facing flashers stay red.

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    Originally posted by MG3610
    I would go with blue, amber and red. At night in a sea of tailights you'll see the blue the best. My opinion is to balance the distriution of colors not to stagger them. By this I mean if your rotators are two colors, they will be 2 different brightness levels. It better defines the vehicle when each pair of lights is the same colof going from top to bottom. For example. You make both of your rear rotators blue, the arrowstick stays amber and the lower rear facing flashers stay red.
    Its known that different colors show up better then others in different ambient light and weather conditions. Mixing colors in each zone offers the best solution.

    The thought behind the blue lights is good. Unfortunatly, not all states allow blue on fire apparatus.
    Last edited by Dave1983; 03-11-2005 at 06:27 PM.
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    Originally posted by ullrichk
    Do a search for Dr. Stephen Solomon. He has done extensive research on emergency vehicle color/lighting. More is not alway better.
    I thought he had retired from all involvement with this field. If I remember correctly, he was the gentleman who came up with Lime Yellow. My question back then (1970?) WHICH REMAINS UNANSWERED, 35 YEARS LATER, is "If Slime Lime is such a great color for Safety purposes, why don't we have Slime Lime colored warning lights?" He can't answer the question. (We keep people off our backs with Red LEDs, LOTS OF THEM)
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    Captain, I can't see the pic that well, but is that Wagon from Warrenton Virgnia?
    Yep...That would be Wagon 1 from "Wartown"

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    Originally posted by Dave1983
    I keep hearing that and disagree. We have had them years, and have great results with them. Traffic DOES respond to the direction of the arrow, or at least thats what we have found. IMHO, NFPA should amend the standards to include them. And as for the "too much light at night", at least the Federal brand that we use has a low power setting for night time use.

    As for strobes, there is information out there that they are actualy the most "distracting" type of light you can have on apparatus. Some industry "experts" are calling for them not to be used at all.
    That's why I specifically said "full power". They all have a low power option which usually makes it visible but not blinding. If you have one of the new LED models, it is almost a neccessity to put it on low power after dark.

    As for people obeying it, I would be willing to bet it is simply the lemming factor. Cars follow other cars. If a few cars decide to go to the left, everyone follows. If a few cars decided to stop, everyone else stops. You could put the thing on right arrow and have everyone going left. If a few cars drove off a cliff, the whole interstate would drive off a cliff. I'd bet more of what you're seeing is coincidence or lemmings rather than people saying "ooh, that means we have to go this way!"

    By the way, I am refering to the physical stick shaped ones, NOT the ones that are actual arrow boards. If you can't figure out an arrow board, you need not be on the road. The are usually not found on apparatus anyway.

    I call the strobe studies BS. In my experience, it is not the strobes that cause a distraction, it is the deployment of them. Many people seem to think that if you have 50 strobes doing psycho-flash mode, it will be the best warning system ever. This is what mesmorized people. If you use a non-nausiating pattern that isn't going nuts, you won't be playing games with people's eyes. Ever notice how ambulances and DOT systems use simultaneous pairs as opposed to alternating pairs? I did this with our utility truck and it made a big difference. The lights aldernate top - bottom - top - bottom rather than doing an X or left/right. This makes a HUGE difference. It stands out a lot and it isn't at all distracting or nausiating.

    I've never seen a roto-ray in person, but looking at pictures, I have to question what on earth they accomplish other than sucking amps?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Start up amps on roto rays are up, but they actually start off slow and wind up. Not really a lot of draw. That department uses them with great success and has had no electrical problems. I guess it goes back to specifying an electrical system that can handle them. Additionally, you can see them coming from a great distance away.
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    Why are you looking at my rear package??!!

    My package is none of your business!!



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    Originally posted by nmfire
    I've never seen a roto-ray in person, but looking at pictures, I have to question what on earth they accomplish other than sucking amps?
    Trust me.. we have ONE on one of our heavy rescues, and I'm not dazzled by it. The best use I've found for it is ammusing little kids with how it spins round and round. Most of the time, I'd doubt someone would see that flashing during the day, especially on the front of a big a** rescue truck. Again, that's just my opinion.. I'm not moved by their abilities!

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    Talking Re: Roto-Wagon

    Originally posted by FTMPTB15



    Yup.. it's Warrenton.. here ya go, this should help.





    Yup a Jim Featherstone and Dick Singer Special!!

    All the Pierces in Virgina, Maryland, Delaware, west Virginia, Pennsylvania and other areas looks good.

    I am not a big roto-ray guy, perferring the mars 888 light, but it does the job, if you have the correct settings on those heads and lamps installed.


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    Dalmation90, the hashmarks on the first rig you posted are contrary to the hiway traffic act anywhere, the hashmarks should be down and outward away fom the rig. For me the best rear warning devices are bigass traffic cones about 48" high.

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