Properly Aimed Snowplow Headlamps Ensure Safety & Performance

High visibility is extremely important for the safety of snowplow contractors and others on the road—especially when plowing at night. Properly aimed snowplow headlamps make it easier for the operator to see and avoid potential obstacles while driving by providing the right illumination distance for optimal reaction time. This also makes it easier for other drivers to see you without blinding someone traveling in the opposite direction.

Proper snowplow headlamp orientation is required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 108, here are some instructions on how to comply.

Instructions on Aiming Snowplow Headlamps:

  1. Find level ground to park your vehicle that is about 25 feet in front of a blank wall.

  2. Make sure the plow is raised and ready for normal operation with correct tire pressure.

  3. Clean off any ice or mud that may be stuck to the fenders as well as the headlight lenses.

  4. Check for proper beam switching and proper ballast. There shouldn’t be any other load in the vehicle besides the driver.

  5. On the blank wall, tape or draw a vertical centerline for each of the snowplow headlamps and a vertical centerline for the vehicle. Next, mark the horizontal centerline of the snowplow headlamps (distance from ground to headlamp centers).

  6. You’ll notice two high-intensity zones of the snowplow lower beams below the horizontal centerline and on the vertical centerline for each headlamp; align the top and left edge.

  7. Once the proper headlamp aim is achieved, torque the fasteners according to the installation instructions.

Take the time to ensure you meet FMVSS 108 and are operating your plow truck safely by following these simple steps for proper headlamp aiming. For more information on headlamp options, check out the WESTERN® NIGHTHAWK™ LED headlamps with EdgeView™ Technology and the NIGHTHAWK Dual-Halogen headlamps.

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Originally written by SIMA and Western Products.