How to use CFL Reflectors on your truck
You might think that trucks would have no need for reflectors.
After all, the wind is too low to affect a truck’s visibility.
Not so, says Chris Smith of Smith & Associates, which provides truck reflectors for the Canadian market.
“You’ll get the same performance out of a truck that you would from a regular reflector,” he says.
“But there are a few things that are important, and the truckers need to understand them.”
You need to know the reflector bulb’s distance from the ground.
A reflector should be pointed at a point on the road where it will be visible, such as the driver’s or passenger’s side of a car or a tractor trailer.
To find out the reflectors distance, the truck should be towed.
It also should be easy to position the reflectore so that it’s pointed directly at the road and not facing the ground, says Smith.
“That’s where you need to get your headlights.”
A reflectore bulb can be installed on a truck in any light.
To set up your reflector for the first time, take the truck to a location where you can set up a lamp.
A lamp is a small, portable, reflective fixture that lights up the road, with a small reflector in the middle.
A light bulb is a smaller, compact, reflective device that lights the road.
Smith recommends that you install your reflectors in the dark and place them in a dark spot where you’re not expected to be.
A trucker can’t drive through a reflector without using a lamp to illuminate the road in front of him.
“I’m not a fan of being a dick,” Smith says.
In most situations, a reflectors are best placed behind the driver or passenger side of the vehicle.
But the trucker should have enough room to safely adjust his reflector.
In the case of an accident, Smith recommends mounting the reflectores in the front of the truck so they’re pointing in the direction the driver is most likely to turn.
“If it’s a lighted intersection, the reflectos will be pointing to the side that the driver will turn,” Smith adds.
For trucks with a few occupants, the best location for a reflectore is in the back of the cab, behind the drivers side, Smith says, noting that in some cases, there may be additional light points available.
The reflectors also help protect the driver from road hazards such as ice, snow, and other debris, he adds.
“With reflectors on trucks, you can put the driver in a position where he won’t be hit by a car,” Smith notes.
For most vehicles, Smith also recommends putting reflectors behind the passenger side, where they’re usually hidden.
Smith says he installs reflectors at the side of cab wells and behind the engine, as well as behind the brake pedal and brake lights.
“The most common place I see reflectors is in front, and I would also install them at the front and rear of the tank, but I wouldn’t put them on the rear of a pickup,” Smith explains.
“There are situations where I would put a reflecto in front and in the rear, but the driver should always be the one making the decisions about which direction to drive.
The only time you should be driving on a roadway with no reflectors would be in a rainstorm.”
For some vehicles, including trucks, a light fixture behind the headlights helps prevent reflections from the wind.
“A reflector might be ideal if you’re trying to avoid having the truck’s headlights blocked,” Smith cautions.
“Because you’re always looking out for the road ahead of you, you might be more likely to avoid a collision.
But reflectors can also be dangerous in the extreme, and in that case you need an eye protection system.”
If you have questions about the safety of reflectors or other light equipment on your vehicle, Smith suggests calling your dealer to speak with a trucker representative about how to install the reflectora.