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Enhancing the Visibility of Snowplows

Year: 
2014 & 2015
Business: 
Provincial Transportation Authority
Location: 
Ontario
Products: 

Warning Sticks, Minibars, Beacons, Stop/Turn/Tail Lights, and Floodlights

Issue: 

Snowplows have previously been mandated to require similar lighting to construction and public works vehicles, which included amber and blue strobe and rotator beacons and minor perimeter lighting.  This resulted in trucks that were not as readily identifiable from other public works vehicles, and rear-end collisions on freeways and higher speed roads. 

Solution: 

SWS worked extensively with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario to outline a solution involving more light to the rear of the vehicle, while utilizing the latest high brightness LED technology.  We also were able to satisfy their split-colour requirements, flash pattern desires, product dimension specifications, interconnect simplification desire, and collaborated to come up with a metric for describing the system requirements.

            The solution was further developed in conjunction with a large national level distributor of snowplow vehicles, to accommodate many different vehicles and layouts.  The system and it’s layout on a standard snow removal vehicle, were subjected to public approval and industry representation to finalize a definitive specification for snowplows and snow removal equipment.

Outcome: 

The specification led to the development of SWS’s 75028 Snowplow Warning Light System, and the development of a new style of warning stick.  With SWS’s LIN communication and advanced electronic design, we were able to create a synchronized flashing pattern between different warning products while maintaining a simple interconnect between all the products. 

            The final solution has become not only the provincial guideline for snowplows and snow removal equipment under the MTO, but a nationally recommended guideline by the Canadian Traffic Authority.